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Robot Controls Person's Arm To Manipulate Objects

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the i-for-one-welcome-our-robotic-collaborators dept.

Robotics 77

An anonymous reader writes "French researchers have demonstrated a robot that controls its own arm as well as a person's arm to manipulate objects in a collaborative manner, IEEE reports. Electrodes attached to the person's arm allow the robot to make the elbow and hand move to perform tasks. The tasks are currently simple (dropping a ball through a hoop, as shown in one of their videos), but the researchers say more complex ones are possible. They also say the approach has therapeutic benefits and their goal is to 'develop robotic technologies that can help people suffering from paralysis and other disabilities to regain some of their motor skills.'"

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I, for one, welcome... (4, Funny)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 2 years ago | (#38075170)

...nah, too easy.

In Soviet Russia... (1, Offtopic)

itchythebear (2198688) | about 2 years ago | (#38075216)

... also too easy?

Re:In Soviet Russia... (4, Funny)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#38075286)

Actually, since the article is about robots controlling humans, the joke would have to be "In Soviet Russia, you control robots!"

And yes that now is a joke.

Overlords? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#38075448)

Today they control your arm, tomorrow - your arse.

Re:Overlords? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38077440)

That would be terrific for those people with loose arses. Now on to waiting for the robotic skull cap helping people suffering from though paralysis and other political mental disabilities to regain some of their thinking skills. The company behind the Skullcandy brand is surely already developing a suitable product line for the fashion conscious but otherwise thought deprived individuals.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about 2 years ago | (#38079746)

Nyet! In Soviet Russia robot MANIPULATE you!

In Soviet... (1)

subanark (937286) | about 2 years ago | (#38075232)

In Soviet France robot controls you. In corporate America you control robot!!

Re:In Soviet... (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#38075372)

In Soviet France robot controls you. In corporate America you control robot!!

Silly you!

In Soviet Russia government controls YOU!

In Corporate America corporations control GOVERNMENT

In Socialist France the people control GOVERNMENT

Re:In Soviet... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 2 years ago | (#38076110)

Then why do the French riot every other week?

Re:In Soviet... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38076178)

Fun?

Re:In Soviet... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#38076252)

Then why do the French riot every other week?

To show their anger with their government. Seems to work, too. Their government often listens.

In France the government fears, or at least respects, the people.

Can't quite say that about the good ol' USA, can you?

Re:In Soviet... (3)

Afell001 (961697) | about 2 years ago | (#38078480)

In France the government fears, or at least respects, the people.

Considering what happened during the French Revolution, the current Powers-That-Be has good reason to fear the French people. They stormed the Bastille once, and celebrate it every year just to remind the government that they aren't afraid to do it again.

That, and the French people weren't afraid to invent and use the guillotine.

Re:In Soviet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38083096)

We do *not* celebrate the storming of the Bastille, we celebrate the Fête de la Fédération (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%AAte_de_la_F%C3%A9d%C3%A9ration), which happened on the same day one year later.

(also, a repeat of the Bastille thing is way overdue IMHO)

Re:In Soviet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080448)

Then why do the French riot every other week?

So they have time to go on strike between the riots.

Re:In Soviet... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084720)

Then why do the French riot every other week?

More to the point, why don't Americans?

Re:I, for one, welcome... (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 2 years ago | (#38075628)

Zombie robot soldiers!

They had these in Sucker Punch!

Re:I, for one, welcome... (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 2 years ago | (#38077890)

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

Re:I, for one, welcome... (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 2 years ago | (#38077906)

Hey! I didn't mean to type that! How-- aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

excellent idea (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#38075220)

there is one repetitive motion that I must do with my hand once in a while that I may wish was done without my direct participation. On the other hand... what if the software fails and the hand goes all the way over my head?

What? What? I hate doing all this calligraphy training.

Re:excellent idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38075480)

Howard Wolowitz tried that same repetitive motion with a robot hand in The Big Bang Theory ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1632224/ [imdb.com] ). That robot sort of got stuck when it froze. He's lucky it didn't go all the way over his head.

In Soviet Russia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38075226)

Robot controls you!

So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38075238)

develop robotic technologies that can help people suffering from paralysis and other disabilities to regain some of their motor skills.

They're working on the technology for cyborgs?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38075446)

Meat puppets!

Re:So... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#38076430)

The Borg have to start somewhere...

Re:So... (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#38076640)

damn you said it before i could.

we are the Borg you will be assimilated resistance is futile

Article is worse than summary (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#38075242)

When this robot needs a hand, it borrows yours.

Oh yeah, that can't possibly go wrong. Nope, can't think how that might be a mistake.

Still, if the idea of a robot commandeering your limbs sounds a bit, uh, scary, you're not alone. The audience at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), where the researchers presented their results in September, let out a nervous gasp upon seeing the video of the experiment:

Yeah, I think a nervous gasp might be in order here.

Re:Article is worse than summary (4, Funny)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#38075606)

There's nothing to be nervous about, the system has a safety switch. Whenever you feel that the robot might have gone out of control, you just put your hand on the switch and press...oh, wait.

Cool, until.. (5, Funny)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 2 years ago | (#38075298)

... the robot cops an attitude

"Query: Why are you assaulting yourself?"

Re:Cool, until.. (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | about 2 years ago | (#38078016)

Forget the _why_, does it feel any different than sitting on your hand before 'assaulting' yourself?

The perfect legal defense ... (5, Funny)

fsckmnky (2505008) | about 2 years ago | (#38075306)

"So Mr. Smith, and I remind you that you are under oath, you claim the reason you groped 'the lady in red' sitting next to you on the airplane, is that your 'ARM Controller' chip malfunctioned ?"

Re:The perfect legal defense ... (1)

teslafreak (684543) | about 2 years ago | (#38076528)

I didn't want to punch them, but the arm insisted it had to be done.

Yeah, so? (0)

meerling (1487879) | about 2 years ago | (#38075316)

Sorry, but this is just a yawn, now when they used a computer to make a paralyzed person walk, now that was news. I think that was over a decade ago, but I'm being too lazy this morning to look it up. These guys on the other hand aren't doing anything new, unless you consider adding in a toy robot to play wastebin basketball some kind of advancement.

Re:Yeah, so? (4, Informative)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 years ago | (#38075454)

The problem with that first design is that really just turned your muscles "on or off". No matter how slight the movement. Apparently it was extremely tiring to use even briefly.

This appears to have a subtle control that would allow a paraplegic to use a robo-leg controller all day without tiring any more than you or I.

Re:Yeah, so? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#38075868)

Just wait until they get to the point where they can use a dead cop named Murphy to provide some of the decision-making capabilities for the robot.

Ob Post (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#38075328)

I for one welcome our new Robotron Arm masters.

Back in the day, my younger brother was a serious contender for Most Obsessed With Playing Robotron: 2084. He suffered a repetitive stress injury from playing it he called "Robotron Arm"

Not the same thing, I know. But did hear bout this on the BBC and thought it was pretty amazing. It's only a matter of time before we turn such a gift into weapons. BattleTech here we come!

One step closer... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38075330)

...to the "remote-controlled corpses" from GITS.

The puppet... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38075340)

becomes the puppeteer.

Re:The puppet... (1)

davewoods (2450314) | about 2 years ago | (#38079188)

I could not tell... Did you put on your sunglasses and walk away while listening to Teenage Wasteland?

Pr0n opportunities (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#38075346)

Electrodes attached to the person's arm allow the robot to make the elbow and hand move to perform tasks.

Pr0n opportunities for cam-girls, I think.

Re:Pr0n opportunities (3, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | about 2 years ago | (#38075774)

Electrodes attached to the person's arm allow the robot to make the elbow and hand move to perform tasks.

Pr0n opportunities for cam-girls, I think.

They call that move a "Reverse Waldo". It'll cost you.

Re:Pr0n opportunities (1)

rtaylor (70602) | about 2 years ago | (#38075842)

Pretty brave using a term that even the Urban Dictionary doesn't know about.

Re:Pr0n opportunities (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38076520)

A waldo [wikipedia.org] is when a human remotely controls a robot. The term is pretty transparent... it just refers to technology which doesn't exist yet.

Re:Pr0n opportunities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38077972)

What can I say, in the internet we are all Shakes Beers.

Re:Pr0n opportunities (1)

itchythebear (2198688) | about 2 years ago | (#38075820)

command: Reach into back pocket of jeans
command: Open wallet and take out credit card
command: Enter credit card info to pay for premium account

Either that or it will be implemented in ChatRoulette. *shudders*

Re:Pr0n opportunities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38076758)

Electrodes attached to the person's arm allow the robot to make the elbow and hand move to perform tasks.

Pr0n opportunities for cam-girls, I think.

Now we are talking.

How about a "Rent an expert" service?
"Do you want to impress your friends with mad skateboarding skills? No problem, just install the remote body controller and let Tony Hawk* do it for you!
* MadSkills Inc. reserves the right to replace the requested expert with a person approximately equally skilled."

The next step is a remote body service.
"Need to provide tech support in a remote location? No problem, rent'a'body provides you with young and strong bodies. They can travel to the location and perform simple tasks without supervision. When the need arises they will call in and allow your trained technicians to control the body for more complicated tasks."

Re:Pr0n opportunities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38077086)

William Gibson covered this in Neuromancer. In brothels of the future, you select your meat puppet and the program you want to run on them. The meat puppets themselves are, of course, people who need the cash.

Nice... the captcha for this is "condom". I am not making that up.

Maybe I missed the part.... (2)

Roskolnikov (68772) | about 2 years ago | (#38075414)

This appears to require a person with an arm that works; unless I misunderstand the electrodes are stimulating a developed (i.e. non-atrophied) arm with working nervous system. I would be curious to see this trick work on a limb that was truly disabled.....

very cool none the less.

Re:Maybe I missed the part.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38076330)

this is great news!

Re:Maybe I missed the part.... (2)

blair1q (305137) | about 2 years ago | (#38077970)

To disable an arm, you cut the nerves somewhere before they get to the arm. Like in the spine.

The arm will work if you bypass the cut.

Atrophy is just a decrease in mass of the parts. A course of therapy and exercise with this thing, and it would build back up again.

Can this robot do my workout for me? (1)

Michael_gr (1066324) | about 2 years ago | (#38075546)

I wonder if it's possible to get this system to do your workout for you. Like, you program it to do a hundred bench presses and then lift weights for an hour. All the while you could, I dunno, watch TV on LCD goggles or something. Or, even better - suppose you could get this system to work on your arm muscles while you play video games using one of those brain-control interfaces. I would love to have a system like this.

Re:Can this robot do my workout for me? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#38075618)

You know your muscles are still going to hurt just as much as if you were making them move by yourself, right? Unless you sever the nerve connections, which given your attitude, I can't entirely rule out.

Re:Can this robot do my workout for me? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#38075704)

You know your muscles are still going to hurt just as much as if you were making them move by yourself, right? Unless you sever the nerve connections, which given your attitude, I can't entirely rule out.

With the right feedback sensors in place, the system could perform the exercises with greater precision/effectiveness than you could do while distracted (say, watching TV) so it could prove to be a benefit to those that want to exercise but would prefer not to have to concern themselves with the intricate details of what the most effective routine is.

Re:Can this robot do my workout for me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080834)

Maybe such a system would be able to provide much better form during exercise than what a novice can do while trying to implement an exercise routine on their own. Not that one would feel any less exertion. If a full feedback loop is implemented in some way with a resistance machine, it might also register where a person's current limits actually are. Thus no injuries from overworking or lack of progress and results from under-working. Both of those things tend to be discouraging given the time that has to be put in. Many people not really into sports or fitness have trouble judging such things, even though they could benefit from exercising.

In other words, think of it as a robotic physical trainer on call whenever you want that you don't have to pay rather than some substitute for exercise.

Re:Can this robot do my workout for me? (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081036)

The issue isn't the muscle ache. That kind of feels good in a way.

The issue is the utter sheer fucking tedium of lifting your arm, dropping it again, lifting it, dropping it, lifting it, droppi.. oh for fucks sake, can I go and do something interesting instead please?

Re:Can this robot do my workout for me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38075672)

Bruce Lee used something like that. They've sold them since the 80's. My friend had one that was pretty cheap. Problem is, you get bulk, but no control. Plus, it doesn't activate the whole length of the muscle, just what it can.

Re:Can this robot do my workout for me? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38075680)

Perhaps, but that doesn't mean you won't feel just as strained and exhausted.

Re:Can this robot do my workout for me? (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 2 years ago | (#38075772)

you are unable to watch tv and lift weights at the same time?

Re:Can this robot do my workout for me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38077400)

I wonder if it's possible to get this system to do your workout for you.

In Soviet Russia, robot works you!

Actually, the Soviets did work with using electrical muscle stimulation [wikipedia.org] as part of a training regimen for athletes. That's not exactly the same thing as the functional electrical stimulation here, but the idea is the same. Although they did report gains, its not a pain-free exercise replacement, sorry.

Re:Can this robot do my workout for me? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#38079754)

There is a short story that does actually discus that particular use of technology.

Here is the chapter dealing with the Vertebrane system and it's uses.

http://marshallbrain.com/manna6.htm [marshallbrain.com]

All jokes aside... (4, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | about 2 years ago | (#38075662)

All jokes aside this is fantastic news.

Now when a robot loses an arm in an automobile accident they'll be able to replace it with a human arm.

Brain the size of a planet... (1)

jamiesan (715069) | about 2 years ago | (#38075682)

... and all they want me to do is control their arms.

Dr Strangelove? (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | about 2 years ago | (#38075714)

Dr. Strangelove is strangely excited about this tecnhology.

Get the fuck up NOW! (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | about 2 years ago | (#38075740)

I can see this being EXTREMELY useful for emergency situations that involve inattention or sleep. Say you're on a shuttle to Mars, sleeping away. Suddenly, there's a hull breach! You have seconds to get into your pressure suit before you pass out and die. You might burn half your time just on hearing the alarm, waking up, processing what's going on, and fumbling towards the suit locker.

If you're wearing your Robo Attachments, it can detect the alarm, and immediately start moving you towards the suit locker until you're able to take over manual control. And even when you do, it still might be able to guide you through the process, given your hazy state of mind.

Replace "shuttle to Mars" with "submarine" and you get the same jist.

Not to mention a surgeon wearing one of these-- if they sneeze or slip, the robot can freeze their arm to prevent an accidental nick of the artery.

Oblig Zac and Miri - (1)

potscott (539666) | about 2 years ago | (#38075934)

Sweet - Robot Dutch rudder!

This is great news (2)

itchythebear (2198688) | about 2 years ago | (#38075954)

This is great news for any paraplegic robots.

Yin and Yang (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 2 years ago | (#38076156)

Someday soon we may not have any quadras and paras nor amputees which will be wonderful. But when it becomes commonplace - as silly and trivial as it sounds - competitve sports at nearly every level may become impossible as the augments become faster, stronger, and more accurate than the naturals.

hope for the future (2)

tverbeek (457094) | about 2 years ago | (#38076220)

Someday this research will be invaluable in restoring mobility to robots that have suffered serious damage or manufacturing defect, enabling their broken limbs to be replaced by (admittedly inferior) limbs harvested from humans.

Stranger tonight (1)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about 2 years ago | (#38076300)

Sounds to me like a lonely nerd's dream come true! :o)

100 Years from Now; (1)

Dipsomaniac (1102131) | about 2 years ago | (#38076574)

The robot revolution will be remembered as starting with "Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!"

One step closer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38077298)

One step closer to the day we can plug plug ourselves into the Excertron before bed and wake up with rippling biceps...

Or why stop there? As the robotic brain improves, instead of doing pointless exercises we could do useful manual labor and wake up to rippling biceps and a paycheck! Just don't get hacked...

Cumbersom, we have the media don't we (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38077534)

One robot that controls them all

'The Electroslave Device' (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | about 2 years ago | (#38078300)

Scientist: "Kroll, attach the electro-slave device to this fool!"

Victim: "No, no, anything but that!"

Kroll: "Yes, Master!"

Scientist: "Now, dance for me my puppet! Dance!"

Victim dances....

=====

Oh, sorry, I was just daydreaming there for a moment....

Remote Surgey? (1)

Lvdata (1214190) | about 2 years ago | (#38080314)

It would also seem like you could have a Dr working in an VR setup relaying his arm/hand control data to a remote human robot. That would allow for a neurosurgeon in NY to have a untrained remote "hand droid" in Antarctica, orbit or the moon do the surgery. It keeps the number of human onsite low.

WTF could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38082504)

Subject says it all, I think.

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