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Four HUBO Robots Come Together for Beatles Cover

Come together, right now, and listen to this robotic Beatles cover band

1 min read
Four HUBO Robots Come Together for Beatles Cover

This arrangement of The Beatles Come Together for a drum kit and three hubophones (yes, hubophones) might be one of the most, er, expensive displays of robotic music on record. Yes, I know, that drummer is no Ringo, but otherwise, it's probably the most heartfelt and moving hubophone version of this song that we've ever heard.

Considering that each HUBO, an advanced humanoid developed at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), will run you between $300,000 and $400,000, you're looking at a $1.5 million-ish production here, which I'm sure well reflects the amount of work that Drexel University's HUBO music programming team Alyssa Batula, David Grunberg, and Matthew Prockup put into these robots. Watch and listen:

So, four HUBOs is good. But what's even better is seven HUBOs. Seven. 'Cause somehow, that's how many Drexel has convinced the National Science Foundation (NSF) to buy:

This is all part of a $20 million Major Research Infrastructure grant awarded by the NSF. Later this year, the robots will be doled out to partner institutions, including MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Virginia Tech, the University of Southern California, Ohio State, Purdue and UPenn, whereupon additional hijinks are virtually guaranteed to ensue.

[ Drexel MET Lab ]

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
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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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