The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Video Friday: Disaster Superheroes, Balancing Cubes, and senseFly Tackles the Matterhorn

Exoskeletons for disaster relief, cubes that balance and dance, and something called the Harlem Shake: it's Video Friday

2 min read
Video Friday: Disaster Superheroes, Balancing Cubes, and senseFly Tackles the Matterhorn

Yes, Shredder is back, and he's working for Cyberdyne.

Cyberdyne's HAL powered exoskeleton is wicked awesome, and we've been waiting for the company to put it to some wicked awesome uses besides rehab. Looks like they've got one:

The company had already talked about using the exoskeleton for workers, and disaster relief is no longer the next logical step, but rather the logical next step. Plus, it looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie, and we always approve of that.

[ Cyberdyne ]

 

 

When we saw senseFly's eBee at Parrot's booth at CES in January, they told us that it was incredibly easy to use. Turns out it's so easy to use that you can take it skiing with you, if you want to document your favorite runs in 3D:

You can buy yourself an eBee for just $12k, which is really not that bad for a UAV that does everything for you with no mess and no fuss. Impressive.

senseFly ]

Thanks Adam!

 

 

Robots on Tour, a "World Congress and Exhibition of Robots, Humanoids, Cyborgs and more," opens in Zurich on March 9. Here's some of what you'll see:

 

Roboy will be there too, and it's learning how to shake hands, and possibly ride a bicycle:

[ Robots on Tour ]

[ Roboy ]

 

 

Robot ostrich from Russia:

Any questions? No? Good.

Via [ DVICE ]

 

 

Last time we checked in with Cubli, it was a one dimensional prototype. Now it's a full three dimensional cube that can balance itself, and Mohanarajah Gajamohan, Raffaello D’Andrea, and Igor Thommen are trying to teach it to hop up on its own and dance around a little bit:

Problem is, so much force is required on the reaction wheels that the thing breaks itself pretty quickly, which is cool all by itself. It's an ongoing research project, so we're looking forward to more updates/

[ Cubli ] via [ Robohub ]

 

 

For the first time ever, we've got a (fresh) sample of Mars rocks! Here's your Curiosity update:

[ MSL ]

 

 

Lastly this week, um, I kinda thought we were going to be able to entirely avoid this whole Harlem Shake meme, but alas, 'tis not to be. From UC BerkeleyBeatbots, and iRobot (in that order) here's... Well... Here's whatever this is:

 

 

 

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
Horizontal
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
DarkGray

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?

Keep Reading ↓Show less