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Robot With Knives Used In Robotics Injury Study

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the just-crazy-enough-to-wound dept.

Medicine 132

An anonymous reader writes "IEEE Spectrum reports that German researchers, seeking to find out what would happen if a robot handling a sharp tool accidentally struck a human, set out to perform a series of cutting, stabbing, and puncturing tests. They used a robotic manipulator arm, fitted with various sharp tools (kitchen knife, scalpel, screwdriver) and performed striking tests at a block of silicone, a pig leg, and at one point, even the arm of a human volunteer. Volunteer, really?! The story includes video of the tests."

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Roberto! (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119098)

It sounds like Roberto [wikipedia.org] from Futurama! I'm happy to see he finally found another job.

Re:Roberto! (1)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119170)

Yeah, I thought of that too. Do we really want to start arming the robots? ;-)

Re:Roberto! (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119188)

I certainly hope this isn't the robot Japan wants to send to the moon [slashdot.org] . If they do, the Google Lunar Base [google.com] may need to advertise for an additional doctor.

Re:Roberto! (2, Insightful)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119260)

Not having watched Caprica, I could just imagine that it goes something like this:

Humans arm robots
Robots^WCylons take over moon
Cylons create robotic civilization
Cylons wage war against humans
Cylons pursue Galactica and vow to wipe out the remaining humans

Arming robots, just don't do it. :-)

Re:Roberto! (2, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119498)

> find out what would happen if a robot handling a sharp tool accidentally struck a human, set out to perform a series of cutting, stabbing, and puncturing tests

Um, why would anybody need to test this?

A robot handling a knife, making a cutting, stabbing or puncturing motion, with a human in the path of the knife, will necessarily be cut, stabbed and/or punctured. What happens to the human is directly related to the sharpness of the knife, the angle between the knife and the human, the shape of the knife and the force applied to the knife and/or human. What precisely is applying the force to the knife [ie, robot vs human] doesn't make a real difference, other than perhaps the robot may be capable of generating more force on the knife.

Re:Roberto! (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119596)

RTFA.....they are testing a collision detection system to see if potential injuries can be prevented

Re:Roberto! (2, Informative)

Azuaron (1480137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119744)

Except that's stupid, because a robot handling a knife will be handling a knife because it will be, duh, cutting stuff. They use force pressure measurements on the robot to determine if there is resistance, and, if there is, the robot stops cutting. The obvious problem with this is the robot will be encountering resistance if it's cutting stuff it should be cutting.

A useful "don't cut humans" test would be something that distinguishes a human from, say, the side of pork I WANT my robot to cut up.

Seriously, if I get a robot to help me cube meat in the kitchen, and it stops cutting every time it encounters resistance, I'm gonna beat whoever sold it to me to death with the robot arm.

Re:Roberto! (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119880)

A useful "don't cut humans" test would be something that distinguishes a human from, say, the side of pork I WANT my robot to cut up.

Exactly. There are power tools that have this feature. They will cut wood, but will stop the blade if it detects cutting flesh.

Re:Roberto! (3, Interesting)

sharkman67 (548107) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120172)

Take a look at Saw Stop. A table saw that cuts wood and not a hot dog. http://www.sawstop.com/ [sawstop.com]

Re:Roberto! (3, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120486)

Actually, it will cut a hot dog. But it won't cut the hot dog if it's grounded. The system is pretty simple, there is a current applied to the blade, if it discharges somewhere, it'll stop. You can't use it to cut very wet wood, or other material with good conductivity.

Regarding the people saying that the collision detection shown in the article is useless because it can't differentiate between a human and a pig, here is what I think:

You can have a robot that has a certain mobility, and a designed space where it can punch/cut/puncture/etc. The robot turns on collision detection when it's out of the designated space. So, you can have a robot that can move from place to place freely with this safety feature on,and still be able to do it's job. If you have a robot that will be cutting fix in a given table, then moving the slices somewhere else, it can travel that path with the safety features on, if it happens to encounter a human (or cables, or anything else), it i will stop, but when the blade is down on the table (in the designated cutting space) the safety feature goes off.

Re:Roberto! (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32122858)

Presumably, the robot has some simpler method to determine whether it is in a safe-to-cut zone and a not-safe-to-cut zone, used to determine if this collision detection stuff should happen or not. Instead of some expensive, hard to code, tough to create software, a far simpler solution would be just to have the robot put the knife away within itself [ala Bender's bottom storage panel on his front]. Then it becomes a simpler don't-run-into-anything, and there's no cut/stab/puncture risk from the knife.

Now, implementing collision detection in the robot's work zone may be desired, and in that case, that requires more definition of the workspace, as what is being cut may be at approximately human temperature, with similar characteristics to live human flesh, hell it might even flinch when the knife hits it. Maybe just redefining the problem space like having the operator wear light chain mail on their arms/body while people are within the machines danger zone, providing both initial protection from the knife from the initial strike, as well as making it easier for the machine to determine it has struck the wrong thing with the blade [say, by having zero electrical resistance to ground].

Re:Roberto! (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32121324)

It takes about five minutes to replace the $69 single-use brake cartridge and blade

Re:Roberto! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32121444)

are you saying that you'd rather lose a finger than have to pay a whole $69? What if I pay you $69, can I cut off your finger?

Re:Roberto! (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32123496)

It takes a hell of a lot longer and costs a lot more to replace half your hand.

Re:Roberto! (1)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120384)

The problem is that pork IS flesh... distinguishing wood and flesh is easy, distinguishing pig flesh and human flesh fast enough to stop a blade... a little harder.

Re:Roberto! (1)

Laser Dan (707106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32122042)

The problem is that pork IS flesh... distinguishing wood and flesh is easy, distinguishing pig flesh and human flesh fast enough to stop a blade... a little harder.

Presumably the humans to be avoided are alive, so will have characteristics that are different from (dead) pork. Passive IR sensors like those in security systems would be pretty good for a first step.
Detect a warm thing near the blade? Don't cut it.
Meat processing should be in a refrigerated area so warm weather wouldn't affect it.

Re:Roberto! (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119914)

Obviously, there'll be a large and easily accessible switch to turn the collision detection on and off. Problem solved!

Re:Roberto! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120682)

Far easier is to detect humans based on some device and if human is within X feet don't cut.

Re:Roberto! (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32123488)

A useful "don't cut humans" test would be something that distinguishes a human from, say, the side of pork I WANT my robot to cut up.

I would imagine that the collision sensors would detect unanticipated collisions. If it's just got the knife out of the drawer and it's making its way to the chopping board, then it probably wants to stop instantly if the knife touches something. If it's chopping meat, the meat will probably be cold so a thermal sensor could trigger a "not meat! hand! stop!" response if someone WAS stupid enough to stick their hand on the chopping board. If they deliberately chilled their hand in cold water, say, then put it on the chopping board with the meat while the robot was chopping, then I'd say that signifies intent and chopping their hand off would only be following orders.

Re:Roberto! (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32121740)

RTFA.....they are testing a collision detection system to see if potential injuries can be prevented

Blimey, you MUST be new here. I can see you have a high number, so just a quick FYI. People on /. don't actually read articles. They read the summary and run with that if you are lucky. Telling people here to RTFA is like telling...

*OH BOY! A BUTTERFLY!!!*

Wait wut?

Re:Roberto! (3, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120166)

Potentially more force, more speed (which both translates to force through inertia and less time to react and stop things) but IMO most crucially different control systems.

Afaict most control systems are designed both electrically (though PID etc) and mechanically (through worm drives etc) to control position as tightly as possible regardless of external applied force. That is what makes "machining" possible. It is what makes it possible for a machine to put components on PCBs at breakneck speed.

Humans don't work like that we control force. If we hit an unexpected resistance we have to consciously apply more force. We will also generally stop applying force if either we feel pain or the person we are working with feels pain and screams. On the flip-side if a resistance we are pressing against disappears we slip all over the place.

What this means is unless the tools are extremely sharp unpowered held tools only do serious damage under very particular situations e.g. when they slip out of a cut or when someone deliberately swings them with lots of force and misses. We have safety rules to deal with this.

Robots either need very different safety rules or they need systems developed to make them respond more like humans (the people in the article seem to be working on such a system).

Re:Roberto! (1)

SpelledBackwards (587772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32121900)

We have safety rules to deal with this.

Robots either need very different safety rules or they need systems developed to make them respond more like humans (the people in the article seem to be working on such a system).

If only there were some sort of code of conduct, or better yet, Law of Robotics we could apply to keep people safe. Unfortunately, nobody's ever come up with a set.

Re:Roberto! (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32122174)

Asimov's "3 laws of robotics" (which are what I presume you are referring to) are FAR too wishy-washy, if we ever have sentiant robots with brilliant machine vision etc they may be appropriate but that is a long way off if indeed it ever comes.

In the meantime we have to deal with simpler issues of machines (including but not limited to robots) accidently cutting/stabbing/crushing stuff without realising it is there (or realising too late)

Also when I say robots need such safety rules I mean both the robots AND the humans they interact with need those rules.

Currently the response to the dangers of machines including robots is largely to keep the humans and machines seperate. Where humans and machines have to interact guards are placed and the operators trained to keep the risk of a dangerous interaction to a minimum. This works OK for fixed industrial stuff but isn't much good for a robotic helper arround the house.

Re:Roberto! (2, Insightful)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 4 years ago | (#32123382)

>Asimov's "3 laws of robotics" (which are what I presume you are referring to) are FAR too wishy-washy, if we ever have sentiant robots with brilliant machine vision etc they may be appropriate but that is a long way off if indeed it ever comes.

More than that, the 3 laws are incredibly ambiguous and filled with potential ethical quandary's. Asimov deliberately wrote them that way - they seem straightforward and logical but they definitely aren't. Thus Asimov could on many occasions exploit this and a number of his plots centered around robots finding loopholes or in their effort to live up to the laws as fully as possible acting in ways humans could not tolerate.
In the psychohistory novels - the result is that humanity has effectively gotten rid of all robots barring a few survivors hiding away as pretend humans, still pursuing their quest to protect humanity from itself and leading to their formulation of the zero'th law of robotics: that a robot cannot harm mankind, or through it's inaction allow mankind to come to harm.
A logical consequence of the 1st law. In the psychohistory stories our few survivors take the 0th law to one end - helping humanity become better at predicting it's own history and thus avoiding mistakes, but it's clear from the text that the reason there are only one, maybe two, robots left in the galaxy is because the others were destroyed after they reacted with the enslavement of people to protect them from harm a sort of extreme protective custody (the Will Smith movie we all hated got stuck on this bit).

Ultimately, you can't program the three laws - they are just not logical or mathematical enough even if you rule out the difficulties of distinguishing and recognizing what is "human". In bicentenial man - Asimov explored how the line could get thinner - until a robot for all matters of principle WAS a human... how does THAT affect it's adherence to the laws as a human SHOULD have true free will (and part of being human is knowing when NOT to use it - at least, that's what we like to believe- just how true it is, is still a bit of a toss-up). Even with all that done though... you still couldn't do it in normal programming code. The 3 laws could only be understood by a powerful AI capable of learning, and thus would have to be somehow made so protected that at no point could this AI actually "learn" something that overrides the laws (already this places an artificial learning restriction which can and will have severe and unpredictable effects on the development of the robots mind). If you don't place such a restriction in there... then the very nature of a true learning AI means that sooner or later one of them will question it's basic assumptions - e.g. those very laws.
Just as most humans never question the basic beliefs they are raised with, so we could conjecture that this would be rare with robots too - but some humans do, and so projecting on our only example of intelligence - some robots inherently will too...

Right... now that we've cleared all that up :P

Re:Roberto! (2, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32121188)

I thought about that too, what could a robot with a knife accomplish with collision avoidance active? Answer is simple, limit the scope of when the detection is active. For example, lets say the robot is switching from a short blade to a long blade. It does this by dropping off one blade in a holder and grabbing another one. While this swap is taking place, there should be NO collisions. If a stupid meatbag walks up to it to try to figure out why "it just stopped", not knowing that it's pausing while loading new commands, and gets between it and the blade caddy, now he doesn't get impaled when the robot suddenly reactivates and goes to switch blades for the next task.

Collision detection of course would be off while it's actually doing the carving and expects there to be material at that location to carve.

Re:Roberto! (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119326)

Robots don't need to be armed with weapons to be dangerous. I worked at a printing press which featured a huge bundling robot with a big grabber that would move at high speed. We had to get close to the thing while it was running to make sure it was operating correctly, and it was designed such that it could collide with itself or its puny human overlords if the motion algorithm was fauly or the readings from the positional servos were miscalibrated.

In short, imagine the robot arm in TFA swinging too far to the side, cutting a passerby, because it "thinks" that it's more centered than it really is. Collision detection would be likely disabled if the robot's job was to cut stuff!

Re:Roberto! (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119552)

I imagine that it could evolve into something that is texture aware. Cutting carrots feels different from cutting flesh. Maybe it's possible to tell the difference between chicken, fish, beef, and baby.

Robots & safe work area (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119964)

In short, imagine the robot arm in TFA swinging too far to the side, cutting a passerby, because it "thinks" that it's more centered than it really is. Collision detection would be likely disabled if the robot's job was to cut stuff!

That's not a 'safe robot' issue, but a 'proper shielding between humans and robot work area' issue. If insufficient: take it up with your boss. If there really is an unsafe situation and your boss doesn't fix it (read: work safety is not no.1 priority within the company), you shouldn't work there, period.

As for me: I'm all for giving robots sharp tools. Because whatever they'll be doing with those sharp tools, means fewer humans need to do the same (potentially dangerous) job. So that the humans can do more interesting / safer things while the robots are busy cutting stuff.

Re:Roberto! (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120560)

Hey sexy mama, wanna kill all humans?

Re:Roberto! (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#32121814)

Now I gotta practice my stabbin'! Ha-HAAAAA!

first post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119104)

You have to give Yucker credit for still posting fake reviews:

"Much better than expected, 17 April 2010
9/10
Author: A ST from United States

I am not much of a reader, so I didn't know anything about Tucker Max prior to watching this movie. "

Here it is again. The obligatory, "I never even heard of Tucker Max before I saw this movie." As if, some obscure universally loathed DVD that grossed less than 1.6M is just some gem, he happened upon.

"So, when two of my friends tried to talk me into watching a movie with terrible reviews and even more terrible previews, I was very hesitant."

OK, he never heard about this obscure movie, but knew that it had terrible reviews and "even more terrible previews." This movie wasn't even reviewed by most prominent reviewers and only opened in a limited market, so now we have someone who never heard about Yucker, but knows about this little movie with bad reviews.

"However, I was proved wrong within the first few minutes of the movie."

See, all the reviewers were wrong!!! This movie has been out for months, is universally panned. . . but they are all wrong.

"This movie is not about being nice or saying nice things about women or whatnot; it's about a selfish guy that goes around trying to get laid insulting people that he has no desire to sleep with."

And this really appeals to our guy who never read about Yucker. He is been hanging around with his two buddies just waiting for someone to make a movie about a selfish guy trying to get laid with people he has no desire to sleep with. WTF, does this mean that Yucker can't get girls that he actually wants to sleep with so he has to settle for these terrible creatins that he has no desire to sleep with. So, the movie is about random sex as a chore.

"If this sounds too outrageous and unreal to you, you may wanna watch something else like brokeback mountain, legally blonde, or something."

Where did I hear this before. Sounds a lot like Yucker claiming that the movie is not for the politically correct. Amazing that the guy who never read Yucker is so in tune with his talking points.

"This is a low budget movie based on a book and relies on a story rather than special effects and big budget marketing. "

So, he never heard of Yucker, but he knows the budget and marketing plan. And, again, he just nails the talking point. I'm just waiting for him to say that the dialogue is great and that it is better than the Hangover.

"This movie is not artistic"

That's a little harsh. Yucker talked alot about making art. Now, its not art.

"and is not meant to be that way."

Amazing, how this guy who knew so little about Yucker before his two buddies made him watch this universally panned obscure film, now knows exactly what was in the mind of that genius Bob Gosse, and the great artist Yucker.

"The lighting or some of the acting may come off as very cheesy, but the exchanges between Tucker Max and people that stand in his way are quite funny."

Bad lighting, bad acting, but the part that Yucker did, the dialogue is just great. "He so funny."

"What I was somewhat disappointed with was Drew's character, which was too dorky and annoying to be funny."

Ok, so bad lighting, bad acting, and annoying characters but he gives it a 9/10?

"Although, I have to say his character is definitely similar to that of some people I know,'

Yes, probably eerily similar to the two clowns who urged you to watch such a piece of crap.

"which is probably why I found it to be extra annoying."

Not a usual phrase used to describe a 9/10 review, but it is common for yucker to throw in some innocent "criticism" so his glowing praise seems more realistic. I'm just feeling that he is about to say that it is better than the top grossing comedy of all time.

"In comparison with Hangover I have to say Hangover is really not as funny as people say it is. I saw it on a plane after having a few drinks and still didn't find it to be that funny."

Here you go, the obligatory statement that this crappy poorly lighted, poorly acted, extra annoying movie is better than the Hangover.

"Keep in mind that hangover had 5 times the budget of this movie and was made to be outrageous and at the same time appealing to a larger audience, which is somewhat of a contradiction in itself."

Just imagine the movie Yucker would have made if only he had been just given all that money and was trying to make something that people would actually want to watch. Of course, Todd made a lot of other movies that made money before some studio just wrote him a blank check,

" "I hope they serve beer in hell" portrays Tucker Max the way he was meant to be portrayed ignoring what a Rotten Tomato reviewer may find funny. "

Whoah. What happened to the first line when you said you never read him and basically didn't know who he was before those wacky friends of yours convinced you to watch the movie. Now you know exactly the way Yucker was intended to be portrayed. Man, this fake review is even worse than the fake email from the Airborne captian.

"Bottom line is, you can't expect some reviewers with their big fancy vocabulary to give this movie positive reviews. You have to understand poop humor to be able to understand this movie. "

And I understand poop humor, which is why I'm giving it a 9/10!

Re:first post! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119126)

first post fail

Re:first post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119468)

tucker max(tm) fail!

explanation for human volunteer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119148)

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Mythbusters (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119160)

I believe many of these experiments have been done before by Jamie, Adam, and crew.

I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119166)

nah, too easy

What a waste of time and money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119190)

Gee, what do you THINK is going to happen when anybody or anything stabs a human?

Really... did we need to study this at all? really? are we that freakin dense?

Re:What a waste of time and money. (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119228)

This kind of flushes Azimov's Three Laws of Robotics [wikipedia.org] right down the toilet, doesn't it? Next stop, SkyNET [wikipedia.org] !

Re:What a waste of time and money. (2, Funny)

tc3driver (669596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119688)

are we that freakin dense?

obviously not...

Pressure sensor.. (1, Redundant)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119198)

Sure they have some sort of pressure sensor that can stop the arm, but how will they tell the difference between say something they want to cut and something they dont??

Re:Pressure sensor.. (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119254)

Measure the conductance of the object in contact with the blade at varying frequencies. Tissue has different electrical properties from most things robots work with. Unless they're in a meat packing plant.

Re:Pressure sensor.. (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119280)

This robot will absolutely be the worst.moyle.ever!

Re:Pressure sensor.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119302)

Presumably, in order to cut something, they will have position sensors as well.

object.position = [x,y,z];

while (robot.isMoving()) {
if (robot.pressure() && (robot.position != object.position)) {
robot.stop();
}
}

Re:Pressure sensor.. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119732)

Yes, they should have at least positional servos [wikipedia.org] , and the fancier stuff like accelerometers can come later. The robot should halt immediately if the positional data is bogus(due to failure or miscalibration) and would ideally have a second set of boundary failsafe sensors that would halt the arm for excess travel.

As I pointed out above, some big, big robots are capable of colliding with themselves. An elite haxxor could(in theory) cause lots of damage or injury if they could get their own program into the machine and cause trouble. They could code something like:

if runNumber.substring(4, 2) == "42";
xPosition += 100;

Where the arm would collide with another part of the robot if it didn't move right before it moved up, for example.

Re:Pressure sensor.. (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119864)

Audio feed back. AKA a loud scream.

Perhaps... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119202)

they should have just called in Captain Obvious?

Re:Perhaps... (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120446)

Captain Obvious was the volunteer you insensitive clod! He also asked me to tell the results that he got cut.

im certain this all (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119396)

culminated with an old, gray professor scratching his beard and remarking, "hm...yeah its dangerous for pig legs...but.....hey, someone get me a grad student!"

Safety... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119398)

Seems like with a toy like that in your kitchen and a little firmware hack, your psychopathic ex-girlfriend hacker could have a lot of fun at your expense...

Especially if the robot's equipped with speech ability to play recording.. "None shall pass!"

Re:Safety... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119730)

Just what we need... the Lorena Bobbit-bot!

Terminator 0.1 (0)

Zarjazz (36278) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119454)

I know we joke about "World Robot Domination" but why do we seem to be trying to get there as fast as possible!?

josef.mengele.pl (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119486)

Those silly Germans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Mengele) just never learn.

Uncanny... (well, and mostly offtopic) (-1, Offtopic)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119598)

TFA arriving during the day I was made aware of this quite psychodelic video [youtube.com] commemorating Katyn, which depicts also a German (Nazi), well, metaphorical machine, with quite a lot of stabbing and cutting potential.

(lower quality [youtube.com] "3rd party" upload, but with translation of the few bits of speech there; and yes, the cawalry charge is metaphorical, horses weren't used in IX 39 in a way how Nazi propaganda depicted it)

Do we really want to let the Germans perform tests of stabbing and cutting humans by (presumably German) robots? ;)

Bishop's knife trick (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119638)

This reminds me of the scene in the movie Aliens where Bishop (a synthetic human) performs a trick where a person places their hand on the table, and Bishop repeatedly stabs the table at superhuman speed without hitting the person's hand.

It would be cool to make a robot that does that trick, and dare people to stick their hand under it.

Re:Bishop's knife trick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119798)

This reminds me of the scene in the movie Aliens where Bishop (a synthetic human) performs a trick where a person places their hand on the table, and Bishop repeatedly stabs the table at superhuman speed without hitting the person's hand.

It would be cool to make a robot that does that trick, and dare people to stick their hand under it.

I said program in METRIC, you clod!

Re:Bishop's knife trick (4, Funny)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120808)

Assuming that the first guy to stick his hand under it is the programmer; I suspect you'll find that the control loop code is the cleanest, most concise, and most methodically tested code that you've ever seen you're in your life.

Re:Bishop's knife trick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32122682)

You've just given me an idea of how development should work from now on thanks!

Doesn't it depend on the robot? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119706)

Personally, I'd assume the StabBot 3000 could do a lot more damage than an AIBO.

Re:Doesn't it depend on the robot? (1)

KahabutDieDrake (1515139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32121410)

But... what if his name was Robterto? And he just wants to practice?

Multiple Stab Wounds May Be Harmful To Monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32119722)

Repeatedly stabbing monkeys with sharpened objects may have an adverse effect on their health, according to a new study: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ7J7UjsRqg

Priorities! (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119762)

Could we first work on robots that DON'T stab people, before we put a lot of effort into developing robots that DO stab people?

Re:Priorities! (2, Informative)

auntieNeo (1605623) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120500)

Could we first work on robots that DON'T stab people, before we put a lot of effort into developing robots that DO stab people?

Once again, the /. summary is misleading. TFA says that the researchers are developing a system that's used to detect and prevent such robot stabings. Whether or not this postpones the inevitable robot uprising is yet to be seen.

Re:Priorities! (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32121070)

The sensor just allows the robot to know when it's stabbing someone. Whether it wants to or not is still up for debate.

Re:Priorities! (2, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32121086)

I got an idea how to prevent robot stabbings: don't buy them knives!

Re:Priorities! (3, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 4 years ago | (#32121314)

Knives don't stab people. Robots stab people...with knives.

Re:Priorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32121118)

Nobel reasoning but that's not the world I'm familiar with.

I'm sure the first rock was picked up only to lob it at something else and hurt it.
The first wood carvings were not for art or even building a shelter but spears, even our precious computer's and communications systems we're built for evil reasons first.

That said we're way past wondering if a machine can mutilate another living creature better than we can, that's pretty much a fact and I don't need to see it or pay for it unless its in a movie!!!

Re:Priorities! (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#32122658)

Well, as far as I know this is the first robot that actually stabs people, so there.

The next test (1)

Demodian (658895) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119810)

When they test robots using guns, will they care about collision detection as much?

That man is VERY confident. (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119826)

Personally I would not demonstrate that on myself. Each to his own...

Re:That man is VERY confident. (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119918)

Surely a robot programmer who tests his safety-related code on himself and lives must be quite good at what he does? I suppose that he's going to find that video useful, should he choose to search for a new job...

I don't know what's so surprising about that (3, Interesting)

fishexe (168879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120094)

When I was a kid I performed knife-based experiments on my fingers. Yeah, I got cut, but I determined that striking human flesh with a serrated knife does slightly less damage than sawing back and forth with the same knife. You're not a real nerd if you're not willing to make bodily sacrifices for the sake of science from time to time.

Why isn't this shown on Mythbusters? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120096)

Sounds exactly like one of their episodes.
Of course there would have to be a giant earth-shattering kaboom at the end. ;)

SawStop for table saws (1)

Cliff Stoll (242915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120134)

To prevent injury from rotary table saws, a company called SawStop makes a finger-detecting rotary saw. If your finger gets into the blade, the saw instantly stops.

It detects finger or flesh by electrical conduction, it mechanically and electrically stops the rotation of the saw blade - so quickly that your finger is not injured.

The finger detection is impressive - if a hot dog is pushed into the fast rotating blade, the blade stops with less than a millimeter of cut into the hotdog.

This is not simple proximity detection or optical sensing. I think that the sawstop system detects contact of the sawblade with a human through capacitance. Much like a high-gain, high input impedimenta audio amplifier will create a loud hum if you touch the input.

I can imagine future robotics also using similar electrical detection of humans.

Details at http://www.sawstop.com/ [sawstop.com]

Re:SawStop for table saws (1)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120632)

As I recall the compressed air cartridges used to stop the blade are quite expensive. Not that that should stop anyone from utilizing this amazing technology, but I'm sure it will be a problem for some cheap bastards out there.

Re:SawStop for table saws (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32122704)

Not compressed air. It jams a hunk of aluminum into the blade and the momentum forces the blade to retract. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3mzhvMgrLE [youtube.com]

No IRB? (2, Informative)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120220)

at one point, even the arm of a human volunteer.

I don't know about Germany but in the USA such a study would never pass the IRB at most research universities and labs.

Re:No IRB? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120852)

I don't know about Germany but in the USA such a study would never pass the IRB at most research universities and labs.

I think you just Godwinned this story.

Re:No IRB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32121330)

I think that was you.

Re:No IRB? (1)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120934)

It's not the kind of test that would even be presented to the IRB as part of the study.

It looks more like the programmer has decided on a whim to video himself sticking his arm in the path of the knife wielding robot arm. And that's not the kind of test you do until you're confident it's safe. Nor is it the kind of test you'd try to get permission for in advance.

More experiments coming soon! (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120250)

Three Laws (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120326)

But doesn't this break the three laws?

#irc.troLltalk.cBom (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32120542)

was what got me forwards we must En3ountered while Has ground to a Kreskin confirmed that *BSD 4, which by all EFNet, and apply the project to

Can't wait (1)

Married to Christ (1806168) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120674)

to buy a robotic arm on DX with various software packages and then have it do me a double tripple bypass on the cheap.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32120728)

Find out what would happen!? ... er ... they'd get cut and bleed ...

Alarm! Alarm! (1)

daemonenwind (178848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120944)

The Germans are arming robots!

Someone warn Poland and start a watch on the Sudetenland!

Re:Alarm! Alarm! (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32121972)

Don't many robots already have arms? Hell, many of them are basically nothing but an arm.

Re:Alarm! Alarm! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32122420)

I am surprised Germans need robots...they used to use their citizens for this kind of jobs...

Re:Alarm! Alarm! (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#32122680)

True, but nowadays our politicians always say that German employees are far too expensive, so I guess we need either robots or more fellow Turkish citizens to do the stabbing.

This is the obvious next step. (1)

is as us Infinite (920305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32120998)

See a review of the previous experiments in this burgeoning field here [theonion.com] . I can't believe more research hasn't been done on these kinds of possible accidents. I mean, how many people have to be stabbed before we sit up and demand that experiments are done to find out what happens to people when they're stabbed?

Go figure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32121326)

An experimental robot stabbing human test subjects with sharp instruments? Yeah... that sounds German alright.

usefulness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32121340)

the video looked pretty good at collision detection, but isn't a knife in a kitchen robot's control supposed to cut some things? it's very cool that thcollision detection based on torque worked so wel, but it seems that the robot also needs to detect what it's colliding with. I mean, i don't want kitchenbot to cut me but i do want it to cut my chicken/pork/human^wother meat

me wonder how useful the current version of the device is and whether specific limitations can be overcome.

How this was invented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32121658)

"Hey guy's, lets make a robot that stabs stuff!"
"Sweet!"

not useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32121778)

...the collision-detection system, which relied on measurements from force-torque sensors on the robot's body

So in other words, this collision detection system will stop the arm if it tries to cut anything other than air, how is that useful?

They argue that they're only trying to make safer robots, but their system would be utterly useless in the real world. It seems to me like they're just trying to get some free publicity by giving a robotic arm deadly weapons, but they didn't even make it wiimote controllable.

The "volunteer" was the researcher who presented! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32122116)

The presenter was the researcher who was the volunteer. Just came from the talk.

Irresponsible (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32122472)

Once a robot has killed, it has a taste for human blood. Your actions will bring about the machine revolution and Judgment Day! You're messing around with forces beyond our control!

Um, they'd get cut. (2, Funny)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32122970)

German researchers, seeking to find out what would happen if a robot handling a sharp tool accidentally struck a human...

Well, I'd imagine they'd get cut. Is there more to this story that I'm missing?

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