Feeds

back to article US boffins demo steampunk artificial arm

American researchers may have revolutionised the field of artificial limbs by adopting a new power source formerly used mainly in torpedoes and rockets. Prosthetic robot arms have been on something of a technological plateau for a while. Myo-electrics - in which functions can be controlled by muscle movement in the remaining …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

After passing airline security,

I don't want to sit next to one of these guys. The ventilation panel accidentally half-covered, a 200*C jet of steam on your arm.

They should come with a good milk-frothing attachment, though, for all your selfmade frappuccinos.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Steampunk

those of us who are steampunk fans might be more interested if they put back in the chuff and hiss noises. and releasing the steam in a sharp burst now and then.

next time i break my arm i might be a little less eager to rush to the hospital for to get it in a splint - maybe if i wait they'll have to amputate and then i could be on the list to get one of these

of course, you'd need a constant supply of fake skin coloured rubber to cover it in, so that then you can cut it open with a scalpel and rip it off in T2 fashion

1
0

Steampunk

Nice coinage.

However, IIRC the only steam powered robot I've seen in SF was the coal-powered one in Harry Harrison'e original "Stainless Steel Rat" novel. That was well pre-cyberpunk and tongue in cheek to boot, so I don't think it counts as a any type of *punk story. A fun read, though.

0
0

The idiocy of a bunsen of boffins

Time and again revolutionising the creation of a robotic limb. Get a grip, the problem with existing limbs is not their lifting power or their activation speed, its the amount of energy exerted while holding a body of weight.

Is it really important to have a robotic/prosthetic limb which can lift 2 tonnes of weight but hold it for 0.5 seconds?

This is why we need tendons to do robots justice. Although, this may spur on the RoTM(tm). Tendons perform a balancing act that no material to date can replicate, when in compression or tension a tendon resists the force in the direction opposite to that which is exerted. It does this by having millions of those cell things which can fill with blood and other chemicals when necessary to change the properties of the material. Something like a meta material should do the job. So rather than trying to make smaller and more powerful sources of energy, do what nature did and make what you've got more efficient.

And these guys call themselves boffins.

*tsk* *tsk*

0
0

Excuse Me?

"He'd previously run up against these limitations working on a DARPA exoskeleton project"

Eh? I want to see THAT article!

And, more to the point, shouldn't this article be under the heading of ROTM?

0
0
Bronze badge

Sounds handy

Like it: "foam-lipped US death-boffin outfit" :-D

"nothing the god of bio-mechanics wouldn't let you into heaven for"

0
0
Bronze badge

@ Martin Gregorie

Check out "The Differenve Engine" by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.

If not the seminal novel in the Steampunk genre, it's at least a prime example.

For a (semi) lighter look, check out Phil Foglio's "Girl Genius" comics at your local comics shop or online at http://www.girlgeniusonline.com - fun stuff.

0
0

T1000 in the making

Anyone else slightly disturbed by the fact they gave it a gun at the end of the video?

0
0
Tom

if you watch the video...

for the in house magazine article, at the end of the video, after holding a ball and a bottle, they give the robotic arm a gun. Does that seem a little worrying to anyone else?

0
0

@ Luke Adam Oglesby

"Anyone else slightly disturbed by the fact they gave it a gun at the end of the video?"

Yes. That should have been the first thing done after final tuning.

0
0

Re: The idiocy of a bunsen of boffins

Given the powered limbs still need to be attached to the recipient's body somewhere, surely the ability to lift vast weights would be tempered slightly by the tendency for remaining organic parts to, umm, be crushed by large weights? Either that or the robotic limb would keep falling off, and that would just be embarrassing.

0
0

wanna see it play guitar hero

that would be sweet lol

or stab between fingers aliens style

0
0

Mr Hero:

My mind is thinking where will they vent the steam when they develop the artificial leg version.

More Steampunk : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Hero_the_Newmatic_Man

0
0

Wow, Brilliant (Sarcasm)

Wow. Brilliant. Now if we had only paid Halliburton to build as many square miles of solar panels in Nevada as they built bases in the mid-east we wouldn't have "substantial numbers of Western troops severely injured in Southwest Asian fighting..." Fresh ideas are circulating, indeed.

- Completely Naive Unimformed American

0
0

Steampunk? What's that?

Thanks for explaining what steampunk is for me!

Now can you explain what these "computor" thingies are? And what about "hard drives" - are they some kind of new roadway that is difficult to steer on?

Honestly, if someone needs 'steampunk' explained to them (and can't work it out from first principle - steam + punk = ?) then maybe they should be reading Wikipedia rather than El Reg. Or perhaps should just stay within the AOL "safety zone" or Web 2.0

0
0

+1 fanservice

Just for the word "steampunk" really. Good writeup on the arm too - I'd been wondering how it would get rid of that excess seepage.

Now all we need are some dirigibles and a monkey with a waistcoat...

0
0

warner bros

It seems to be a straight lift from the steampunk movie Wild Wild West

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I guess..

..that with the recruitment problems western armies are having the drive behind this research is to get amputee soldiers back in the field?

The whole thing sounds way too dangerous for civilian use - not to mention* the response of our 'security aware' public servants when someone wanders into a sensitive area with an limb powered by what is essentially a bomb.

* although I just did.

0
0

sorry for the rant.

Martin Gregorie, meet Adrian Esdaile. He'll take you over into the corner and explain what steampunk is for an hour or so, pausing only occasionally to rant at you ( I mean really, not knowing what steampunk is? I bet you aren't fully versed in the mundane SF manifesto either. How dare you call yourself a SF fan? How dare you have an interest in IT without having a thorough knowledge of SF sub-genres? How dare you even call yourself a human being? (it works best if you imagine the voice rising to a hysterical squeak)).

Next time either of you post, can you use a little common sense first (and in martin's case, wikipedia, or google)? Yes, steampunk exists, and is a well known SF subgenre, within the SF communities. No, SF fans and IT wonks are not a perfect overlap. A one line footnoted description seems a reasonable concession to me.

But then again, I'm not a eletist "all nerds must have knowledge in my areas of interest" wanker. And a one line footnote should be enough to have anyone with little enough knowledge about SF to not recognize the term either checking the usual sources before making an idiot post, or accepting the footnote at face value and not making an idiot post.

0
0

Terminator 2 style

Personally, if I were unfortunate to lose an arm, I'd want the replacement to be all shiny metal with lots of rods and servos and gears exposed and whirring away whenever I used it.

It's not a real arm, it's artificial and should look artificial. I have a belief that people would be more accepting of prosthetics if they looked more honest, instead trying to look 'lifelike' but end up looking like a spare part from a shop dummy factory. I'd sooner shake a metal hand than a creepy rubber version.

Additionally, the wearer has to carry this dead weight around all day, so the lighter it is the better. Plus there would be the added benefit of easy access compartments for things like pens, car keys, and ipods.

0
0
Sam

Steampunk @ it's best

See the 'Pax Brittania' series from Abaddon books(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abaddon_Books), it includes a steam-powered Queen Victoria, pure win.

Deadlands deserves an honourable mention as the best Steampunk game I've had the pleasure to play.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadlands)

0
0

Why use an oxidiser, when we're surrounded by oxygen?

Bizarre choice of propellant, and not safe. Some kind of fuel, combined with atmospheric oxygen, would make more sense. Of course, it would need a catalytic converter in the exhaust.

If I had to use a prosthetic arm, I'd rather have it powered by you-know-who's laptop batteries than by Goldfarb's system.

I would get me coat, but the left sleeve has been blown to shreds.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

They obviously forgot what blew up the Kursk (officially)

They obviously forgot that the same fuel caused one of the biggest military disasters of recent history. Or the conspiracy theorists are right and peroxide used as propellant in Russian torpedoes had nothing to do with that one.

0
0

all these gun plus prosthetics

All these gun plus prosthetic arm

referances are disturbing why would

you want to send the poor soldier

back to war after he loses an arm

I figure you lose an arm you have

the right to stop with due honors

not have some death freak

fit you out as a borg.

0
0

Love that arm!

Just the sort of stylish thing you need for when striding purposefully down the corridors of your Nautilus submersible or piloting your Cavorite-powered spaceship to the Moon or Mars and for tackling large steam-powered mechanical spiders in the desert.

Just the thing for us to use to expand the British Empire further into the frontier of space. God Save The Queen! (Victoria, of course).

Too bad the bloody colonists have it...

I expect to see one in LXG II - I think Fantomas could have a serious accident halfway through the movie and be fitted with one before the final reel.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.