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Human Gets Top of Head Cut Off by Robot, Survives

Kids, even if you do somehow have a three-armed military robot lying around, you still won't want to try this at home

1 min read
Human Gets Top of Head Cut Off by Robot, Survives

Meet Tim. Tim is about to get his head shaved by a robot.

This is, for the record, perhaps notthe most vicious robotic barber that we've ever seen, and Tim should be very glad that he isn't a sheep. And though he volunteered for this, he looks a bit terrified about what's going to happen to his head, and once you see the result, you won't blame him:

Tim old buddy, mad props for taking one for the team. Go buy yourself a nice big hat, you've earned it.  

Performing this procedure is a "Multi-Arm Unmanned Ground Vehicle" from Intelligent Automation Inc. (IAI), a Rockville, Md.-based R&D firm focused on AI applications. Its three arms provide more degrees of freedom than can be safely used by a human remote operating hair-butchering implements, but they're probably great for the tasks that the robot was actually designed for, which include backpack inspection, tool handling, shovel manipulation, door breaching, knot tying, and tackling IEDs.

The death-defying stunt in the video (Tim clearly has nerves of steel and a skull comprised of a material somewhat harder than steel) was to raise money for St. Baldrick's Foundation, to help fund the search for cures for childhood cancers. Apparently, you can donate to them without having a robot attack you with clippers, and you can learn more (about both the robot and the charity) at the links below.

[ IAI ]

[ St. Baldrick's Foundation ]

Thanks Jonathan!

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
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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