The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Video Friday: Skilled Gymnasts, Giant Spiders, Robot Beatdowns, and How to Murder a Grapefruit

It's an extra-large helping of robot video Friday: twice the vids, twice the calories, twice the awesomeness

2 min read
Video Friday: Skilled Gymnasts, Giant Spiders, Robot Beatdowns, and How to Murder a Grapefruit

We've got an extra-large helping of robot vids for you today. You'll see a little robot gymnast showcase his talents on the high bar, a huge robot spider that can climb mountains, CHARLI-2 getting hit with a shoe on a stick, a fate marginally worse than being eaten for a hapless grapefruit, and more. More!

Hinamitetu’s robot gymnast has been trying to get this right for years, and at last, the robot sticks what I think  is called a "jaeger:"

That dismount still needs work, I'd say.

Want to see CHARLI-2 get a beatdown from a shoe on a stick and not fall over? Sure you do!

Last year, we posted some video from DFKI Bremen that included footage of SpaceClimber, one of the most most impressive robots in the category of "very large and spidery." This new video shows SpaceClimber doing its thing, complete with freaky movements and a climb up an 80% grade.

[ DFKI Bremen ]

Slicing a grapefruit can be dangerous. Very dangerous. Almost (but not quite) as dangerous as building a robot to do it for you with a GIANT STABBY KNIFE:

[ Grapefruit Segmenter ] via [ Hacked Gadgets ]

When robotic aircraft start making autonomous landings on aircraft carriers, they'll need to know what to do and where to go after touchdown. If you've watched Top Gun, you know that simple gesture recognition is not enough to interpret signals from plane directors on the deck of the carrier, since they're usually in constant motion. MIT has been working on an algorithm that can classify individual gestures contained in a continuous series of complex motions:   

Via [ MIT ]

We'll finish up with this video of a real life Real Steel match between Naoki Maru's Real King Kizer (a one meter tall boxing robot controlled by an ASUS Xtion Pro Live sensor) and a punching bag. The winner? Awesomness. Awesomeness is the winner.

[ King Kizer ] via [ GetRobo ]


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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