Skip to main content

Bottle-flipping robots may be the most millennial thing we’ve ever seen

Water Bottle Flip ROBOTS' Supernatural works! [ROBOCON official]

From legal work to picking fruit on farms, it seems that few jobs are safe from the cold, metallic hand of automation. The good news? That when robots can carry out every workplace task, we’ll have plenty more time to focus on the really important things in life, such as perfecting the inexplicably popular millennial activity of learning to flip water bottles so that they land standing up.

At least, that’s what we all figured — until Japan’s recent RoboCon event, in which various teams of high school budding roboticists demonstrated that robots can be pretty darn good at water flipping, too. Terminator never warned us about this doomsday scenario!

As can be seen in the above video, the robots built for the RoboCon event show off an impressive level of variation and innovation. Bear in mind that the teams were made up of people aged between 15 and 20, and that the robots were basically homemade efforts created on a tight budget, and it becomes even more dazzling. The robots are designed to fire multiple bottles in quick succession, and some even do so while on the move.

On the surface, the idea of spending time building robots which can carry out a feat like flipping half-empty bottles of water onto a table is a bit silly. However, the reason bottle flipping became a viral sensation in real life is because it actually takes quite a bit of skill, taking into account fluid dynamics, projectile motion, angular momentum, centripetal force, and gravity. While the habit of teens flipping bottles onto tables may be the bane of parents and teachers everywhere, it’s of interest to real physicists, who have even made predictions about bottle flipping into the subject of an academic paper published in the journal American Journal of Physics.

As a result, a robot which is therefore able to make calculations concerning all of these factors in real time — and to do so with consistently — is pretty darn impressive. And, hey, if the worst thing that comes out of this is getting a younger generation interested in robotics and math, we’ll consider it a win!

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
This MSI motherboard may be the most expensive model ever
MSI MEG Z690 Godlike motherboard.

MSI has just announced the release of the MEG Z690 Godlike motherboard, the company's latest Intel Alder Lake high-end board. It comes with a long list of fun bells and whistles, but unsurprisingly, the high-end features are offered at a hefty price.

Made for enthusiasts, this limited-edition motherboard has a built-in touchscreen control panel and new cooling solutions, and comes bundled with MSI's liquid cooler and Kingston's DDR5 RAM. Even then, it's still very expensive -- it has an MSRP of $2,099.

Read more
MSI’s new RTX 3090 Ti may be the most expensive GPU ever
MSI GeForce RTX 3090.

MSI is rumored to be working on a custom version of Nvidia's upcoming GeForce RTX 3090 Ti. Now, new rumors have surfaced about the card, leaking both the specifications and the possible pricing of what will become the most powerful GPU on the market.

A quick glance at the specs shows that the card will be beastly both in terms of power consumption and its retail price. And when we say beastly, we're really not kidding: The GPU will allegedly require a 1,000-watt power supply and may cost as much as $4,500.

Read more
This SSD is one of the fastest we’ve seen, but you probably can’t use it
Two PCIe 5.0 SSDs from Adata.

Significantly faster SSDs will become available in 2022 thanks to the impending arrival of the PCIe 5.0 standard, and with CES around the corner, one company has teased its first PCIe Gen 5 M.2 SSDs.

Adata, a Taiwanese memory and storage manufacturer, confirmed its presence for CES 2022, an upcoming technology conference where companies showcase their latest products. Adata in particular will unveil product lines ranging from DDR5 memory to gaming peripherals.

Read more