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Robotics Hardware Technology

Robot Controls Person's Arm To Manipulate Objects 77

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the i-for-one-welcome-our-robotic-collaborators dept.
An anonymous reader writes "French researchers have demonstrated a robot that controls its own arm as well as a person's arm to manipulate objects in a collaborative manner, IEEE reports. Electrodes attached to the person's arm allow the robot to make the elbow and hand move to perform tasks. The tasks are currently simple (dropping a ball through a hoop, as shown in one of their videos), but the researchers say more complex ones are possible. They also say the approach has therapeutic benefits and their goal is to 'develop robotic technologies that can help people suffering from paralysis and other disabilities to regain some of their motor skills.'"
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Robot Controls Person's Arm To Manipulate Objects

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  • by dyingtolive (1393037) <{brad.arnett} {at} {notforhire.org}> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:25PM (#38075170)
    ...nah, too easy.
  • there is one repetitive motion that I must do with my hand once in a while that I may wish was done without my direct participation. On the other hand... what if the software fails and the hand goes all the way over my head?

    What? What? I hate doing all this calligraphy training.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    develop robotic technologies that can help people suffering from paralysis and other disabilities to regain some of their motor skills.

    They're working on the technology for cyborgs?

  • When this robot needs a hand, it borrows yours.

    Oh yeah, that can't possibly go wrong. Nope, can't think how that might be a mistake.

    Still, if the idea of a robot commandeering your limbs sounds a bit, uh, scary, you're not alone. The audience at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), where the researchers presented their results in September, let out a nervous gasp upon seeing the video of the experiment:

    Yeah, I think a nervous gasp might be in order here.

  • by Moheeheeko (1682914) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:33PM (#38075298)
    ... the robot cops an attitude

    "Query: Why are you assaulting yourself?"

    • by Rhacman (1528815)
      Forget the _why_, does it feel any different than sitting on your hand before 'assaulting' yourself?
  • by fsckmnky (2505008) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:33PM (#38075306)
    "So Mr. Smith, and I remind you that you are under oath, you claim the reason you groped 'the lady in red' sitting next to you on the airplane, is that your 'ARM Controller' chip malfunctioned ?"
  • Sorry, but this is just a yawn, now when they used a computer to make a paralyzed person walk, now that was news. I think that was over a decade ago, but I'm being too lazy this morning to look it up. These guys on the other hand aren't doing anything new, unless you consider adding in a toy robot to play wastebin basketball some kind of advancement.
    • Re:Yeah, so? (Score:5, Informative)

      by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:46PM (#38075454)

      The problem with that first design is that really just turned your muscles "on or off". No matter how slight the movement. Apparently it was extremely tiring to use even briefly.

      This appears to have a subtle control that would allow a paraplegic to use a robo-leg controller all day without tiring any more than you or I.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Just wait until they get to the point where they can use a dead cop named Murphy to provide some of the decision-making capabilities for the robot.

  • I for one welcome our new Robotron Arm masters.

    Back in the day, my younger brother was a serious contender for Most Obsessed With Playing Robotron: 2084. He suffered a repetitive stress injury from playing it he called "Robotron Arm"

    Not the same thing, I know. But did hear bout this on the BBC and thought it was pretty amazing. It's only a matter of time before we turn such a gift into weapons. BattleTech here we come!

  • ...to the "remote-controlled corpses" from GITS.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    becomes the puppeteer.

    • I could not tell... Did you put on your sunglasses and walk away while listening to Teenage Wasteland?
  • Pr0n opportunities (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:36PM (#38075346)

    Electrodes attached to the person's arm allow the robot to make the elbow and hand move to perform tasks.

    Pr0n opportunities for cam-girls, I think.

    • by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @02:11PM (#38075774) Journal

      Electrodes attached to the person's arm allow the robot to make the elbow and hand move to perform tasks.

      Pr0n opportunities for cam-girls, I think.

      They call that move a "Reverse Waldo". It'll cost you.

      • by rtaylor (70602)

        Pretty brave using a term that even the Urban Dictionary doesn't know about.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          A waldo [wikipedia.org] is when a human remotely controls a robot. The term is pretty transparent... it just refers to technology which doesn't exist yet.
    • command: Reach into back pocket of jeans
      command: Open wallet and take out credit card
      command: Enter credit card info to pay for premium account

      Either that or it will be implemented in ChatRoulette. *shudders*

  • by Roskolnikov (68772) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:42PM (#38075414)

    This appears to require a person with an arm that works; unless I misunderstand the electrodes are stimulating a developed (i.e. non-atrophied) arm with working nervous system. I would be curious to see this trick work on a limb that was truly disabled.....

    very cool none the less.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      To disable an arm, you cut the nerves somewhere before they get to the arm. Like in the spine.

      The arm will work if you bypass the cut.

      Atrophy is just a decrease in mass of the parts. A course of therapy and exercise with this thing, and it would build back up again.

  • I wonder if it's possible to get this system to do your workout for you. Like, you program it to do a hundred bench presses and then lift weights for an hour. All the while you could, I dunno, watch TV on LCD goggles or something. Or, even better - suppose you could get this system to work on your arm muscles while you play video games using one of those brain-control interfaces. I would love to have a system like this.
    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      You know your muscles are still going to hurt just as much as if you were making them move by yourself, right? Unless you sever the nerve connections, which given your attitude, I can't entirely rule out.
      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        You know your muscles are still going to hurt just as much as if you were making them move by yourself, right? Unless you sever the nerve connections, which given your attitude, I can't entirely rule out.

        With the right feedback sensors in place, the system could perform the exercises with greater precision/effectiveness than you could do while distracted (say, watching TV) so it could prove to be a benefit to those that want to exercise but would prefer not to have to concern themselves with the intricate details of what the most effective routine is.

      • by Cederic (9623)

        The issue isn't the muscle ache. That kind of feels good in a way.

        The issue is the utter sheer fucking tedium of lifting your arm, dropping it again, lifting it, dropping it, lifting it, droppi.. oh for fucks sake, can I go and do something interesting instead please?

    • Perhaps, but that doesn't mean you won't feel just as strained and exhausted.

    • you are unable to watch tv and lift weights at the same time?
    • by Jeng (926980)

      There is a short story that does actually discus that particular use of technology.

      Here is the chapter dealing with the Vertebrane system and it's uses.

      http://marshallbrain.com/manna6.htm [marshallbrain.com]

  • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @02:02PM (#38075662)

    All jokes aside this is fantastic news.

    Now when a robot loses an arm in an automobile accident they'll be able to replace it with a human arm.

  • ... and all they want me to do is control their arms.
  • Dr. Strangelove is strangely excited about this tecnhology.

  • I can see this being EXTREMELY useful for emergency situations that involve inattention or sleep. Say you're on a shuttle to Mars, sleeping away. Suddenly, there's a hull breach! You have seconds to get into your pressure suit before you pass out and die. You might burn half your time just on hearing the alarm, waking up, processing what's going on, and fumbling towards the suit locker.

    If you're wearing your Robo Attachments, it can detect the alarm, and immediately start moving you towards the suit loc
  • Sweet - Robot Dutch rudder!
  • by itchythebear (2198688) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @02:26PM (#38075954)

    This is great news for any paraplegic robots.

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @02:43PM (#38076156)
    Someday soon we may not have any quadras and paras nor amputees which will be wonderful. But when it becomes commonplace - as silly and trivial as it sounds - competitve sports at nearly every level may become impossible as the augments become faster, stronger, and more accurate than the naturals.
  • by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @02:47PM (#38076220) Homepage

    Someday this research will be invaluable in restoring mobility to robots that have suffered serious damage or manufacturing defect, enabling their broken limbs to be replaced by (admittedly inferior) limbs harvested from humans.

  • Sounds to me like a lonely nerd's dream come true! :o)
  • The robot revolution will be remembered as starting with "Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!"
  • Hopefully won't be used like in this episode of Big Bang Theory! :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb627xDlqBs [youtube.com]
  • Scientist: "Kroll, attach the electro-slave device to this fool!"

    Victim: "No, no, anything but that!"

    Kroll: "Yes, Master!"

    Scientist: "Now, dance for me my puppet! Dance!"

    Victim dances....

    =====

    Oh, sorry, I was just daydreaming there for a moment....

  • It would also seem like you could have a Dr working in an VR setup relaying his arm/hand control data to a remote human robot. That would allow for a neurosurgeon in NY to have a untrained remote "hand droid" in Antarctica, orbit or the moon do the surgery. It keeps the number of human onsite low.

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