UPenn's Robockey Cup Looks Like Fun, Even At Night

UPenn disguises practical robotics course with autonomous hockey, reportedly makes learning fun

1 min read
UPenn's Robockey Cup Looks Like Fun, Even At Night

We're onto you, University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering. You say you're teaching your students about computer-controlled electromechanical systems, but really, it's all just one big excuse to host your own robockey tournament every year. You're not fooling anyone, even if you host your matches at night.

The final exam in UPenn's Design of Mechatronic Systems class has the students designing a mechatronic system in the form of a small team of autonomous hockey-playing robots. These teams of robots face off against each other in a big tournament of "robockey" (not robohockey, but robockey), where I assume the winning team gets an A+ and everyone else fails the course. Watch some of the action unfold in the video below:

I guess sometimes these robockey matches even take place in the dark, with admittedly cool results like the picture at the top of this article. Here's another one, just for kicks:

Not bad for a team of unintentionally artsy robots. Long-exposure Roomba and friends would be proud.

Via [ UPenn ]

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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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