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Quadrotors Play Bond Theme, Are Clearly Working for Evil Masterminds

We'll tell you all about it, just as soon as we get you nice and comfortable in this unnecessarily complicated death trap

1 min read
Quadrotors Play Bond Theme, Are Clearly Working for Evil Masterminds

We'd always had an inkling that those cackling one-eyed cat lovers over at University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab were nefarious geniuses bent on world domination, and now we have proof.

Yes, that's the James Bond theme played by a swarm of nanoquads. This video premiered during the 2012 TED Conference, where Vijay Kumar (pictured above with one of the robots) was invited to give a talk. Those of us who were unlucky enough not to be invited to TED will have to wait for the video of the talk to be posted online, but you can at least feel a little bit smug that as a faithful reader of IEEE Spectrum, you're already very familiar with all the verycoolstuff that the GRASP Lab has been doing with their quadrotors.

We should also mention that this isn't the first time that quadrotors have played the piano, although the harp-thing and the guitar are new (and quite clever). In December of 2010, a quadrotor named Echo from the Flying Machine Arena at ETH Zurich played jingle bells for the holidays all by herself. You can watch that performance below, and make sure you stick around until the very end of the video:

Awww!

[ TED ] via [ UPenn ]

The Conversation (0)

How Robots Can Help Us Act and Feel Younger

Toyota’s Gill Pratt on enhancing independence in old age

10 min read
An illustration of a woman making a salad with robotic arms around her holding vegetables and other salad ingredients.
Dan Page
Blue

By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

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