Custom Japanese Hobby Robot Somersaults with Servo Tentacles

Metallic Vaio 2012 uses a form of tentacle-somersaulting locomotion that we've never seen before

1 min read
Custom Japanese Hobby Robot Somersaults with Servo Tentacles

Straight from Japan comes this robot called "Metallic Vaio 2012," which has a style of locomotion that we've never seen before. Instead of using arms or legs, it's got a sort of combination of both: two long tentacles made out of chains of servos that it uses to crawl around and rapidly somersault from place to place.

This robot was built (or should we say invented) by Eiichiro Morinaga, the guy who founded the ROBO-ONE bipedal humanoid competition. Besides its name, we know that it apparently has 18 degrees of freedom, and that it was designed to compete in the 6th KONDO LAND Multi-Legged Robot Obstacle Race, where it took second place, which you can sort of but not really see in this lousy video

While Metallic Vaio 2012 may not be the most efficient of robots, Morinaga-san has certainly come up with something unique, and quite capable, by the looks of it. Adding a simple manipulator to the ends of those tentacles, for example, would create a robot that could use all those degrees of freedom to grasp stuff as well as to move, although doing both at once would be a little tricky. One solution might be to just add more tentacles (always a good idea), and sooner or later you'll end up with that octopus robot you've always wanted.

Via [ Biped Robot News Japan ]

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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

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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

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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