Video Friday: Thought-Controlled Robot, PackBot With Jamming Gripper, Furby Teardown

In this edition of Video Friday, we bring you humans controlling robots, humans interacting with robots, humans building robots, and humans tearing robots apart!

Many research groups are developing brain-machine interfaces capable of controlling advanced prosthetics  such as bionic arms and hands. But how about using your thoughts to control a full humanoid robot? That’s what French and Japanese researchers demonstrated recently. A team from the CNRS-AIST Joint Robotics Laboratory showed how a person, wearing a cap with electrodes, could control a HRP-2 humanoid and make it perform tasks such as grasping objects. Though the range of tasks the robot can perform appears limited—and controlling a robot this way might require significant mental effort—it’s nonetheless an impressive demonstration of how the lines between humans and machines are blurring. [read more..]