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Video Friday: Surface Control, Research Robotics, and My Robot is Better than Your Robot

Love, sadness, awesome technology, and celebrities you've never heard of: these three robot vids have it all

1 min read
Video Friday: Surface Control, Research Robotics, and My Robot is Better than Your Robot

 

microsoft surface robotics control

A bunch of cool robot vids have shown up in the last few days, so I thought I'd toss 'em all up for you to enjoy since it's Friday and you're probably not going to be doing anything especially productive anyway.

Microsoft Surface is one of the coolest interfaces I've ever tried, and it makes one heck of a robot control system:

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[ Microsoft Research ] via [ Engadget ]

You may think of research robots as tools (and even as simply a means to an end), but they think of you as a friend:

This film by David Lu, which premiered at the Robot Film Festival last month, reminds us all: be nice to your robots. They love you.

[ Researchin' ]

While celebrities agree that science in general is pretty cool, they also agree robots are by far the coolest. Two things: how do I get this song as a ring tone, and who the heck is this "Justin Bieber" fella?

According to the Facebook page, "i.am. FIRST: Science is Rock and Roll" is a back-to-school special that blends entertainment, science, technology, AND ROBOTS. And also lack of understanding about period use, it looks like. You can tune in on ABC this Sunday at 7, and "Justin Bieber" will apparently also be involved, for whatever that's worth.

[ FIRST Robotics ]

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
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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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