Yes. It's back. After a week-long trip to the East Coast that nobody is allowed to call a vacation because we were working the whole time, Video Friday HAS RETURNED. And you know what that means: we're playing a little bit of catch-up, so this one's a whopper.

We couldn't make it to Mexico City for RoboCup 2012, but luckily for us BotSport TV was there with a bunch of video cameras and a production budget.

More matches on BotSport's YouTube channel.


If you haven't seen this yet, here's what Curiosity has to look forward to in the seven minutes between entering Mars' upper atmosphere and landing:

If you had seen that already, here's a newer video showing JPL's Mars rover drivers (actual job title) practicing some dune rovering out in the Mojave desert:


Since drones don't have to carry people, they can be made small and fast. Very small, and very fast, ad you don't have to be a giant military contractor to do it, either. Here's what you can do for between $50,000 and $100,000:

This isn't going to be the first supersonic drone or anything- for example, check out Lockheed's D-21 drone that would launch from the back of the SR-71 at Mach 3.

Via [ Forbes ]


Yeah, we generally don't like movies where some robot ends up going crazy and kills a bunch of people, but this trailer for Prototype looks like it could be fun anyway.

Via [ io9 ]


This video contains dubstep, but don't worry, you don't have to know what dubstep is to enjoy it.

Er, so like, is that little robot in the back okay, or...?

[ Fluxel ]


And lastly this week we've got coverage of AUVSI's 2012 RoboBoat competition. We'd have made a post out of this in its own right, but AUVSI always makes up these videos that explain everything so well that it's hard for us to add much, so we're just going to put them all up here instead. This year's theme was poker (yeah, a little hokey), and as you watch the vids, remember that the boats are 100% autonomous and trying to use vision to identify navigation targets on water that's reflecting a changing sky.




[ RoboBoat ]


Haha, you probably thought we were done just because we said "lastly" just then, but no, we've got two more vids for you. It's another competition from AUVSI, this time featuring autonomous robotic aircraft, called SUAS, for Student Unmanned Aerial Systems.


[ SUAS ]

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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