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Remember how we keep on saying that you shouldn't makerobot babies? That's because you shouldn't make robot babies. It's a little bit more excusable if you're a professional animator and someone is paying you to make one of these... Things... But that doesn't make it any less creepy.

The creepy part here isn't so much that this robot doesn't look like a baby; it's more that it doesn't look like a baby while simultaneously acting very much like a baby. This is the Uncanny Valley at its finest: things start to go wrong when you've either got a real baby acting like a robot, or a robot acting like a real baby. Getting a robot to act so pseudo-convincingly is largely due to the skills of the baby's, um, driver (?), who in this case looks to be an English professional animatronic creature designer named Chris Clarke.

If my Internet stalking is correct, Chris has a lot of experience making animatronic robots for movies and TV. You can check out more of his work here and here, and be amazed by what lifelike movements are possible from clever combinations of servos.

Via [ Fark ]

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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
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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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