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HiBot Demos New Amphibious Snake Robot

This snake robot has evolved

1 min read
HiBot Demos New Amphibious Snake Robot

Japanese company HiBot, specialized in robots for extreme environments, will unveil the latest version of its ACM-R5H snake robot at the International Robot Exhibition (iREX) this week in Tokyo.

HiBot says the new model is more modular and easier to customize that earlier versions. You can easily attach more segments to the snake's body to make it longer, or remove segments if you need a shorter robot. Users can also use payload compartments in the snake's front and rear modules to add custom sensors or cameras. The new ACM-R5H uses HiBot's advanced robot controller based on an ARM Cortex-M4 processor.

iREX takes place at Tokyo's Big Sight convention center from Wednesday to Saturday (we'll be there to report on the coolest stuff), and HiBot setup a pool in its booth to demo its robot snake. And if you stop by, ask the company about its "secret project involving robot snakes." They wouldn't tell me anything about it, but maybe they'll tell you? If you're not in Tokyo, the video below shows off some of the robot's capabilities.

[ HiBot ]

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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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