Video Friday: Robot Fish Cars, Kibo in Zero-G, and Roboy Says Hi

Roboy is alive and well! Or at least, he's a robot and well, and we've got him on video

3 min read
Video Friday: Robot Fish Cars, Kibo in Zero-G, and Roboy Says Hi

Of all the robotic kids we've had the pleasure of meeting, Roboy somehow manages to be one of the least creepy. Even if he is, you know, skinless. But hey, at least he looks friendly-ish, doesn't he? Maybe not-spend-time-with-him-alone-in-the-dark-friendly, but robot babies are always a work in progress. See what Roboy's got going on, plus lots of other stuff, 'cause it's Video Friday!

Let's start with another glorious video from Team Blacksheep, shot from an expertly piloted quadrotor in Rio:

I have to say, most of these people seem pretty chill about being recorded by a flying robot, or at least, I don't see any of them screaming that their rights are being violated or anything. And you can buy the same long range FPV quadrotor setup used to shoot vids like this for just $1,600 at the link below.

[ Team Blacksheep ]



Earlier this month we posted about UPenn's robotic shipping containers. The video we included showed some, um, misbehaving robots, but this new vid has them all behaving perfectly, executing a (spoiler alert: successful!) mock rescue mission.

You just have to tell the boats what shape you want them to form, and they figure out on there own where to go and in what sequence. The hook-and-tether connection mechanism is especially clever, and the strength of the connection can be dynamically adjusted for ambient sea conditions.

[ UPenn ]



These little Eporo robots from Nissan made their debut back in 2009, but they now have a new home stateside, at Nissan's R&D center in Silicon Valley:


[ Nissan Research ]



The NERVE Center at UMass Lowell (that's New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation) is like a testing ground for mobile robots. Here's one you may not have seen before, the ARA Pointman, demonstrating its stair climbing skills:


Also, here's some gratuitous video of an iRobot SUGV taking a swim:


[ Pointman ]



Kibo may not be as sophisticated as Robonaut or Dextre, but he's way cuter (depending on who you ask), and he'll be heading to space in the near future to take up residence on the ISS. And if you're going to do that, you need some practice being weightless:

[ Kibo Project ] via [ Gizmag ]



Boeing's ultra-chubby liquid hydrogen UAV, Phantom Eye, had its second flight ever this week, woo!

[ Phantom Eye ]



This is one of our first clips of a fully armed (and legged) and operational Roboy. The vid is in German, but Roboy seems to speak some English:

[iframe // allowfullscreen=false expand=1 height=349 width=620]

[ Roboy ]



Ever seen a robot drop-kick another robot? YOU HAVE NOW:

Via [ Robots-Dreams ]



I have a pet snake, so robot snakes don't creep me out in the least. Your mileage, however, may vary.

[ CMU Biorobotics ]



This is a trailer for a documentary about Aldebaran Robotics' Nao, featuring special appearances by Taylor Veltrop, Heather Knight, and our very own Angelica Lim:

From what I can tell, the full film is due out sometime this year.

[ Aldebaran Robotics ]

[ Bellota Films ]



Last month we posted about RASSOR, a mining robot that NASA's been working on for some lunar digs. Here it is digging away in a little sandbox, with some cool technical info from NASA:




Why not end with a dance number? Bruno Maisonnier presents a whole bunch of Naos gettin' jiggy with it at TEDxConcorde:

[ TED ]



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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