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President Obama Likes Robots (Yay!)

"I never miss a chance to see cool robots," the U.S. president said

1 min read
President Obama Likes Robots (Yay!)

barack obama loves robots

On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama opened the (first ever) White House Science Fair with the following:

“One of the great joys of being President is getting to meet young people like all of you -- and some of the folks in the other room who I just had a chance to see some of their exhibits and the work that they were doing. It’s inspiring -- and I never miss a chance to see cool robots when I get a chance.”

Wow, me neither! Also introduced at the event was a new DARPA initiative to give resources to students to help them build those aforementioned robots. BTW, I’m still waiting to hear back on that anti-robot takeover czar position

[ The White House Blog ] via [ Robot Living ]

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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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