One of the coolest things about YouTube and web video is that it gives us the opportunity to see innovative experiments, inventions and art from around the globe firsthand. In the past we would have had to dig around to find information about innovation around the globe. Today, it pops up on the YouTube homepage, in our Facebook and Twitter feeds and in the entertainment sections of our online news sources.
Within the past two weeks I stumbled across YouTube videos of a number of incredibly innovative projects from around the globe. The first has received over 2.2 million views since it was uploaded on October 26. It features a demo of a very, very realistic female robot, created by Kokoro in Japan. When I first started watching the video I almost couldn’t tell she was a robot! The facial movements and expressions are so realistic, it’s insane.
Sure, we’ve all seen futuristic robots in movies, like A.I. or I, Robot. But I had no idea what kind of advancements really really being made in the world of robotics until I stumbled across this video. With the way things are going, it seems like in a few years we could walk down the street and have no idea whether the people we were walking past are human or robot.
A few days after I saw the robot clip I came across another innovative YouTube video, this one featuring a vending machine that sells live crabs! The machine, which is located in a subway station in Nanjing, China, is apparently becoming quite well known and popular. In the United States we are used to seeing nothing but candy and soda sold in vending machines, but in Asia and other parts of the world, vending machines are used to sell all sorts of stuff.
Live crabs aren’t the only things being sold in Chinese vending machines. In Hong Kong, you can buy self-freezing Coke from a vending machine. The Coke comes out a liquid, you open it, take a swig and turn it upside down and it instantly freezes. Pretty nuts, right?
I came across the robot, the live crab vending machine and the frozen coke videos by pure chance. However, you can also find out about all sorts of cool and innovative things people are doing around the world by searching for certain topics or locations. Watch videos about a French inventor who is harvesting water from air to solve widespread water shortage, a Russian attempt at a flying car, and a Dutch “Kinetic sculptor” that combines engineering and art to make amazing, artistic machines.
Have you discovered any cool inventions or innovations from other parts of the world on YouTube? Feel free to share them with us in the comments.