Mystery Robot To Be Officially Unveiled May 11

We can't tell you much about this robot, except that come May 11, you might really, really want one

1 min read

UPDATE: Mystery robot revealed! Learn everything about it here.

At RoboGames last weekend, we got a sneak peak at thatmysteriousnewrobot that's been churning through the rumor mill for the last month or so. We can't tell you everything about it, not yet, but we can tell you SOME things... Enough things to subtly suggest that this robot could have a significant place in your home in the near future.

First, an exclusive teaser video:

Now, you should understand that this robot isn't designed to be a fancy, futuristic new platform. Really, it's fairly simple: it's got a beefy computer in the base, a big battery that lets it run for eight hours, an 8" touchscreen, and a bunch of USB expansion ports. And of course, it's open source, so you can write your own apps for it.

What makes this robot different is that it's 1.5 meters [5 feet] tall, which is tall enough for you to interact with naturally, and relative to other robots this size, and it's affordable for regular people without corporate funding or grant money -- think mid-range laptop in price. So just imagine all of those handy things that your computer can do for you right now, and then imagine how many other handy things your computer could do for you if it could move around and interact with its environment like this robot obviously can.

For the moment, you'll have to just have to keep using your imagination as to exactly what this robot will be capable of, but we'll have more details (all the details) for you on May 11th.

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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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