The time is nigh to acknowledge something Bender Bending Rodriguez has said for years: robots are better than humans at literally everything. Or rather, they will be, based on countless recent examples of bots blowing away the human competition. YouTuber Mark Rober gives us a fresh instance with his latest domino-laying bot, Dominator, which, unsurprisingly, dominates the human competition.
Rober recently unleashed Dominator unto the internet on his extremely popular YouTube channel. For those unfamiliar with Rober, he’s a former NASA engineer responsible for some of the wildest viral tech projects ever. The YouTuber and engineer has, for example, created thief-catching glitter bombs as well as squirrel obstacle courses.
In this video, Rober shows how he and three other engineers created Dominator; the answer to the question: How can we lay “a butt-ton of dominos” really fast? Apparently, Rober and his teammates took two years to create the domino bot, which sounds like an incredible amount of time until Rober describes how this miracle of engineering works.
If you suck at setting up dominoes but you’re good at engineering… then you’re actually *really good* as setting up dominoes (new video is live on YT). pic.twitter.com/jVSgsQo7o7— Mark Rober (@MarkRober) July 27, 2021
As Rober explains, the autonomous robot uses a combination of 3D-printed funnels and a Connect Four-type filter to place 300 dominos on the ground simultaneously. To navigate around its environment, the engineers programmed a route into the bot. Dominator also uses GPS sensors for guidance and infrared cameras that track markers on the ground, ones that allow for perfect alignment even in the dark.
In regards to Dominator’s performance, it is indeed a masterful domino-laying machine. Rober demonstrates this by not only blowing away the “Domino Queen,” YouTuber Lily Hevesh but also by laying a Guinness World Record-breaking 102,600 dominos in 24 hours.
The final world record-beating design reveals a snapshot of a Super Mario level; in the corner of the image is a play on the game’s name and says Super Domino Bros. Which is coincidental, as even soft-robotic machines are now able to play the game flawlessly.
Feature image: Mark Rober