It's Robot Week at USC! Pics of the Best 5 Bots, Featuring the Notorious 'Little Dog' | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

It's Robot Week at USC! Pics of the Best 5 Bots, Featuring the Notorious 'Little Dog'

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Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge Beautiful on the inside - USC
  • USC
  • Beautiful on the inside
As you were going about all your workaday humankind crap this week, you may not have noticed, between the Lakers drama and the piling parking tickets, what an awesome week it truly was. Sorry for not alerting you earlier, but uh... it's freaking Robot Week.

This, however, was a hard reality to escape in the halls USC's engineering school, where some modern-day Vincent Prices have been tinkering with a fleet of mechanical wonders who put biology to shame. Many of the robots will make a public appearance at today's big USC expo, but we've selected our top five favorites --

Including, for your sick nerdly pleasures, the same viral "Little Dog" who, in the words of the Viterbi School of Engineering spokesman himself, "looks like two guys connected at the torso." Too true.

Say hello to our future oppressors:

5. Personal Robot 2 (PR2)

click to enlarge USC
  • USC
This guy hopes to become your trusty R2D2 of a personal assistant (sans weed-storage space, sadly) -- once the Viterbi School figures out how to make him "more persistant and more persuasive." In other words, more inclined to pick up your trash and, well, obey your every command. With gusto!

According to the school's website, students have been "teaching the PR2 basic motor skills so it can adapt to different situations, such as the motions necessary to pour liquid into a cup."

Also, his maker is called Willow Garage, which reminds us of some awesome woodsy toolkit. And PR2 is known for his, uh, organic meander. But moving on to the big boys:

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