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Video Friday: Bosch and Cars, ROVs and Whales, and Kuka Arms and Chainsaws

One way to guarantee that your robot ends up on Video Friday: give it a chainsaw

3 min read
Video Friday: Bosch and Cars, ROVs and Whales, and Kuka Arms and Chainsaws

Sometimes, I feel like if someone where to cut a hole in my head, they'd just see a couple servos and linkages and not much else, like the robot in this picture. Because that's what writing about robots this much will do to you, man. Having said that, I'd like to encourage all of you to not to try to cut holes in my head, and instead to just amuse yourselves with all of the videos we have for you this Friday.

You probably had no idea, but Bosch has likely made a significant percentage of the stuff that makes your car. They've been looking ahead a little bit, and are presently hard at work on a car that can drive itself:

Bosch is developing technologies for an intelligent forward thinking vehicle -- making the vision of injury and accident free driving reality. Automated driving synchronizes traffic flow, reducing travel times and fuel consumption. It reduces driver burden by taking over dedicated driving tasks -- in line with each individual's needs -- allowing all age ranges to be mobile and safe. Automated driving allows the vehicle to become a part of the driver's interconnected home and work life, making time spent on the road more productive and eventful.

Here's a bit more from Bosch on nearer-term semi-autonomous automotive tech:

By the way, Bosch, I happen to live in the SF Bay Area right where you filmed most of that car stuff, and I would happily risk life and limb being a crash test dummy in your robotic BMW. Just sayin'. 

[ Bosch ]



Volvo has been working on autonomous driver assist features as well, and here's a video of some just-in-time autonomous braking on one of their trucks:

That trailer, incidentally, was loaded with 40 tons of I have no idea what. Impressive. More impressive: by 2015, systems like these will be a legal requirement for trucks in Europe.

[ Volvo ]



How about one more driving video? Here's DLR's driving simulator, which is mounted on a gigantic Kuka arm:

So, um, will it fit in my living room?



This next robot is more of a tank than a car or a truck. It's from Howe & Howe Technologies, who as far as I can tell just build ridiculously powerful robotic vehicles and then see what they can get them to do:

Another example:

[ Howe & Howe ]



Evidently, Korean kids learn how to bow through practice, practice, practice:



Underwater ROV. Underwater ROV. Underwater ROV. Underwater ROV. Underwater ROV. WHALE!



 "The DelFly team flies 6 flapping wing Micro Air Vehicles concurrently in an adaptive choreography." To be honest, I don't think I can possibly add anything to that.

[ Delfly ]



Apparently there's gonna be a new Robocop movie? Or something?

[ Omnicorp ]



Okay, just two words: chainsaw robot:

[ Designboom ]



This is kind of amazing: InMoov is an open source, largely 3D printable animatronic robot. You'll just need a 3D printer, a couple dozen servos, and a pair of Arduinos, and you can build yourself two arms and a torso for under $1,000.

[ InMoov ]



NASA's Robotic Refueling Mission is getting closer to The Main Event, which is (of course) refueling something robotically. It's harder than it sounds, but on-orbit tests are on-going:

[ Dextre ]

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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