Robot Year in Review: 2013

Drones & Vehicles Robotics
Robot Year in Review: 2013


volume 34 cover

It’s been an interesting year for robotics.

MAKE Volume 34 was dedicated to robots and featured the OpenROV project, the simple CoffeeBot project and more.

2013 has seen robot making reach a wider audience, as schools, families and kids get in on the act. The line between robot hobbyists and pros got thinner as knowledge, technology and components become more accessible.

Here are a few of my favorite stories, pictures, videos, and projects from 2013.

Robots Rock!

Robots making and performing to music was quite the thing this year.

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Read more >> Compressorhead, the animatronic band.

Here are a few more fun examples.

Wanna Play?

We saw robots playing games and entertaining us, and even a full-contact robot sport!

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Read more >> Robots can now play badminton.

More robots and humans playing together.

Robots, Robots, Everywhere!

2013 saw undersea exploration become accessible to nearly anyone.

Read more >> David Lang talks OpenROV at TED.

We also saw robots traveling over the ocean waves, through the snow, and into the air.

Strange Shapes

There were some very unusual looking robots this year, slithering and bending their way into the mainstream.

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Read more >> Freaky printed soft tentacle robot.

More slithery, slimy, and otherwise unusual robots.

Cool Projects and Products

So many cool projects and things to check out. Here are just a few.

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Read more >> Barman’s Lego Mindstorm robotic hand.

There are many cool projects, but I can only highlight a few here.

Awesome Robot Builders

When you see an amazing project, just remember that every maker started as a beginner.

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Read more >> Chris and Walter II.

Everyday people are using robots to do very wonderful things.

What’d I Miss?

There you have my 2013 robot review. Did I miss your favorite project, product, or story? Don’t stand for it! Let me know about it in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Robot Year in Review: 2013

  1. Alex says:

    What about the Darpa DRC competition that happened last weekend? That was by far one of the most important events in robotics in 2013.

    1. Andrew Terranova says:

      You and Michael have an excellent point about the DRC competition. That’s probably worth an article unto itself.

  2. Michael Overstreet says:

    I would agree with Alex about the DRC competition. That was the biggest robotic happening in 2013 and it will be the same for 2014.

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Andrew Terranova is an electrical engineer, writer and author of How Things Are Made: From Automobiles to Zippers. Andrew is also an electronics and robotics enthusiast and has created and curated robotics exhibits for the Children's Museum of Somerset County, NJ and taught robotics classes for the Kaleidoscope Enrichment in Blairstown, NJ and for a public primary school. Andrew is always looking for ways to engage makers and educators.

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