Video Friday: Talking Vacuums, Robotic Buttocks, and How Not to Fly a Spacecraft

It's Video Friday, and we're dead serious about having video of a robotic rump

2 min read
Video Friday: Talking Vacuums, Robotic Buttocks, and How Not to Fly a Spacecraft

We're busy packing for ICRA, but not too busy to provide you with a fun-filled video Friday, filled with fun. And a robotic butt. And a spacecraft trying to escape from a rocket test. And a robotic butt. And dancing and baseball. And did we mention that there's a robotic butt? Because there's totally a robotic butt.

First, a VERY IMPORTANT Public Service Announcement:

To learn more, check out Daniel H. Wilson's excellent book, How to Survive a Robot Uprising. It's Keepon approved!

Via [ Neatorama ]


Robots just don't seem to do that well when it comes to major league baseball, at least as far as everyone in Philadelphia is concerned. UPenn's PhillieBot wasn't especially impressive last year, and now Drexel's HUBO humanoid is responsible for this monstrosity of a pitch:

C'mon guys, you're making us look bad!

Via [ MLB ]


Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone invented a pair of interactive robot buttocks. This is probably safe for work, it's just one of the weirdest things you'll see in a long, long time.

In case you were wondering, this is the work of Nobuhiro Takahashi and the University of Electro-Communications in Japan.

Um, yeah.

Via [ Kokatu ]


Plastic Pals found this incredible video of a transforming robot that actually transforms from a (fully operational) car to a (fully operational) humanoid and back again:


If you've ever wanted to see a PR2 embarrass itself, here's your chance:

Don't miss Another One Bytes the Dust, either.

This PR2 is spending its weekend at The Tech Museum in San Jose, letting kids interactively program the robot in the same way that we saw back at the Robot Block Party.

Via [ Willow Garage ]


Cocorobo is yet another very expensive and  suspiciously Roomba-looking vacuum from Asia, with yet another suite of, uh, unique features thrown in, including remote control, voice recognition, and something about emotions:

Apparently, if you talk to this vacuum every day, that puts it in a "good mood," which is expressed by changes in movement. That's great, I guess, but does it make the robot any better at vacuuming my floors?

Via [ DigInfo ]


This may be a video on how not to flya robotic spacecraft, but as far as testing a robotic spacecraft goes, this is (sort of) exactly what you want to have happen:

[ Project Morpheus ]

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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