A bit of a palate cleanser and a chance for you guys to take off on whatever moves you. The video first came to my attention via a link to the Daily Beast, but you can watch it straight from YouTube and avoid the issues of visiting their site. Somebody who is far too clever, has too much time on their hands, or both, designs a robot which performs an Olympics style gymnastics routine on the horizontal bar. The fact that the robot can even build up the uneven momentum to begin full giant swings is fairly impressive, but timing the release and the pike tuck to do four full rotations before landing solidly on a gym mat takes it to the next level.

This is, of course, terrible news. Anyone who read Ed’s review of Pacific Rim should already know that robots are trouble and will eventually result in the extermination of mankind. It probably all started when Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov, because that’s how they lure you in. Sure, everybody was all thrilled that an “American” computer kicked some Ruskie butt, and who doesn’t like a good reason to fire off some rockets and wave the flag? But it wasn’t long before his son was on Jeopardy picking the pockets of hard working American nerds. This is how it starts. And pretty soon they’ve gone all Forbin Project on you and Skynet is warming up the missile silos.

Don’t believe me? How about a robot snake. Oh… come on! Who wouldn’t want a freaking robot snake? It doesn’t get much more cool than that. But no sooner have you amazed your friends by having your mechanical anaconda fetch you a beer from the fridge than it’s out there taking the jobs of doctors and first responders.

But engineers today are making robots that can do much more interesting jobs. Robots shaped like snakes could one day search for victims after an earthquake or help doctors perform surgeries. Underwater robots might be able to lead fish away from environmental disasters. And humanlike robots could help people with diseases or physical disabilities.

Don’t say you weren’t warned. And now, on to the snake video. And whatever else you scamps would like to chat about.

Tags: robots science