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Prepare Yourself: National Robotics Week Is Next Week!

It's National Robotics Week next week in the United States, so find a way to celebrate with ROBOTS!

2 min read
Prepare Yourself: National Robotics Week Is Next Week!

Hey! You there! What are your plans for National Robotics Week? It's an officially nationally recognized event in the United States, which I'm reasonably sure means that if you don't celebrate it, you get arrested or made fun of or something. To make sure this doesn't happen, there are a huge number of events all over the country, and you should find one near you to go check out.

(By the way, there are similar celebrations in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world. We'll try to keep you posted about those as well. Send us an email if you're participating or organizing a "national robotics week" or events like that in other countries.)

There are lots of events going on this year. Just look! This is the fourth edition of National Robotics Week, and the organizers say it's going to be even bigger than before, with robot events in all 50 states.

Click here for the actual map telling you what all of these events are.

Just in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, we've got the Stanford Drone Games, WeRobot 2013, an awesome Robot Block Party, and a forum hosted by Xconomy featuring Rodney Brooks, Colin Angle, Chris Anderson, and a whole bunch of other amazing people. And there's even more going on! Like, for example:

Yes, it's back, the world's largest robot competition, with 50 different robotics events. It takes place in San Mateo, Calif., from Apr 19-21, and you can buy tickets right here.

Now, if you don't live out here in California, there's no reason to panic: hopefully, you can find something robot-y to do somewhere in your area, and if not, there are many other ways to celebrate the week. Build a robot, program a robot, read about robots, write about robots... Robots are the future, and while around here we celebrate them every single day, National Robotics Week is a fantastic excuse to get involved on your own, too.

[ National Robotics Week ]

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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