There's only one thing better than robots that can destruct things: robots that can destroy things and terrify people by firing flameballs, bowling balls, watermelons and bloody pig entrails at high speed. Like the Robopult, a gigantic $US70,000 industrial robotic arm hacked to throw all these things like a Terminator version of Roger Clemens. We talked with Aaron Rasmussen about how the heck they managed to get an industrial robot and some of the details of this crazy project:
Jesus Díaz: How the heck did you get your hands on a giant industrial robotic arm?
Aaron Rasmussen: My friend had it for his company, and it was caught in some sort of accounting limbo. So he agreed to let us use it if we didn't break it. We had to give it back after, sadly. That robot goes for about $70,000.
JD: OK, so that was free. What about the cost for the whole project? I saw that you "rented" (buy and return) an HD camera for free from Fry's...
AR: The total cost was actually only about $1,000, or about $1,220 if you count the camera that gets hit by the bowling ball:
• Truck rental: $716.13
• Gas for truck $72.86
• Bowling Balls $60.00
• The pig entrails, water for us, carrots, watermelons, eggs and such came to around: $100
• We found scrap parts for the catapult arm
• We traded computer services for the heavy equipment (Skylife and tractor).
• The RV camper van was a junker from a friend of a friend.
Looking at the full video, it seems like the best way to spend a weekend and $1,000 with friends. I personally can't wait for some kind of laser arm version. [Mana]