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Following the Mobile Manipulation Challenge at ICRA 2010, Willow Garage has compiled an entertaining video. It shows some robots having fun, and at the same time showcases some of the world's most advanced service robot arms.

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/v/0WtGgpuS3qE&hl=en_US&fs=1& expand=1]

 

In order of appearance, the video features Willow Garage's own PR2 shaking hands with a Kuka Lightweight and a Meka arm, the Fraunhofer IPA's Care-O-Bot which uses a Schunk arm, an unknown mobile robot, the PR2 shaking hands with the Barrett arm, Aldebaran's Nao, the homer@UniKoblenz Team's manipulation challenge robot based on a Pioneer 3AT and a Katana arm, the University of Bonn's Dynamaid, another brief glimpse of the Barrett arm and finally an impressive demo of the PR2 and Care-O-Bot dancing in the robotic equivalent of a tight embrace.

Know of other advanced service robot arms missing from this video? Leave a comment!

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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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