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Hexapod Robot Plays Beethoven

Kick back and listen to this little robot play "Ode to Joy" on the piano

1 min read
Hexapod Robot Plays Beethoven

chiara piano playing robot

Just like humans, every robot comes with its own unique musical stylin'. Well, mostly unique. Except for the ones that are made from all the same parts with identical programming. But this hexapod, Chiara, has certainly found a comfy little niche for itself in the robotic classical piano world, by plonking away at some Beethoven. I love how this video takes us through the thought process of the robot (or whatever you want to call it), from raw vision to blob detection to kinematics. Have a listen:

Chiara itself is an open source educational robot developed by Carnegie Mellon University. It runs a free programming language called Tekkotsu, and this particular demo was put together by Ashwin Iyengar, a high school student. Nicely done, Ashwin, and good choice of music.

[ Chiara ]

[ Tekkotsu ]

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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