Friday, July 21, 2017
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Snow Revoval Robot Compresses Flakes into Bricks

The YukiTaro robot not only shovels snow, it converts it into a short, melting wall. Photo courtesy of Research and Development, Inc.
The YukiTaro robot not only shovels snow, it converts it into a short, melting wall. Photo courtesy of Research and Development, Inc.

As winter takes hold, a roboticists mind can help but think of an old favorite: YukiTaro, Japan’s answer to snow.

This adorable bot doesn’t just shovel the snow: it turns it into stacks of frigid bricks. The yellow bot autonomously avoids humans using cameras and image-processing software, so it can clear the snow without endangering people nearby. But given that it only moves at a speed of about 16 feet per minute, a human could probably saunter slowly away if the machine ever went out of control.

The 880-pound robot can slowly tackle a strip of snow approximately 37 inches wide. The collected snow is compressed into 26 pound rectangular prisms, which are excreted out the back of the bot, then stacked. Snow fort, anyone?

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