Université de Sherbrooke engineers demonstrated a wearable robotic third arm that weighs about the same as a human arm. According to Evan Ackerman writing in IEEE Spectrum, waist-worn hydraulic limb "is gentle enough to pick fruit but powerful enough to punch through a wall." From his interview with project lead Catherine Véronneau:
IEEE Spectrum: Can you describe the experience of wearing the robotic arm, especially when it's moving dynamically? What does it feel like? How quickly do you get used to it?
Catherine Véronneau: That's a good question, and it is something that really needs to be explored and studied in the future! But, for now, it is still not too bad having this arm on my hips, since it's only 4.2 kg (without payload) and it is located near my center of mass (to reduce inertia). I get used to it quickly, and I can compensate for some of the movements (x, y, and z translational movements), but I still have some remaining issues to compensate for torsion movements (like if the arm is hitting a tennis ball with a racket), which is funny! We also noticed that the harness needs to be rigidly connected to the body, because if there is some backlash between the harness and the body, it can be uncomfortable.
"Robotic Third Arm Can Smash Through Walls" (IEEE Spectrum)
Chameleons have evolved a superfast and long tongue to grab insects in an instant. Inspired by this marvelous bit of nature, engineers at Seoul National University of Science and Technology created "Snatcher," a robotic tongue design that could someday be mounted on drones to pick up packages. From IEEE Spectrum: "For example, a quadrotor with […]
Earlier this year, Gundam Factory Yokohama announced plans to debut a 60-foot-tall Gundam robot on October 1, 2020. While construction on this epic mech was initially delayed by COVID-19, it seems that things are back on schedule — so much so, that they let the Gundam out for a test walk. Popular Mechanics has some […]
Remember engineer Shane Wighton of Stuff Made Here who impressed the Internet with his robotic basketball backboard that helps the ball into the hoop? Now he's built a robot that cuts his hair. Using a combination of physical sensors and computer vision, it gave him a pretty great looking mullet! I also appreciate its Flowbee-like […]
Vacuum cleaners have come a long way since those giant bulky bag behemoths that used to take up most of the hall closet. Machines that handle that kind of cleanup now have to be more than just carpet sweepers. They need to be small, powerful, convenient, and capable of handling a variety of big and […]
Everybody's got a story. Unfortunately, not everybody has the tools to tell that story the right way. That's especially true for someone looking to produce their first screenplay. Just as with any type of writing, penning a script for the screen has a set of rules all its own. Understanding that structure, as well as […]
Even as the world takes tentative steps toward reopening against the ebbs and flows of COVID-19, movie theaters remain in a netherworld limbo. High-profile film releases continue shuffling as theater chains, studios and filmgoers grapple with the fact that an enclosed theater may not be a safe place to be for some time to come. […]