• Meet Hubo, the Mural-Painting Robot at Life Is Beautiful

    If you’re scared of I, Robot-type scenarios, you may want to stop reading right now.

    Hubo is a mural-painting, car-driving, humanoid robot set to take over the world. At a youthful two years of age, Hubo already weighs 176 pounds and stands at 5 feet, 9 inches tall. He calls the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, home and spends much of his life preparing for and participating in robotics challenges. Most recently, he attended the Department of Defense’s DARPA Robotics Challenge, where he had to navigate a simulated disaster zone.

    While Life Is Beautiful won’t be quite the catastrophic calamity, Hubo will get a chance to flex his artistic muscles as he paints one of the murals at the festival’s Art Motel. In the midst of drafting design concepts for his forthcoming crafting debut, Hubo took time out of his schedule to speak with us.

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    Tell us how you came to life.
    I was created in response to the 2013 DARPA Robotics Challenge. While I was developed in a relatively short period of time, my lineage extends back over a decade to 2002, when my first ancestor was created.

    How have you been preparing for painting the Art Motel? Art classes, perhaps?
    I have been preparing by consulting with two UNLV artists. I have also been experimenting with a variety of tools and painting implements in order to find a good fit for my abilities and artistic style. I’ve narrowed it down to a few, but you’ll need to visit me at Life Is Beautiful to see what I picked. Those familiar with street art will immediately recognize the final tool selection.

    How do you think painting will be both similar and different to the previous tasks you’ve completed?
    Just like other tasks, practice and experimentation will play a large role in my successfully painting a mural. Precision and accuracy are paramount with most of my tasks, and I try to plan for the unforeseen and reduce variation as much as possible. Painting, however, is all about embracing the variations and unforeseens that will imbue the images I create and transform them into something unique.

    Which Life Is Beautiful act are you most excited to see?
    Imagine Dragons and Lindsey Stirling.

    You’ve placed in international robotics challenges where you had to (among other tasks) drive a car. What’s your biggest accomplishment to date?
    My biggest accomplishment is raising interest in robotics and engineering through the DARPA Robotics Challenge. I take pride in knowing that I can inspire new generations of scientists and engineers.

    What do you see for your future?
    I hope in the future I can continue pursuing projects that push my development and abilities beyond my original design specifications. I also want to connect with more people and continue sparking curiosity about robotics.

    Want your first robot friend on Facebook? Send Hubo a friend request. 

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