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Biotech Robotics Hardware

Impressive Robot Hand From Shadow 101

kkleiner writes "The Shadow Dextrous Hand is a robotic arm that allows for fine motor control and precise movements. It's accurate enough to pick up an egg, screw in a light bulb, or thread a needle. Even cooler, researchers can control it with a 'Cyber glove,' allowing for 24 distinct human movements that mimic the user's own hand. A British based company, Shadow, has been displaying the hand for several years now, and recently demonstrated its latest model at IREX 2009. The hand, toted as the world's most advanced, is available for sale to researchers (pricing has not been made public)."

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Impressive Robot Hand From Shadow

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  • by ( 1563557 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @04:30PM (#30599080)

    A device like this could create a whole new industry of virtual prostitution. Although, I wouldn't get too excited because as soon as that happens, the nanny-state politicians from both sides of the aisle will no doubt move to outlaw it. I still don't understand how a government in a free society is able to tell people what they can and can't do with their body, especially when it comes to sex.

    It'd work out great until some 4chan jerk hacks the connection and you have to call the hospital to have a robot hand surgically removed from your p33n0r

  • waldo, not robot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @04:42PM (#30599256) Homepage
    Isn't this a waldo, rather than a robot? My understanding is that a robot is defined as something that is at least somewhat autonomous, at least to the extent that it incorporates a feedback loop []. For instance, some of the earliest robots from the mid-20th century were little things that rolled around on the floor searching for bright light. A Roomba is a robot. If all it does is shadow the motion of your hand, then I think it's called a waldo [] (named after a science fiction story by Robert Heinlein) or a remote manipulator. Most likely they're using the term "robot" because it makes a better marketing term.
  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @05:09PM (#30599592)
    It is unfortunate that we use the term "robot" to refer both to truly autonomous vehicles and to what are essentially remote controlled vehicles (e.g. Robot Wars []. While I would prefer the term "robot" only be used for machines that can think for themselves, I suspect that "Waldo Wars" would not a huge marketing success.
  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @06:22PM (#30600278) Homepage Journal

    My understanding is that a robot is defined as something that is at least somewhat autonomous

    It is not. In fact "robot" is quite ill defined.

    Some people want it to only mean autonomous machines, others only human-shaped machines, but in its originating play, it referred to what we'd now call replicants. It's used to refer to androids and remote controlled planes and everything in between.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.