Should we love or fear flying robots?

Most people loved Vijay Kumar’s presentation at TED of the work being done in his GRASP lab at Penn. We did, Hackaday did, and Chris Anderson sure did.

Farhad Majoo at Slate did not. In fact, he sounds like he’s ready to go all John Connor on us.

About a year ago, Mellinger posted a video showing a team of three drones building structures out of large metallic beams. The machines fly in a terrifying, coordinated ballet, each of them picking up a beam, finding the exact spot where it should be placed, and gingerly snapping the object in place.
Stare at this long enough and you could mistake the scene for something adorable—birds building a nest. But by this time you’ve stopped staring. Instead, you’ve opened another browser tab to look for good deals on bomb shelters and MREs.

Upverter believes that robots are cool and that flying robots are REALLY cool! Designing a robot from scratch is a great way to bond with your kids, help them learn math and science, and show them what you can do with advanced calculus and n-dimensional matrix algebra. No more questions about what use does math have if they’re optimizing the 4th derivative of a path for their flying robot OF DOOM!

One thing we did learn from Terminator 2 is that it takes a Robot to beat a Robot. So regardless of where you come down on the question of whether or not Penn’s flying robots will kill us all, you should be building your own and designing them here on Upverter!

There was a guy on the Daily Show the other night talking about how the point of the space program was to beat the Russians. Not to make the world better. And when we won the Cold War we killed the space program. For proof, look at NASA today vs yesterday. Despite doing it for all the wrong reasons, it made the world better. We respected engineers and technologists more than at any other time in our history. Little kids grew up wanting to be tomorrow’s heroes – engineers. In a small way the engineers of today are all reminicient of that. Flying shit is cool not only because it is a feat of engineering, but because it makes us dream of tomorrow. And it makes our kids want to be engineers again. Which is probably the most valuable thing we could ever hope to achieve.

About Upverter

Did I mention that Upverter makes it possible to share designs for real things. There are thousands of high fidellity, accessible anywhere, publicly shared and open sourced designs waiting to be forked, manufactured, and hacked on. If you’ve got a design, you should share it! Need a design, find it! Or just explore for some inspiration.

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