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Top 10 Robot Videos

Robonaut in space, Watson playing Jeopardy, a robot dropping a grenade -- February was a big month for robot videos

2 min read

February was a big month for robots, but then, from our perspective, every month is a big month for robots. Robonaut finally made it to the ISS, and Watson proved that humans are doomed at Jeopardy, more or less. And did we mention a bomb-disposal bot dropped a real grenade on live TV [image above]? Oops.

Here's our favorite robot videos from February. We're actually going in order, so please feel free to let us know why we're dead wrong about what we liked best in the comments.

10. Assembling and disassembling little robots is a chore, unless the robots can do it all by themselves. Eventually, you'll just be able to swallow all the right pieces and have robots built themselves in your tummy.

9. Robonaut is now in space, ready to take over for the astronauts. The good kind of take over, that is.

8. In just under 55 hours, two humanoid robots (one of them autonomous) finished an actual 26.22 mile marathon in Osaka, Japan.

7. Dropping and then running over a grenade is usually not a great idea, even for a robot. Two things are worth mentioning here: one, it's probably human error, and two, this is exactly why they're using a robot. (Grenade drop happens around 2:50 in the video.)

6. CrabFu, master of awesomely bizarre DIY robots, turned a hamster named Princess into a walking cyborg machine.

5.IBM's Watson may be really, really smart, but it's not infallible, as it shows in this clip from its Jeopardy competition. For the record, it may have been thinking of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, named after the Canadian WWI (?) fighter ace.

4. Northrop Grumman's X-47B robotic fighter jet took to the air for the first time, and it'll start landing on aircraft carriers in a year or two.

3. An Anybots QB rolled into a Mountain View coffee shop and ordered a scone, but the cool part is that it was more or less just business as usual for both parties involved. Maybe people are starting to get used to this whole living with robots thing.

2. Not news: the CIA had a fully operational life-size robot dragonfly. News: in 1970.

1. Yes, it is now possible to control a robotic car with your brain. Welcome to the future.


 

So, what do you think? How'd we do this month?

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
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A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof
DarkGray

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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