These Robot Stories Will Show You Just How Versatile Bots Can Be

Robo sumo wrestlers and famous robotic models showcase just how diverse the robotics industry has become.
Shelby Rogers

Robotics continue to fascinate, inspire, and sometimes terrify us. These five robot and automation stories show just how diverse the industry -- and human creativity -- can be. Within one video, these five smaller stories explain just how different robotics are. 

The compilation comes from Great Big Story. The first video details the difference between robots and automatons, according to Swiss automaton maker Francois Junod. 

"The difference with a robot and an automaton is that a robot has an industrial function, not aesthetic," he said. "An automation is poetry; it's magic; it's telling a story, so it's completely different; it's an animated sculpture."

Rather than build the next bipedal robot a la Boston Dynamics' creations, Junod creates intricate automatons. These tiny creations are elaborately decorated and exemplify an entire story rather than a functional element. 

As many movie buffs know, robots can play a massive role in filmmaking. This is something filmmaker John Downer knows too well. However, Downer doesn't make robots to be involved in movies. He embeds cameras into lifelike robotic animals in order to capture real animals in their natural habitat. These robotic "spies" give filmmakers an up-close look into how animals socialize. 

Another Great Big Story short in this segment is from Japanese robot-sumo wrestling developer Takahiro Ito. He and his team develop robots to fight to the 'death' in small-scale sumo rings. According to Ito, successful sumo robots need a force to push their opponents out. It also has to move quickly to flick an opponent out of the circle. Lastly, the robot has to defend itself from a robot trying to crawl under it in order to flip it out.