The Week’s Five Most Amazing Robot Videos

Beginning today, Future Tense will round up the week’s best robot videos—from dancing automatons to military machines—every Friday. Have you seen a great robot video? Send it our way or leave it in the comments.

This week, meet five works of mechanical genius.

The Bicycle-Riding Robot
This little guy’s just enjoying a leisurely ride through the neighborhood. But where’s his helmet?

Via Kottke.

The Passive-Walking Robot
It’s not so flashy as a robot on a bike. What’s incredible about this bot is that there is no power source. Just give it a little push (and make sure its path is downhill), and it can walk up to 15 kilometers.

Via Gizmodo.

The Trotting, Jumping, Kicking Robot
This quadraped, developed by researchers in Italy, can perform a squat jump and trot at up to six kilometers per hour. Its developers hope that it could be used for search-and-rescue missions in places too dangerous for a human to venture. “You could send the robot to navigate autonomously looking for victims, for example, or teleoperate it to investigate a disaster-stricken zone,” says Wired’s Automaton blog.

Via Automaton.

The Hand-Clapping Robot
As is so often the case with robot videos, there’s something rather creepy about these disembodied hands clapping along to “If You’re Happy and You Know It” (sung in Japanese). But it’s impressive nevertheless.

Via TokyoTek.

The Beer-Pouring Robot
Since the debut of Siri, Apple’s voice-activated assistant, we’ve seen her perform many tasks. But this hack, which allows Siri to direct a robot to pour you a beer, might be the best. Happy Friday!

Via Wired U.K.

Honorable mention for this week goes out to the robot Venus flytrap. Alas, there’s no film of the robot in action. What’s the point of a mechanical Venus flytrap? Researchers from Seoul, Korea, suggest that bug-eating bots could derive energy from ingesting insects.