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Microdrones Film Confused African Wildlife

A quadrotor carrying a video camera turns out to be a brilliant way to get some absolutely amazing wildlife footage

1 min read
Microdrones Film Confused African Wildlife

microdrones md4-1000 film african wildlife

It's a well known fact that animals from the Arctic to Africa have absolutely no idea what to think about robots. Taking full advantage of this phenomenon, Microdrones let one of their MD4-1000 quadrotors loose on safari in Kenya, and it set about capturing video like you've probably never seen before.

While I'm not one to spout propaganda about how robots are revolutionizing every aspect of our lives (okay, I totally am), this is an entirely new way of filming animals that's just beginning to be explored through trial and error. We're used to watching animals from afar through gigantic zoom lenses, but small flying robots offer the opportunity to get in the middle of things without causing too much of a ruckus, and this is just one of the first tentative stabs at a whole new world of footage that would do David Attenborough proud. And it's not just for animals, either: imagine flying one of these things into an erupting volcano.

It looks like these clips are part of a show that Microdrones is putting together for TBS Television Japan, but we'll make sure and let you know if it ever shows up online.

[ Microdrones ]

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
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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