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RoboGames Is Back in 2015 (With Your Help)

Help Kickstart one of the most awesome robot competitions ever

2 min read
RoboGames Is Back in 2015 (With Your Help)

The year 2013 was, as far as we knew, the last year for RoboGames. This was very, very sad, because there was really nothing like RoboGames: it was unique among robot competitions, not just because of the robot combat (although the robot combat was pretty darn awesome), but because of the enormous variety of events and the inclusiveness that encouraged people from all ages, with any level of experience, and from all over the world to attend and participate. And people did: 54 separate events, teams from nearly two dozen countries, and tens of thousands of spectators over the last five years. It gave aspiring roboticists structure, a goal, and rewarded them for effort and creativity. Oh, and it was a huge amount of fun to watch.

And then it vanished after the 2013 event, never to return.

Until.

Now.

If you help them out with just a little bit of money, that is.

Here’s the KickStarter video:

Yeah, the video is a tad rough, but if you help make RoboGames happen, they’ll put together a production team, camera people, equipment, and everything that’s necessary for a glorious high definition video of the event. Hopefully, that’ll include some unique footage that you wouldn’t get to see otherwise, by allowing remote cameras inside the arena, and perhaps even on the bots themselves:

And besides combat, RoboGames also hosts exhibitions and competitions for all kinds of other robots, from humanoids:

To remotely piloted airsoft mechs:

The Kickstarter has been up for less than a day, and it’s already a third funded. $25 will get you a digital download of the heavyweight combat, and pledging more gets you perks like reserved seats at the event itself in San Francisco in the spring of 2015, cool swag, robot kits, and the chance to drive a heavyweight robot in the competition itself.

Really, though, what’s most important is making sure that RoboGames is a success, so that it can keep on inspiring kids (and adults) to get themselves into science, engineering, and robotics:

Worth it.

[ RoboGames ]

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
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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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