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Former NASA Engineer Wants To Build A Car-Juggling Robot

Former NASA Engineer Wants To Build A Car-Juggling Robot

smithsonian.com

A robot that juggles cars would make for a great animated movie. (He was made for industry, but all he wanted to do was join the circus...) But one engineer has an even more ambitious idea—he wants to make a car-juggling robot in reality.

Called the BugJuggler, the 70-foot-tall robot is designed with one function in mind: to juggle cars. Inventor Dan Granett seems to favor Volkswagen Beetles as his preferred juggling object, hence the "bug" in "BugJuggler." 

The BugJuggler, powered by a diesel engine, would be controlled by a person using a haptic interface—the movement of the robot driver's own arms would control the movements of the robot. The robot could either be controlled from inside the robot’s head or from a safe distance away on the ground. 

The audience for any live shows would also be a safe distance away. "Of course there will be a safety radius around the operation," Granett told The Verge.

Granett, a former NASA engineer who has worked on special effects for movies, is currently raising money for the project. The first step, once his team gets funding will be to create an eight-foot tall working prototype. Eventually, Granett hopes to interest advertisers or corporate sponsors in the BugJuggler. Ultimately, he says, any leftover money would go towards a less flashy but more important project—a biowaste-powered turbine. As publicity stunts go, a 70 foot tall car-juggling robot is a pretty good idea. 

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