Video Friday: Nao Boogies Down, Snakebots Climb Up, and Skippy Throws Rocks

Snakebots learn how to attack humans, and we've got video to prove it

2 min read
Video Friday: Nao Boogies Down, Snakebots Climb Up, and Skippy Throws Rocks

Snakebot attacks human, film at 11. Or, right now.

Yes, we've made it through yet another week of awesome robot news, and you've made it through yet another week of reading awesome robot news. Congratulations to us both! To celebrate, here are a bunch of videos, since, you know, it's Video Friday and all. W00t!

Okay, this is seriously somehow one of the greatest things I've ever seen. I don't know how. Maybe I'm just really tired. But it's a Nao doing the entire evolution of dance.

If you're not familiar with Judson Laipply's original performance, it's the second video down, with nearly 200,000,000 views on YouTube. Since the music is the same for both, if you want to get clever, you can put Justin's video on mute and then play them both at the same time to see just how well Nao can bust those moves:

 

 

Via [ TheAmazel ]

 

 

CMU has taught their robot snake to climb up stuff while automatically adapting its shape as the environment changes: 

LOOK OUT IT'S GOING FOR THE THROAT- Oh. Or you can just turn it off I guess. But one of these days, that robot is going to ignore those paltry little commands and strangle you and then take over the world.

[ Modsnake ]

 

 

There's nothing really new in this video from Festo, but it's always cool to see how they're exploring different ways of interacting with machines. There's a bunch of info about their exohand, and some fun footage of someone using brain waves to control a game.

[ Festo ]

 

 

Here's ToBI, Universität Bielefeld's RoboCup@Home robot, putting on a demo, including a cup and ball game that it TOTALLY PWNS:

[ ToBI ]

 

 

Hey look, it's another attempt at making a humanoid robot more appealing to humans by trying to give it realistic facial expressions!

Swing and a miss, although the choice of music definitely doesn't help things.

Via [ New Scientist ]

 

 

From Plastic Pals, the TELSTAR V robot now has tactile feedback that enables a remote user to tell whether the robot is handling paper or fabric, and how warm that paper or fabric is:

We're gonna try and get down to LA to check it out in person at Siggraph 2012 next month.

[ Tachi Lab ] via [ Plastic Pals ]

 

 

Finally today, Sun Valley came up with a brilliant (brilliant, I tell you) marketing idea by designing a robot that you can use to skip stones across a lake over teh intarwebz. Meet Skippy, and as long as it's not dark, you can try the little guy out:

[ Skippy ] via [ Suicide Bots ]

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
Horizontal
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
DarkGray

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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