Carlos is a robot that was built as a college project that asked how robots could benefit the less fortunate. How this robot does that is a mystery to me.
Carlos was a college kinetic sculpture project. I was interested in the concept of automating aspects of society that were considered not so "glamorous". Robotics are often used in environments which are considered dangerous to humans. Deep sea exploration, nuclear cleanup and volcanism are some of the "higher profile" adverse environments which robots are used. My question was, "What about other dangerous or hazardous areas?". For example, homeless people live in extremely dangerous environments. Shouldn't there be automated equipment used by this strata of society?
Of course there should be automated equipment for the homeless. Companies will finally be able to tap into the disposable income of the elusive homeless demographic. And clearly robots are a natural product choice. Think about it -- what does a homeless person need? A home? A hot shower? Maybe a warm meal? No, a scary torso-less robot that's on fire (wtf!?) and pushes a shopping cart. It just makes sense -- pushing a cart is clearly the most significant hardship facing the homeless community today.
A little picture explaining the robot's setup after the jump.