The Adrenalist

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Riding A Robotic Arm



There are all manner of ways to get your thrills these days, but it has taken advancement in robotics and a little imaginative thinking — not to mention bravery — on the part of some anonymous employees to bring us the video above: riding a robotic arm. It should be noted this is happening in a workplace, something these daring co-workers dreamed up in the course of using the robotic arm for actual, you know, work. Once they realized what the robotic arm was capable of doing to their heart rate, thereby adding some excitement to the tedium of their 9-5, they simply welded a car seat to a 6-axis Articulated Robot from Kuka, a German robotics manufacturer, then let loose. And, man, does it look awesome.

The video went viral five years ago, but a lot has happened since. Whether the original video’s popularity spurred others into action is anybody’s guess, but it certainly didn’t hurt matters. For safety purposes, since this was a factory floor with friends and fellow co-workers looking on in amazement, the car seat the man was riding in wasn’t just any old car seat. It featured a 5-point racing harness, like the kind used in Nascar. It’s a good thing too, because the brave rider dips and twists dangerously close to the concrete floor, not the movements one normally associates with amusement park rides.

Around the same time the video was uploaded (in 2007), Kuka Robotics and Primal Rides teamed up to produce Robocoasters, with the robot arm as a design guide. Crowds were definitely digging the robot-as-ride in this video from Lebanon in 2011. These days, you can ride a robot arm at Lincoln Makerspace, the UK’s Grand-Pier Super-Mare, various technology conferences like MACH’s NEC and even at Legoland.

Even though it was an incredibly dangerous stunt, the robot arm ride above probably helped facilitate the contemporary ones we see today.

You could call it an Adrenalist invention.

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