back to article Soccer's dull? A MIND-CONTROLLED robo-suit will be used to take first World Cup 2014 kick

When the football (soccer for our American readers) World Cup 2014 kicks off in June, the first person to put boot to ball will be a Brazilian paraplegic person using a robotic exoskeleton controlled by an electronic skull cap. World Cup kicking exoskeleton MOre intelligent than Wayne Rooney? The robotic exoskeleton, …

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Gimp

Implications

But can it ride a bicycle? Or at least do a bicycle kick?

Seriously, what happens if this idea actually works out well? I'd guess there will be more and more invalids walking around in these things, and there will be demands to accomodate them just like with wheelchairs.

Oh sure, stairs will be doable, but what about seating in public transport? These gadgets won't be fitting in a standard airline seat any time soon. Just how much extra expense will we face to handle discrimination lawsuits? And what about inperfect interactions with the able-bodied, such as getting knocked down accidentally, or spilling hot soup on someone? Where will the blame fall?

Then there's the question of "assisted sex." The more I think about it, the less I want to think about it. I'm not talking about invalids getting it on, but non-invalids finding alternate uses for powered exoskeletons. Oh well, can't hold back progress, I guess.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Implications

unsure if daily mail reader has escaped into the wild or joke...

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Re: Implications

This is a prototype.... Japanese already have an exoskeleton much smaller, WAY smaller than an average American (sure its not mind controlled, which is the key thing here!)... so yeah they would fit an airline seat... but if not, neither to wheelchairs....

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Re: Implications

Can you cite any evidence that americans are mind controlled?

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Re: Implications

"... so yeah they would fit an airline seat... but if not, neither do wheelchairs...."

And neither do a lot of average Americans. Woe to those who have to sit next to them! Maybe the "Exos" wouldn't be all that bad...

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Joke

Re: Implications

They might fit in an airline seat, but they won't have a chance in hell of getting through airport security, so I don't think us 'limbies' have to worry just yet.

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Re: Implications

quote: "Seriously, what happens if this idea actually works out well? I'd guess there will be more and more invalids walking around in these things, and there will be demands to accomodate them just like with wheelchairs."

See Deus Ex, Ghost In the Shell, or indeed any cyberpunk setting for what happens; people with no choice initially get replacement robo-limbs to be more normal, and when other people see how well they work they deliberately go get their own robo-limbs enhanced to be anything but normal. Cue walking cyborg death-machine army able to crush pathetic meatsacks on a whim ;)

quote: "Oh sure, stairs will be doable, but what about seating in public transport? These gadgets won't be fitting in a standard airline seat any time soon."

Citation needed. You can build a robot limb smaller (thinner) for the same "strength" as a human limb, so at worst it could be a bulky battery backpack and extra weight over a skinny human. The Petman NBC suit testing robot is exactly the same dimensions as a human and can support its own weight.

It's true we can't make them perfect yet, but the real issue is the interface and power delivery mechanism, more than it is the tech to make the limbs, at least IMO.

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Re: Implications

stop thinking like a sheep. your own body is just a complex organic bio-exoskeleton. nothing wrong with exploring and/or using different "hardware".

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Re: Implications - "your own body is just a complex organic bio-exoskeleton"

Only if your an insect or crustacean type thing; us humans have an endo-skeleton (hint - on the inside)!

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Re: Implications - "your own body is just a complex organic bio-exoskeleton"

i'm fully aware of biological distinctions exo/endo, this is meant to distinguish between: physical body as an exoskeleton and virtual entity aka actual you. (you could also think of this as: your body=computer hardware, you=computer program)

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Thumb Up

This may be the first step...

For something like "surrogates"...

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Terminator

And subsequently...

... it will become self-aware and go on a killing spree amongst the crowd...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: it will become self-aware and go on a killing spree

Yeah, like humans never do /that/.

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Re: And subsequently...

After putting its boot through the ball and roaring "Bow before my might puny humans!"

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Pint

Amazing...

Seriously pints all round to these engineers, mind control of an exoskeleton, brilliant!

But if you can do this.. .Why not just shove electrodes into the paralysed muscles to control the limbs themselves? Surely it can't be THAT much harder to control human muscles than it can to control robot ones.. (ok yes I KNOW it is harder, and there are many other issues, but still, its a good idea!)

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Re: Amazing...

Of course it's a good idea, and there's work being done with it too - biocompatibility and durability of electrodes (which somewhat act against each other) are the big issues there - it is orders of magnitude simpler to strap on assistive devices, or to replace limbs entirely. Baby steps!

Seconding the pints all around (or I would, if something hasn't seemed to have eaten the icon bar in firefox). To think that wheelchairs and hook limbs might fall into myth in my lifetime - it's great to be reminded that, flying cars or no, we're living in the future.

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"Just"

Yep - we'll "just" do that. And we'll "just" sort out world hunger and single-stage-to-orbit before lunch.

Woah there! "Just" is a big word, and I'm pretty confident that it *is* "that much harder". But I'm also pretty confident that someone will be working on it, and working hard. Patience! It's not going to happen this week. Maybe next week!

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Robotics will be great...

I sincerely hope it all works out well, but the football will be unutterably dull, as always.

It's football, im a nerd.

Robots are cool, sports are a stupid waste of time enjoyed by stupid wastes of carbon.

Stop trying to engage my enthusiasm, I don't have one.

(All except LFL, and that has nothing to do with sport)

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Re: Robotics will be great...

But just think! This could be the first step towards an all-robot football league. This could be something your average nerd could actually get behind.

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Re: Robotics will be great...

nope!

It would still be shit.

The thing that wrong with sport is not the meatbags that play, it's the sport.

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Thumb Up

Fascinating technology, and to be applauded

But there is one thing a wheelchair does that this doesn't: it works without power. All it needs is someone to push (and that someone is often the person riding).

What this does when the battery runs out is stop.

Which is not to say it should not be developed further - but I'd love to know what the low/zero power strategy is.

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Boffin

Please bear in mind...

That anything controlled by the mind can be cracked(criminally hacked) and the reverse could be true. Beware the dark horse! Also remember the Pale horse follows closely behind!

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Re: Please bear in mind...

Don't forget the plaid horse. That guy's a bastard.

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Re: Please bear in mind...

Don't forget the plaid horse. That guy's a bastard.

As is the Trojan horse. And sneaky with it.

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Re: Please bear in mind...

But the naughtyhorse rules them all

Mwhahahahahahahahahahahaha<cough>

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Future employment

If they do manage to get a mind controlled exoskeleton working then these guys could be called on to control robots that go into hazardous areas (like Fukishima) as the ultimate in telepresence. Could even be used in space for extravehicular work instead of risking going out in a spacesuit.

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Re: Future employment

Bear in mind that reactor cores and such are pretty well shielded against radiation, so radio control isn't going to work terribly well. You'd need a big bundle of cable trailing after it. At the same time, it solves the problem of powering the thing for hours, silver lining and all that.

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Re: Future employment

there was an article this week about a company in japan that does this!!!!

the company was Skynet (i shit you not)

and the product was Hal

hence the reg article

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