Video Friday: Death Defying Vacuums, Tate After Dark, and Taranis Takes Flight

Wow, where'd all these videos come from, anyway? Oh yeah, it's FRIDAY!

3 min read
Video Friday: Death Defying Vacuums, Tate After Dark, and Taranis Takes Flight

What's the craziest thing you've ever done with a robot vacuum? Personally, it's this, but LG gets some points for upping the risk beyond a few scratches from a taped-on butter knife. If that's not dangerous enough for you, we've also got a new robotic drone from Britain, and a quadcopter competition where you have to sign a waiver acknowledging the potential for death. Your death. Happy Video Friday!

Big news this week from BAE Systems, as their Taranis drone made its first test flight. Back in August, apparently. But that was secret. So we only just found out.

Test pilot Bob Fraser said everything went according to plan. But if you ask him how high or fast it flew he is not allowed to give a precise answer.

He will only say Taranis flew at least "twice as fast" as any other drone he has operated from the ground. Eventually it is supposed to fly faster than the speed of sound.

What we do know is that Taranis is the prototype for Britain's first stealth combat drone.

It is low profile and acute angles are not just designed for speed, but also to avoid detection by radar.

The goal here is to develop an unmanned plane that that can fly into "contested airspace" and deliver its weapons deep behind enemy lines.

Taranis might be built in the U.K., but having been to the U.K., my guess is that the test flight was probably somewhere sunnier and warmer and a little more in the middle of nowhere. Like Australia, probably.

Via [ BBC ]



How extreme is robot vacuum? If you have a Roboking from LG, it's exactly this extreme:



Your move, iRobot!

[ LG ] via [ Engadget ]



You're not allowed into London's Tate Gallery at night, but robots are. Pretty soon, you'll be able to log into a website and take them exploring:

I didn't actually see the robot in this video, which is a little bit weird. Or maybe it's just 2AM Friday morning and my eyes aren't working. Seems like it would be a great way to use some of those new Beams, right?

[ Tate ]



With leftover bits from a 3D printer, a camera, and enough cleverness to impress virtually the entire Internet, you can build an absolutely rockin' air hockey robot:

I especially like how, for just a second, the robot was challenging us to eat it.

[ Project Blog ] via [ Hack a Day ]



Cool Hunting went and interviewed the NYU roboticists behind the flying robot jellyfish sea jelly from earlier this year:

[ Cool Hunting ]



If you spring for a REEM-C from PAL Robotics, this is how to get it out of the box that it'll arrive in:

You MUST follow these instructions or, REEM-C will come out of the box angry. And you don't want REEM-C to get angry. Trust me. It's bad times.

[ PAL Robotics ]



Here's a new take on light painting with robots, featuring phosphorescent paper and UV lights:

[ Chiprobot ]



Not news: girls are awesome at robots. But we'll happily keep on posting about it anyway, in the hopes that more schools will implement programs like this:

[ Sphero ]



"I acknowledge that this drone event carries with it the potential for death." That's the kind of waiver we like to see!

It's awesome that drones are cheap and durable enough now that you can get a critical mass of people together to actually do this.

[ Game of Drones ]



For a hobby robot, this thing has some absolutely astonishing balancing skills:

[ DrGuero ]



BattleBots! Two full episodes! Mayhem, destruction, mayhem, and more mayhem. And things get destroyed, too.

[ BattleBots on YouTube ]

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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