You Definitely Need a Robotic Spy Vacuum

If you've never thought about getting a robot vacuum that can also be used for surveillance, you should check out Samsung's new Tango View

2 min read
You Definitely Need a Robotic Spy Vacuum

Before you dismiss this as just another Asian knockoff not-quite-a-Roomba, just take a minute to think about how the Samsung Tango View could change your life for the better. In addition to sporting a sophisticated visual mapping feature, the Tango is equipped with a camera, spotlights (!), and a microphone. It's Wi-Fi enabled, meaning that you can access the vacuum over the internet, and when you do, you're presented with a live view from the robot, complete with supplemental lighting and what could be two-way audio (although it's hard to tell). You can pilot it around manually, making sure that the oven is off, the fridge door is closed, and that nobody has broken into your house and stolen your fancy vacuum robot. You can also duct-tape a yardstick to it and use it to program your VCR while you're away. People still use VCRs, right?

The Tango vacuums quietly and effectively and stuff, so the possibilities for this robot (when it comes to cleanliness and surveillance) are virtually endless, but for whatever reason it's somehow incapable of vacuuming and spying at the same time.

One oft-overlooked aspect to the Tango is that it clearly hits it off with the ladies. We've seen several earlier models of this robot, each in bed (literally) with adifferentwoman. These latest pics make it look like the robot has finally settled down with a family, though, so perhaps congratulations are in order... However, I've never really gotten the sense that the Tango could be happy with a long term commitment like that, and my guess is that we'll see an updated model in six months or so, with a new girlfriend to boot.

Samsung's Tango View (specifically the VC-RL87W) is available in Korea for about $700.

[ SamsungTomorrow ] via [ Akihabara News ]

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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
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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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