Tweenbots Now on Kickstarter

Now you have a chance to get your very own cutely helpless little lost robot

1 min read
Tweenbots Now on Kickstarter

It's been nearly two years since we first met Sam the Tweenbot. If you remember, Tweenbots are little robots that are designed to do two things: look cute, and drive in a straight line. They're released into the wilds of public places, where they rely entirely on the kindness of human strangers to get them to the destination that they have written on a flag. If somebody told me that people would be this kind to a helpless little robot, I wouldn't have believed them, but boy was I wrong... Just watch the video, and if you've seen it before, watch it again, because it'll make you smile:

Yes. I very much want one. And the good news is that thanks to Kickstarter, mass production of Tweenbots is a real possibility... Kacie Kinzer needs $35k to make it happen, mostly because the Tweenbots need custom-made motor assemblies. A mere $65 will get you your own Tweenbots kit when they become available, along with access to a website to help plan, track, and share its wanderings.

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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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