View Full Version : DIY Human-Powered Exoskeleton Makes You Bigger, Stronger, Funnier

10-03-2011, 23:58
Skeletonics, a six-month-old Japanese student project, has resulted in an exoskeleton made of plastic and metal that's surprisingly dexterous and powered solely by the human embedded inside. As a bonus, the promo video looks something like a live-action Sonic the Hedgehog cutscene.
As the Skeletonics suit is unpowered, it doesn't grant any kind of crazy strength or Iron-Man-esque powers--the Skeletonics is mostly designed to extend the reach of a human's arms and legs, while keeping freedom of movement and dexterity. It looks like it succeeds at that, packing both working fingers that are delicate enough to hand candy to a child and spring-loaded legs that are capable of (hilariously) chasing a criminal through an underpass.

There's some kind of weapon-ish thing embedded in the right arm--without any Japanese, I'm not totally sure what's going on in there, but it looks like a water cannon of some sort, which keeps with the Gundam-y feel of the rest of the exoskeleton. Anyway, the video starts to get really great around the 4:00 mark, when the manufacturing clips give way to guitar-rock-scored clips of the suit in action. Check it out:

YouTube - 【Skeletonics】「アームスーツ」っぽいもの作ってみた【完成版】.flv

11-03-2011, 00:03


The latest Geminoid robot is one of the most realistic, and thus creepiest, android we've ever seen. The skin, hair, goatee (!), and facial expressions are real enough to fool you for a few seconds while it sinks in that something very, very weird is going on.

This specific model is called the Geminoid DK, and it comes from the same studio that gave us the robotic actress, Geminoid F. The DK is the first Geminoid model that's based on a non-Japanese person (in this case, Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe of Denmark's Aalborg University) and also the first bearded model (if you consider a goatee a beard, which in my full-bearded opinion is debatable).

YouTube - Geminoid DK Mechanical Test

Like its Geminoid siblings, the DK is controlled remotely with a motion-capture system in which the Geminoid mimics the movements of the person being captured. Future uses are kind of secondary to the basic goal of making the most human-like robot possible, but it could be a step forward for human-robot interaction--paired with, say, Watson's brain, the Geminoid series could be used in some pretty interesting ways. That being said, here's a terrifying picture of the Geminoid's hair- and pupil-less visage.


Ian G
11-03-2011, 11:48
There's an interesting article on wikipedia called "Uncanny valley"- which analyses this feeling of creepiness comes from.

The idea is that the closer a toy or machine -or animal- gets to looking human-the stronger our negative reaction is to it. If the robot is too relistic it just creeps us out.

It's a bit like the Victorians' reaction to orang-outans or gorillas in zoos. They looked almost human, but clearly weren't. That was a very unsettling combination. As Queen Victoria said when she visited London Zoo in 1842: "The Ourang Outan is too wonderful...He is frightful and painfully and disagreeably human."

Uncanny valley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Mori_Uncanny_Valley.svg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f0/Mori_Uncanny_Valley.svg/450px-Mori_Uncanny_Valley.svg.png"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/f/f0/Mori_Uncanny_Valley.svg/450px-Mori_Uncanny_Valley.svg.png

Ian G
11-03-2011, 12:03
Philip K Dick-one of the greatest, most visionary SF writers, died in 1980. He has been resurrected as an an android (now version 2), with realistic skin and 'conversational memory':


YouTube - 2011_PhilipAndroid.MOV