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Stanford's 'JediBot' Tries to Kill You With a Foam Sword

Want some robots that can try to kill you and then make you a hamburger? Stanford's got you covered

1 min read
Stanford's 'JediBot' Tries to Kill You With a Foam Sword

If there was one bad thing about those lightsaber-wielding robots from Yaskawa that we saw at ICRA, it was that you couldn't bust out your own lightsaber and jump in the middle of the fight. A paper also presented at ICRA showed us robots swinging swords in simulation against humans, but without much in the way of physical combat. Now a student project at Stanford has put these two brilliant ideas together and come up with "JediBot," a robot arm that will actually try to kill you with a foam sword:

"The robot applies quite a bit of force." Get it? Force? Yeah!

This project was part of Stanford's three and a half week long "Experimental Robotics" course, which, from the sound of things, is basically just an excuse for students to mess around with robots to get them to do cool stuff. Also developed as part of the course were a robot that plays golf, several robots that draw, and a robot that can make hamburgers and then drown then in ketchup for you:

[ Stanford Robotics ] via [ Stanford News ]

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
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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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