Three YouTube channels you need to check out if you’re interested in robots
Guy Hall • August 27, 2020if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
Banner image credit: “Adam Savage Tests Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot!” - Adam Savage’s Tested
Robots and AI (artificial intelligence) used to live exclusively in the realm of science fiction but those days, for better or for worse, are now behind us. Robots are a very real thing.
With the reign of the robots seemingly just a few decades away, we like to periodically check in on the progress of our future masters. You know, just to see how long we’ve got left in charge of things.
YouTube is a great place to do that so we’ve decided to compile a list of our three favorite channels relating to robots so you too can learn a little bit more. What goes into making robots? What’s the state of robotics today?
Let’s explore these YouTube channels to learn about some of the creative ways people are using robots and AI today.
When it comes to the topic of robots on YouTube, there’s no better place to start than the Boston Dynamics channel.
Not only does its videos give you an insight into the cutting-edge capabilities of robots today, they also provide a great glimpse at what our future overlords will look like.
Seriously though, we’ve seen that Black Mirror episode, we know how creating an incredibly capable robot dog ends.
If you’re not familiar with Boston Dynamics and its YouTube channel, it’s a world-leading robotics organization based out of Massachusetts. Its channel, which mostly showcases the astounding capabilities of its robots, has garnered over 400 million views and over 1.8 million subscribers.
These may sound like massive numbers but when you peruse Boston Dynamics’ portfolio of videos, you immediately understand why people are so fascinated with its work.
Where else can you go on the Internet and see a real life humanoid robot doing parkour?
Heck, there’s even a video of its robot dog dancing to Uptown Funk.
Boston Dynamics claim to be on a mission to “build the most advanced robots on Earth with remarkable mobility, agility, dexterity and speed”, and it seems like it’s well on the way to doing just that.
Now, you may watch a couple of videos and think, “I wish I could have a robot dog as a pet,” and the good news is that for a meager $75,000, your dream can become a reality.
The bad news? Judging how fast things are progressing over in Massachusetts, we’re pretty sure that it won’t be too long before the roles reverse and you’re the pet.
From the somewhat scary to the slightly silly, Swedish inventor Simone Giertz and her crazy creations provide a lighthearted look at robots and their more… interesting uses.
It was back in 2015 that Giertz, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Sh*tty Robots” unveiled her first robot creation to the world: the toothbrushing helmet.
This wacky invention, however, would be far from her last and over the years Giertz has provided the world with a wide array of inventions that we didn’t know we needed. She has created robots that slap you awake in the morning, serve you soup and even wash your hair for you.
These projects have been met with mixed success in terms of their intended uses. That said, they never fail to bring a smile to our faces and her channel has racked up over 2.6 million subscribers and over 125 million views, making it a success by anyone’s standards.
Recently, Giertz has made a move away from making “sh*tty” robots and has begun to focus on making things that actually work.
The best example of this is “Truckla,” a modified version of a Tesla Model 3, which serves as a fully functional and drivable pick-up truck.
Truckla was such a hit that it even caught the eye of billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who invited Giertz to the Tesla Cybertruck unveiling.
We’re not saying you have to check her out but if Giertz’s channel is good enough for billionaire tech geniuses, we’d argue that it’s probably worth at least ten minutes of your time.
While Giertz’s channel is certainly unique, it turns out that she’s not the only one being influenced by the work of Elon Musk and his companies.
James Bruton, a former toy designer and electrical engineer, was equally inspired.
In fact, Bruton seems to have a habit of looking at incredibly expensive inventions, produced in world-class facilities by expert engineers, and thinking to himself, “yep, I could probably build that.”
For example, remember Boston Dynamic’s dog robots that we talked about before?
Most people, ourselves included, watch the videos of their movement with a sense of incredulity, a sheer disbelief that humans have the capabilities to make something so complex and finely engineered.
He saw those videos and decided to make his own.
But why limit yourself to recreating real robots?
This is a question that Bruton clearly asked himself before he looked for inspiration in a galaxy far, far away and decided to build his own version of Star Wars’ GNK Power droid.
With such creative confidence, and the skills to match, Bruton has been able to attract over 200 million views and over 850,000 subscribers to his channel.
His in-depth videos provide a fantastic insight into his creative process and the finished products never fail to impress. It’s overwhelmingly apparent that Bruton is an inventive, hard-working, and clever individual. These qualities, as well as the fascinating subject matter, make him and his videos extremely watchable.
Oh, while we’re talking about Bruton, we should probably mention that when he’s not attempting to replicate some of the world’s most advanced technologies, he moonlights as a superhero.
Yep, you read that right. A superhero.
Bonus channel: Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
Okay, we’ll admit, this one is kind of cheating.
Robots don’t feature too heavily on the Kurzgesagt channel, but we’re massive fans of their work and will take any opportunity that we can to talk about them. While their channel is not dedicated to robotics, the Kurzgesagt team have produced a few videos about robots and AI, and they’re excellent.
Rather than looking at real robots, and their design or creation, Kurzgesagt takes a more theoretical and educational approach to the subject.
As with all Kurzgesagt content, their videos about robots are incredibly insightful, perfectly presented and beautifully stylized.
If you’re not familiar with the channel, Kurzgesagt is a channel that we regularly turn to for some much needed edutainment. You know, when you want to learn but don’t want to feel like you’re learning?
They cover a range of topics including science, technology, politics and philosophy, in an easily understandable and entertaining animated format.
It seems that the Ting Mobile team is not alone in our love of their content, as the channel has a whopping 12.7 million subscribers and over one billion total views.
We highly, highly recommend checking out their channel but we should issue a warning: once you start watching their videos, there’s a very real risk that you may not be able to stop.