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This is Lynx, a brand new (and very slick) little mobile robot from Adept. It was officially introduced at the Automate show in Chicago this week, and it's designed to move stuff from one place to another without you having to worry much about what people or things may be in between.

Adept has always been good at making robots that can navigate around environments filled with unpredictable people. We put a GoPro on one of 'em at ICRA last year, and it wandered around the entire exhibit hall by itself without any problems. This is what Lynx can do for you, too, without you having to come up with some sort of complicated and expensive deployment plan or infrastructure: just set it loose, load it up with 60 kilos of whatever you want, tell it where to go, and forget about it.

Here's some specs:

  • Weighs 60 kg, can haul 60 kg
  • 13 hour run time, 3.5 hour recharge time, autonomous recharging on dock
  • Turning radius of zero degrees thanks to differential steering
  • Maximum speed of about 4 mph, or 0.0000000056 light speed
  • Programmable voice and audio prompts
  • Optional joystick for shenanigans

We actually got a little sneak peek at the Lynx at IROS back in November, but we weren't allowed to tell you about it. At that point, it was just called the MP60, and it had an uptime of just 10 hours as opposed to 13. We did learn, however, that those circular panels on the sides are backed by LEDs that can be programmed to indicate the behavior of the robot (or what the robot is "thinking"), and that you'll be able to add 'skins' to it if you want to change its appearance.

Adept also made a point of saying that they would not be introducing this robot as, um, a robot. And if you read the press release, the Lynx is not specifically referred to as one. The product brochure for the Lynx doesn't even contain the word "robot." This may seem a bit weird to those of us who like robots and are comfortable with them, but in the markets that Lynx is designed to break into, robots come with a lot of perceptual baggage. If instead you throw "autonomous" right in there with the name, it's much easier to think of something that just runs itself.

We're not quite sure how much Lynx costs, but it's probably one of those things where if you're concerned that it might be too expensive for you, it almost certainly is.

[ Adept Lynx ]

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
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

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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