Neato, a manufacturer of robotic vacuum cleaners, is promoting its technology in a robotic battle challenge. Neato’s Chuck Pitzer, senior mechanical engineer, will lead Neato’s team, AARG, on the June 28 episode of ABC’s BattleBots competition. During the episode, Neato’s Ghost Raptor robotic machine will compete against 23 other teams.
According to Neato, the team’s Ghost Raptor is a kinetic-energy bar-spinner, swift-moving and agile robot that weighs 248.8 pounds. During the competition, which is back from a 13-year hiatus, the teams battle one another over the course of six episodes, until one final champion is left standing at the end. Neato explained that the teams use remote control try to destroy their opponent’s robot by running them into dangerous hammers, circular saws and spikes.
Meanwhile, another Neato-sponsored team recently competed in the $1.5 million NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge in Massachusetts. The task for the 20 teams was to demonstrate that their robot could locate and collect geologic samples from a large and varied landscape, without human control.
According to NASA, “the objective is to encourage innovations in autonomous navigation and robotic manipulation technologies. These innovations may enhance NASA’s space exploration capabilities and could have applications on Earth, continuing the nation’s leadership in robotic technology.”
When asked if any of the technology found in these highly advanced robots would find its way into any of the Neato robot vacuums, Pitzer said “only the smart technology that doesn’t destroy your furniture.”