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Video Friday: Robot Heads Do K-Pop, Pleo Gets Shot, and PR2 Tackles a Cucumber

You wanted robots doing K-pop, you got robots doing K-pop! Er, you did want robots doing K-pop, right...?

2 min read
Video Friday: Robot Heads Do K-Pop, Pleo Gets Shot, and PR2 Tackles a Cucumber

ICRA was a lot of serious business, and we've been posting a lot of serious business posts. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but part of the random fun of robots is that people do random fun stuff with them, and for video Friday this week we're getting back to that just a little bit.

And now, without further ado (or really any ado at all), here are four robotic heads singing K-pop:

In case you haven't immediately had enough K-pop for one day, here's the original music video (which has over 37 million views on YouTube) of Sorry, Sorry from Super Junior:

What's that? You want more? Okay crazypants, how about a live performance by 1,500 prisoners at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philipines: click here, share, and enjoy.


Pleo hasn't looked this poorly since we saw one get shredded by a Combot back in 2008, but it's possible that this little movie is all special effects and make-up and that no Pleos were actually harmed. Let's hope so!

[ prallplatte ]


I love how PR2 always looks 100 percent intent and focused, even if it's just making some popcorn at a trade show in Germany. This is James, the Beta Program PR2 belonging to TUM, and make sure and watch until the end to see some salt shaker action.

[ TUM ]


Speaking of PR2 (and it's often hard not to speak of PR2 when we're talking about robots doing cool stuff) someone at Cornell had the horrific idea of giving the robot a knife and teaching it to chop cucumbers. Protip: DO NOT GIVE ROBOTS KNIVES.

[ Cornell Personal Robotics ]


Robonaut has been keeping himself busy up on the ISS doing some autonomous work on his taskboard. The taskboard isn't hooked up to any critical systems (to prevent R2 from sending the ISS off to Mars by accident), but this testing is to make sure that the robot is capable of interacting with human controls in space.


We got a virtual ride on one of Adept's robots at ICRA, but there was no candy involved. No candy. Listen up, Adept: in the future, we expect there to be candy.

[ Adept ]


Finally, here's something to chew on: it's another presentation from ROSCon, featuring lightning talks, which is great for those of you with short attention spans: presenters get just three minutes each, and subjects range from programming structure to new hardware to robotic cinematography.

If you couldn't make it to ROSCon, Willow Garage filmed all of the presentations, and you can find everything on their YouTube channel here.

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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