Video Friday: Insectobots on the Run, Drones Dodge Fireworks, and Robots Dance with Sheets

Yet another Friday has arrived. A Friday full of robot videos

3 min read
Video Friday: Insectobots on the Run, Drones Dodge Fireworks, and Robots Dance with Sheets

Yet another Friday has arrived. A Friday full of amazement. A Friday full of wonder. A Friday full of robot videos. Not that you should get your hopes up or anything. Aw heck, go on, get your hopes up, we will never disappoint you! Never! ON TO THE VIDEOS!

The biggest robot news of the week seemed to be this 3D printed phone password cracker. As a robot, it's not particularly impressive, but it seems to be at one of those intersections of concepts (robots! hacking! 3D printing!) that makes it irresistible:

Android's default lockscreen behavior is 30 seconds of wait every 5 wrong guesses. You can go through all 10000 PINs in about 20 hours. That would be boring, which is why we built the robot.

Via [ Forbes ]



Time for another round (or perhaps the very first round?) of Guess the Telepresence Robot!

Yes, that is totally a steampunkified Beam hanging out at Comic-Con in San Diego. It's a collaboration between Suitable Technologies and WETA, as a promotion for this, I think. I also think that Suitable should start making this an option on all of the Beams that it sells.

[ Suitable Technologies ]



Drones dodging fireworks is an excellent example of how you can take two things that are lots of fun and put them together to make something that is exponentially more fun:

Via [ Hacked Gadgets ]



The theme of robots not stealing our jobsand instead making manufacturing bigger and stronger is something we've been hearing lots about this year. Universal Robots has been working hard to make this happen as well, with their UR5 and UR10 robotic arms:

[ Universal Robots ]



Would you rather have a remote controlled car, or a 3D-printed remote controlled insectobot? Welcome to the easiest question you'll have to answer all day:

We've heard that the DASH Robotics Kickstarter will be firing up soon, and we can't wait to get our hands on one of these little guys.

[ DASH Robotics ]



For those of you who like their martinis shaken, not stirred, and very very very very large, OMC presents this 700-kilogram capacity multi-axis industrial cocktail shaker mixing robot:

Via [ DigInfo News ]



It's become obligatory that every week we feature footage from a drone that would be impossible to get any other way. Here's the latest one, filmed on the coast around Santa Cruz, Calif.

The best part of all that was obviously seeing those sea lions going "WTF is that," heh.

[ Eric Cheng ] via [ Gizmodo ]



I don't have a heck of a lot on this video (yet), but it shows some research from ETH Zurich and MIT into cooperative transport of deformable objects. The fact that the objects are deformable means that the robots carrying them can alter their trajectories and velocities independently (within limits), giving them more flexibility for things like obstacle avoidance, which, in the case of the demo video below, appears to be a rampaging Roomba:

[ ETH Zurich ]



We were promised an extended cut of that RHex parkour video from earlier this week, and here it is:

I'm loving that slow-mo jump across the picnic tables straight into the camera. Awesome stuff.

[ Kod*lab ]



This DARWIN's name is Jimmy. Jimmy Darwin. He's Canadian, and he's practicing for the ladder-climbing event at FIRA 2013 in Malaysia:

[ University of Manitoba ]



Just for fun, let's wrap up with a couple movie clips. This first one has NO ROBOTS IN IT:

Rumor has it that this scene, from the upcoming movie Gravity, is part of a 17-minute-long unbroken shot. How do you make that happen? With robots, man. With robots. And I'm pretty sure it's these robots.

[ Gravity ]


This second one DOES HAVE A ROBOT IN IT:

[iframe // allowfullscreen=false expand=1 height=351 width=620]

[ Elysium ]

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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