The Robots Are Coming . . . to Your iPad

IEEE Spectrum is proud to unveil Robots for iPad, a fun and engaging app featuring the world’s coolest robots

1 min read
The Robots Are Coming . . . to Your iPad

Robots for iPad app screenshot featured robots

We know you love robots. We love robots, too. In fact, who doesn't love robots? Robots are one of those things that capture the imagination of people of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities. So we're really proud to unveil this project. Robots for iPad is an app featuring the world's coolest robots. If you want to know how robotics is going to change the world, this app is for you.

The app, which is now available in Apple's App Store, includes 126 robots from 19 countries. I could go on and describe the main features, but I think the best way to see what the app is about is to watch this video.

As the video shows, you can spin robots 360 degrees, review detailed technical specs, see photos and videos, and much more. For all the features and screenshots, check out the app's website: http://robotsforipad.com.

We hope you like the app as much as we do. And if your favorite robot (maybe a robot you helped to build) is not in the app, don't worry. Send us an email and we'll try to include it in a future update. If you have other suggestions for the app (should we build an Android version?), send those as well. We want your feedback to make this app even better.

Finally, we would like to thank the hundreds of roboticists, researchers, engineers, and other folks who provided ideas, information, and images for the app. Without YOU this project would not have been possible. So thank you, and keep making awesome robots!

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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
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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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