Are the winter months getting you down? Are piles of snow trapping you in your home? Are you in need of a hero? Fear not gentle reader, for
nature technology will provide you with one. Four guys calling themselves ideaLaboratories have produced a kickass robot tough enough to punch winter in the face and laugh while doing it. The ROBOPLOW (caps are a necessity) is a six-wheeled snow-devastating machine with a 50 inch pneumatic blade and 660 Amps of plowing power. Equipped with 10 watt LED lamps and an onboard camera, the ROBOPLOW lets you remotely clean up the harsh winter wonderland while staying safe and warm in your own home, driving the bot via a computer. The following video of ROBOPLOW in action isn’t so much a demonstration of its capabilities as it is a warning to snowflakes everywhere. I’m not sure what I enjoy more about this clip, the way that ROBOBLOW goes DieHard on snow-covered sidewalks, or the over-the-top awe it inspires in the child watching. That’s right, kid, anyone can shovel snow, but it takes a real badass to design a robot to do it for him.
Look, most of the time I’ll tell you about a robot because of its potential to reshape human-machine interactions or because it does something humans can’t do. ROBOPLOW is not that kind of bot. It’s a snow-killer, plain and simple, and that’s enough for me. Thankfully I’ve moved to warmer climates, but I still remember trudging through New York and Boston winter streets and cursing the demon in a parka that is Jack Frost. If I had a machine like ROBOPLOW I would have ridden it through the iced-over sidewalks cackling maniacally like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove.
For those who have dreams of buying your own ROBOPLOW, I’m sorry to say that it looks like this bot is a one-shot deal. The video of its plowing prowess was released back in February, and we haven’t seen any new information out of ideaLaboratories since. That’s disappointing, but ROBOPLOW does give hope to winter-ravaged robot enthusiasts everywhere. When the ice hits the fan we will be able to watch the robopocalypse and snowpocalypse duke it out on the front lawn while huddling in our garages for safety.
[screen capture and video credits: ideaLABORATORIES]
[image credit: Nwhenriks via Wikicommons (modified)]