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Odor-Destroying Robots Solve Problems You Didn't Know You Had

Autonomous stink-seeking robots are ready to come to your rescue

2 min read
Odor-Destroying Robots Solve Problems You Didn't Know You Had

You know what's missing in your life? Yes, that's right, a robot that wanders around your house seeking out bad smells and neutralizing them. Obviously there's a huge market for these things, because we saw not one but two of them at the Consumer Electronics Show last week.

First up is Moneual's Rydis H800 [photo above], a rather gigantic mobile air purifier. Inside are six (yes, six!) air purification systems, including a washable pre-filter, a functional filter, a HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter, a semi-ULPA filter, and an impregnated activated carbon filter. The robot can run for 4 hours on a charge, autonomously navigating around with what looks to be a suite of ultrasonic sensors, or you can kick it up to TURBO MODE, which we don't know what it will do except that it halves the battery life. Our best guess: It deploys a jetpack and flies around to get all those nasty smells that hide up near the ceiling.

Now, if you really are concerned with all those nasty smells that hide up near the ceiling, look no further than the Ecovacs A330. It has a "unique HACM chemically absorbing system" that "breaks down toxic gasses such as formaldehyde." Which is great if, you know, you've got a whole bunch of formaldehyde floating around. The robot can extend upwards by a foot or so (about 30 cm), which I guess must help it reach higher smells. Or something.

Neither of these robots have pricing or availability information attached to them, but you can bet that you'll have a hard time justifying what's likely to be an absurdly high cost. Unless, of course, you're someone who really does need a robot like this, in which case "absurdly high" is the same as "completely reasonable" and well worth it.

[ Moneual ]

[ Ecovacs ]

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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
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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