Meet the Most Fascinating Robots Today

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  • In Harbin, China, 20 robots operate in a robotic-themed restaurant, performing a variety of tasks, such as welcoming and seating guests, waiting tables and cooking food.


    ©2013 Source / Photo Courtesy of AFP/Getty Images


  • In the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory at Virginia Tech, Associate Professor Dennis Hong plays soccer against CHARLI II—the first human-sized robot in the United States. Future versions of CHARLI will assist individuals with physical disabilities in cooking, cleaning and carrying items.


    ©2013 Source / Courtesy of The Washington Post/Getty Images


  • The first autonomous marine robot to rely solely on wave energy for propulsion, the Wave Glider can collect data concerning climate change, national security and severe weather. Here, the PacX Wave Glider is seen on its record-breaking 9,000 nautical mile journey across the Pacific Ocean.


    ©2013 Source / Courtesy of Liquid Robotics


  • Engineer Thomas Dwyer—seen here holding the robot—debuts the Bionic Exoskeleton, a wearable, battery-powered robotic exoskeleton designed to help physically disabled people stand and walk.


    ©2013 Source / Photo Courtesy of Getty Images


  • This anti-IED robot, nicknamed the "Dragon Runner," is part of the next generation of bomb disposal robots used by the British military. Weighing 22-44 lbs, it can easily be carried and is strong enough to function in extreme conditions and terrains.


    ©2013 Source / Photo Courtesy of AFP/Getty Images


  • At the Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany, testing continues on the quadrocopter—a four-rotor miniature helicopter, equipped with a camera and GPS. It's designed to record data, establish mobile phone and WiFi access in disaster areas, locate victims and perform surveillance.


    ©2013 Source / Photo Courtesy of APN


  • The Domo Robot is designed to perform manipulation tasks in human environments. Equipped with two cameras, it's able to analyze the shape and size of objects, respond to unfamiliar stimuli and adapt to its surroundings. It's intended uses include providing physical assistance to a worker on an assembly line, assisting the elderly or disabled and helping with household chores.


    ©2013 Source / Courtesy of


  • An artist's rendering of a similar, real-life Mars Exploration Rover—an automated motor vehicle designed to collect data concerning the climate and geology of the red planet.


    ©2013 Source / Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech


  • Chef Robot, seen here at the International Food Machinery and Technology Exhibition in Tokyo, has the capacity to gently grip and move fragile items without breaking them—as demonstrated here handling waxwork sushi.


    ©2013 Source / Courtesy of ASSOCIATED PRESS


  • A physician demonstrates the controls and functions of the RP-VITA—short for Remote Presence Virtual Independent Telemedicine Assistant—a telepresence robot that provides physicians with remote yet interactive access to patients.


    ©2013 Source / Courtesy of Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images