The last time we looked at Germany company Fraunhofer's robots, they'd developed some fun Roomba-like cargo bots that unload cargo by intentionally crashing into platforms.
More recently they've developed this form-follows-function evoBOT for carrying cargo. As a refreshing alternative from those trending humanoid robots, the evoBOT is just a pair of legs and a pair of arms, no torso, no head. And when not in use, the arms fold down inside the legs.
"The evoBOT is a dynamically stable system based on the principle of an inverse pendulum (without external counterweight). The system is particularly space-saving and lightweight. Unlike conventional robots, evoBOT keeps itself permanently balanced, which enables movement on different and uneven surfaces, even with slopes."
The way that it picks things up is fun to watch:
The company envisions the evoBOT assisting with goods-handling in both a commercial and domestic context:
Unlike the recent rash of humanoid robot developers, the company reckons evoBOT's non-anthropomorphic shape will lead to greater acceptance among humans. "Another special feature of the robot is its appearance, which lowers the inhibition threshold for interaction between humans and robots. This means that the evoBOT® can not only be used as a transport robot, but can also be used collaboratively as an assistance for humans."
Here's a demo of the evoBOT's capabilities:
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