Robots Make Shuffleboard a Slightly More Interesting Sport to Watch

Here's proof that adding robots to any sport can make it 100 percent more awesome

1 min read
Robots Make Shuffleboard a Slightly More Interesting Sport to Watch

I'm not entirely sure what shuffleboard is. So really, I'm not at all qualified to compare this robotic version of the sport to the real thing. But it's nifty that a bunch of students at Oregon State University got a chance to build these robots as part of their coursework, proving that robots can be for learning and fun and evil, all at the same time! Not that I'm insinuating anything about shuffleboard, but I digress. Here's video of a match:

Not bad for eight weeks and 200 hours of work, right? Now someone just needs to invent robotic curling. There's an action-packed sport that's somehow different from and significantly better than shuffleboard. Oh wait, apparently someone did:

I know nothing about this, besides that I found it on YouTube after searching for "robotic curling," but it does sort of look like it might possibly be autonomous, which would be pretty cool. There's video of another match here. If you know anything about it (it's something to do with an "SMU championship"), speak up in the comments!

Photo: Jesse Skoubo/Corvallis Gazette-Times

Via [ Corvallis Gazette-Times ]

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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
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

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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