Video Friday: Hexapod Robot Transforms Into Death Star

It walks, it rolls, it's a transforming spherical hexapod!

1 min read
Video Friday: Hexapod Robot Transforms Into Death Star

There's a hexapod tucked away inside this transforming sphere, and it may or may not have just destroyed Alderaan. Yeah, probably not, but that's only because it's not fully armed and operational yet. BWAHAHAHAHA!

I'd say that this little guy, designed by Zenta (who we've featured before), would do pretty well at one of those Hexapod dance-off competitions even without the addition of any costumes or silly hats. We're not sure if it's ever going to turn into a kit, but just keep in mind that it uses a wallet-busting 25 separate servos, so you'd better start saving now. And win the lottery. A few times. And, as if transforming from a hexapod into a sphere and back again wasn't enough, the plan is to teach MorpHex how to roll itself along the ground. After you. With giant death lasers.*

[ Zenta ] via [ Robots Dreams ]

*Giant death lasers sold separately.

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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
DarkGray

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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