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Video Friday: Giant Robotic Eggs Dance a Tango

Giant robot eggs on wheels are dancing a tango. That's all. But what more could you possibly want?

1 min read
Video Friday: Giant Robotic Eggs Dance a Tango

Every Friday since the dawn of time, I've been hoping that I'd get a chance to post a video of giant dancing robotic eggs. And every Friday I've been disappointed when such a video has utterly failed to exist.

BUT NOT THIS FRIDAY!

These appear to be EngKey robotic teachers, which (as far as I can tell) have been deployed in South Korean schools for a couple years now to teach English as part of a pilot program by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). EngKeys are really just fancy telepresence platforms; humans in the Philippines do the educating remotely because it's cheaper that way. Most of the news that I can find on these bots (which are obviously defective and repurposed Portal turrets) is several years old, so I can't quite tell what they're currently up to. Well, I guess that's not true. They're currently doing the tango on YouTube. 

Via [ YouTube ]

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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
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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
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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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