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Robotics Technology

MK-1 Robotic Arm Capable of Near-Human Dexterity, Dancing 56

Posted by timothy
from the looks-like-a-pixar-film dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The MK-1 Robotic Arm from HDT Global comes from a DARPA sponsored project to create a highly advanced prosthetic limb. The disco dance moves shown at the beginning of this video show off the impressive dexterity of the modular servo units that comprise the MK-1 Robotic Arm." Internet rudeness alert: the (impressive) video starts autoplaying, with sound; you have been warned.
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MK-1 Robotic Arm Capable of Near-Human Dexterity, Dancing

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  • robots can no long match my robot dance.
  • Does this arm also achieve sinistrality, or is it restricted to dexterity? :-)

  • by sycodon (149926) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @08:55AM (#37176996)

    One wonders where the state of the art is as far as neuro-electrical interconnections.

    • by delinear (991444)
      I was wondering the same. The brief blurb on the page talks about the possible use in prosthetics, but unless you have a control mechanism capable of making use of the full range of something like this, you essentially just have a very expensive plastic arm. It's great that the technology is there when it's needed, I just don't think that will be for a while yet.
    • by hitmark (640295)

      The latest that is available in the field is moving the nerves around so that what was once moving the arms and fingers now manipulate small muscles on the chest.

      This is then mapped into the electronics.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I predict that this will cost six million dollars.

  • That's actually pretty cool. I'd like to pair it with an ABB, Kuka, or Fanuc controller and use it for something industrial, but then again, I'm an industrial nerd.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Actually, to create a truly great dancing robot, you need to get one of the new-fangled model of the ABB, the ABBA.

    • by nameer (706715)

      The video says that the servo control is handled on board the module. So, you would need a trajectory planner and interpolator, but not amplifiers or drives. There is no comment on how to set up the tuning (for good control, robots require non-linear control laws). I *think* the newest ABB robot controllers, with some undocumented options, can directly feed interpolation points out over CAN bus (accepted by these modules), so it might be possible.

      • by pnewhook (788591)

        for good control, robots require non-linear control laws

        No, because stability is too difficult to prove. You can achieve good control with classical control techniques.

  • With this new technology, a blond wig and a couple bags of silicone... future slashdotters will have dates to the prom!
  • by rossdee (243626)

    A dancing robotic arm ! Usually humans need legs to dance

  • How well does the MK-1 Robot Arm work away from humans?

    I see that it has Near Human Dexterity..

    I guess this means mars missions are out?

    please inform.

  • Jax was MK2 not MK1....
  • It is a time of great innovation
  • I would hate to need to carry around a 50lb power pack to power a 2lb prosthetic arm.

  • Once tech like this becomes commoditized(20 years?), just like the pc and the cell phone did, it's going to put loads of people out of work. Devices like this will be used to do everything from home health aid, janitorial, picking fruit, and mining. Interesting how that timeline will coincide with a general downward trend in education in the U.S. We already see on the horizon that many "white collar" jobs(financial, creative, etc;) will be lost to software. I find it fascinating how much of a double-sta
    • by DeadDecoy (877617)
      It depends. If robots take up some of the menial labor, humans are afforded more time to work on other problems. The calculator might have replaced pure number crunchers, but that doesn't mean people don't practice math anymore. There are still physicist, mathematicians, and engineers. Odds are, if I robot assistant is developed, we'll have robot repair shops, programming centers, and robot insurance; while having fewer fruit pickers and maids. Humans will probably be replaced for certain tasks, but since w
      • It depends. If robots take up some of the menial labor, humans are afforded more time to work on other problems. The calculator might have replaced pure number crunchers, but that doesn't mean people don't practice math anymore. There are still physicist, mathematicians, and engineers. Odds are, if I robot assistant is developed, we'll have robot repair shops, programming centers, and robot insurance; while having fewer fruit pickers and maids. Humans will probably be replaced for certain tasks, but since we define society as a group of humans, we will probably never be rid of one another.

        I tend to agree with you about who will be displaced first, but I don't think we have to anticipate more widespread adoption of robots for a long, long time. We will probably have to cross the uncanny valley [wikipedia.org] in one quantum leap before society in general will accept robots in the roles of humans. As you suggest, roles that keep robots out of sight/out of mind will be about the only places robots can be effectively deployed until they are indistinguishable from us. Labor intensive tasks like agriculture a

        • A really amazing example of irrationality overwhelming rationality. You would refuse to shake hands with a person who has a prosthetic hand when you know they have a prosthetic hand simply because they have a prosthetic hand.
    • by hitmark (640295)

      http://www.marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com]

      Two options then, a neo-luddite movement, as seen in AI and elsewhere, or bootstrapping a star trek like economy.

    • You're right. Here is a 12 minute YouTube video I made that talks about a balance between five interwoven economies that shifts with cultural change and technological change:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vK-M_e0JoY [youtube.com]
      "This video presents a simplified education model about socioeconomics and technological change. It discusses five interwoven economies (subsistence, gift, exchange, planned, and theft) and how the balance will shift with cultural changes and technological changes. It sugge

  • Annoying website: "I'm starting my annoying and intrusive process now!"

    NoScript: *BITCHSLAP* "No you're not."

  • This is impressive and seems to have essentially reached a goal of emulating a human arm.

    What really impressed me, though, was the modularity of the arm. Presumably this would allow configurations other than human-imitating arms. One could imagine post-human configurations - whether for prosthetic purposes, extending the capabilities of a normal human, or as a stand-alone robot for specialized tasks. E.g. (off the top of my head) would 7 fingers be more useful than 5, or perhaps an arm with two (or se

    • Looks like it could self assemble.. meaning several modules could be fit thru a fairly narrow diameter pipe in a snakelike configuration. I'm thinking either through a bore hole, or perhaps entering a building via the sewage system.. and reconfigure itself once situated. I mean really, how many people lock their toilets?

      You get the picture.
  • Its doing the robot! HAR HAR HAR
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Im part of the software team that is developing the MK2, (previously MK1), we showed the robot at AUVSI last week. I developed the low level driver communications, part of the control software for each joint, the network gateway and UI interfaces for the system using C#. I can give some vague details:

    Some details about the dancing:
    - 27 degrees of freedom, 120 deg/s per joint.
    - Capable of generating a lot of torque within a small package (I dont think we have competitors that can currently match us)
    - About 2

  • NoScript kept it from playing until I clicked.

    Browser add-ons are q00l.

  • NASA has funded a similar robot [traclabs.com]. This article shows the modularity of their robot better.

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