The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Robot Video Roundup

Here's a selection of some of the most interesting robot vids that popped up in the last week or so

1 min read

Here's a bunch of nifty robot vids that I haven't had a chance to post about yet, so I thought I'd toss 'em all up for you in bite-size format. Enjoy!

-Survivor Buddy

Like Taurus, Survivor Buddy (from Texas A&M and Stanford) is designed to augment existing robotic platforms to give them additional capabilities. Specifically, it's a little moving screen that can help make people who are trapped in uncomfortable places feel a little better without having to rely on the steely inhuman gaze of a rescue robot:

 -LEGO Sorting LEGO Delta Robots

While I'm a proponent of the big tub o' mixed up LEGO bricks, I recognize that sometimes organization can be important. And what better way to organize LEGO bricks than with a LEGO brick organizing robot made out of LEGO bricks?

Lots more info here.

-PhillieBot

PhillieBot was created by students at UPenn's GRASP Lab in a month and a half of spare time work. It's specifically designed to to lob a game-opening pitch at around 60 kph "to ensure safety," but such speeds are, well, kinda tame. I'd say, if you're gonna make a pitching robot, you might as well just give it a baseball cannon and impress the crowd, especially if the Philly Phanatic is attempting to catch the ball projectile.

The Philadelphia Enquirerhas more.

-PR2 Solves a Rubik's Cube

Yes, we have seen many a robot solve a Rubik's Cube, but this is the University of Ulster's brand new PR2, so I think they deserve to show it off a bit:

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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