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Video Friday: Disaster HUBOs, Robot Massages, and Too Much Gangnam Style

See the first video from an actual DARPA Disaster Response Challenge robot, and lots more

2 min read
Video Friday: Disaster HUBOs, Robot Massages, and Too Much Gangnam Style

Phew, what a week! I don't know about you, but I'm near robotted out. HA, just kidding, that'll never happen. There's no such thing as too much robot news, and I hope you're with me, 'cause it's Video Friday and there's lots to see.

We only just found out that Drexel University will be competing in the DRC with HUBO robots, and already they've posted a video showing HUBO winning the entire competition:

Yes, okay, so that's not exactly real, but HUBO is an actual robot that's in the process of learning how to punch through walls (!):

[ DRC-HUBO Team ]



This little track n' paddle robot, called Sakura, is being developed by the Future Robotics Technology Center (fuRo) at the Chiba Institute of Technology to perform nuclear power plant inspections:

Via [ Diginfo ]



We posted an update on Harvard's RoboBees from IROS, but here's a nice overview from the NSF.

[ RoboBees ]



I don't know what this commercial is selling, exactly, but at least it uses real robots:

Here's my question: why do people who make TV commercials featuring robots, but not about robots, always add those whiny motor sound effects?

[ Yaskawa Motoman ]



UAVForge was another DARPA challenge that wrapped up back in April; TU Delft's Team ATMOS took second place with their ATMOV UAV, which they're still working on. It can take off vertically and then transition into efficient horizontal flight, and as we've mentioned before, it looks almost exactly like a B-wing starfighter:

[ Team ATMOS ]



Panasonic has followed up their hair washing robot with this head massaging robot:

Yeah, I'll take one of those.

Via [ DigInfo ]



We'll finish up this week with what is becoming inevitable: more robots dancing Gangnam style, featuring CHARLI, some Bioloids, and a questionable performance from Tosy's MRobo.



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
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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