When you imagine an exoskeleton, chances are it might look a bit like the Guardian XO from Sarcos Robotics. The XO is literally a robot you wear (or maybe, it wears you). The suit’s powered limbs sense your movements and match their position to yours with little latency to give you effortless super-strength and endurance—lifting 91-kgs will feel like 10.
A vision of robots and humankind working together in harmony. Now, isn’t that nice? Of course, there isn’t anything terribly novel about an exoskeleton. We’ve seen plenty of concepts and demonstrations in the last decade. These include light exoskeletons tailored to industrial settings—some of which are being tested out by the likes of Honda—and healthcare exoskeletons that support the elderly or folks with disabilities.
Full-body powered robotic exoskeletons are a bit rarer, which makes the Sarcos suit pretty cool to look at. But like all things in robotics, practicality matters as much as vision. It’s worth asking: Will anyone buy and use the thing? Is it more than a concept video? Sarcos thinks so, and they’re excited about it. “If you were to ask the question, what does 30 years and $300 million look like,” Sarcos CEO, Ben Wolff, said, “you’re going to see it downstairs.”
The XO appears to check a few key boxes. For one, it’s user-friendly. According to Sarcos, it only takes a few minutes for the uninitiated to strap in and get up to speed. Feeling comfortable doing work with the suit takes a few hours. This is thanks to a high degree of sensor-based automation that allows the robot to seamlessly match its user’s movements. The XO can also operate for more than a few minutes.
It has two hours of battery life, and with spares on hand, it can go all day. The batteries are hot-swappable, meaning you can replace a drained battery with a new one without shutting the system down. The suit is aimed at manufacturing, where workers are regularly moving heavy stuff around. Additionally, Wolff told CNET, the suit could see military use. But that doesn’t mean Avatar-style combat.
The XO, Wolff said, is primarily about logistics (lifting and moving heavy loads) and isn’t designed to be armored, so it won’t likely see the front lines. The system will set customers back $100,000 a year to rent, which sounds like a lot, but for industrial or military purposes, the six-figure rental may not deter would-be customers if the suit proves itself a useful bit of equipment.
(And it’s reasonable to imagine the price coming down as the technology becomes more commonplace and competitors arrive.) Sarcos got into exoskeletons a couple of decades ago and was originally funded by the military (like many robotics endeavors). Videos hit YouTube as long ago as 2008, but after announcing the company was taking orders for the XO earlier this year, Sarcos says they’ll deliver the first alpha units in January, which is a notable milestone.
Broadly, robotics has advanced a lot in recent years. YouTube sensations like Boston Dynamics have regularly earned millions of views (and inevitably, headlines stoking robot fear). They went from tethered treadmill sessions to untethered backflips off boxes. While today’s robots really are vastly superior to their ancestors, they’ve struggled to prove themselves useful. A counterpoint to flashy YouTube videos, the DARPA Robotics Challenge gave birth to another meme altogether.
Robots falling over. Often and awkwardly. This year marks some of the first commercial fruits of a few decades’ research. Boston Dynamics recently started offering its robot dog, Spot, to select customers in 2019. Whether this proves to be a headline-worthy flash in the pan or something sustainable remains to be seen. But between robots with more autonomy and exoskeletons like the XO, the exoskeleton variety will likely be easier to make more practical for various uses.
Whereas autonomous robots require highly advanced automation to navigate uncertain and ever-changing conditions—automation which, at the moment, remains largely elusive (though the likes of Google are pairing the latest AI with robots to tackle the problem)—an exoskeleton mainly requires physical automation.
The really hard bits, like navigating and recognizing and interacting with objects, are outsourced to its human operator. As it turns out, for today’s robots the best AI is still us. We may yet get chipper automatons like Rosy the Robot, but until then, for complicated applications, we’ll strap into our mechs for their strength and endurance, and they’ll wear us for our brains.
CORSAIR Launches its Versatile Modular Desk Called Platform:6
During Gamescom, Corsair unveiled the Platform:6, marking their debut in the gaming desk arena. Boasting height adjustability and a plethora of modular add-ons to cater to your current and future gaming setup requirements, the Platform:6 is now primed for its official release.
This expansive desk, the Platform:6, offers the choice of an optional motor for altering its height, granting you the flexibility to sit or stand as you desire.
Corsair has meticulously engineered it to seamlessly accommodate its entire product range, spanning from peripherals to Elgato accessories, thereby enabling a complete streaming setup, complete with lighting solutions.
The Platform:6 caters to a wide array of modern lifestyles, whether you’re a dedicated PC gamer or a remote worker seeking an organized workspace within the confines of your home.
This desk spans a substantial six feet in width and can be shipped in various configurations, allowing buyers to select their preferred surface material and make enhancements, such as adding an expandable rail system or incorporating the Elgato Multi Frame to house all their streaming equipment.
Desk extension kits and sideboards are also available for purchase, allowing you to expand your desk’s size if you discover the need for more space. Corsair additionally offers power strips and cable boxes to help you neatly organize your wires and maintain a clean and orderly setup.
For those interested, the Platform:6, along with its assortment of accessories and extensions, can now be found on the Corsair webstore.
MOTIONGATE Dubai Launches Spooktacular Fright Nights: Volume VI
As Halloween descends upon MOTIONGATE Dubai, the mysterious Taleweaver, a masterful narrator tucked away in a decaying library within the Nightmare Dimension is turning words into frightening reality, bringing haunting legends and nightmares to life. Prepare for spine-tingling adventures as the Middle East’s largest Hollywood-inspired theme park returns for the sixth season of the biggest Halloween Fright Nights yet.
From 30th September to 31st October 2023, guests can immerse themselves in an array of Halloween activities at MOTIONGATE Dubai with this year’s theme – ‘Curse of the Taleweaver’. This year, memorable stories such as Dracula, The Boogeyman and Midas will come alive at the park. Transforming into the United Arab Emirates’ spookiest family destination, MOTIONGATE Dubai’s Fright Nights: Volume VI will run Wednesdays to Sundays from 4 p.m. onwards, promising an unforgettable Halloween experience.
Experience hair-raising adventures with MOTIONGATE Dubai’s lineup of spooky fun, including 13 immersive horror experiences, scare zones, monster meet and greets, thrilling live stage shows, and a haunting parade for an unforgettable time.
FIVE GHOULISH IMMERSIVE HORROR EXPERIENCES
Embark on five captivating spooky experiences led by the mysterious Taleweaver, who is bringing everyone’s childhood nightmares to life. Inspired by hair-raising folk legends and myths, the Taleweaver guarantees an unforgettable and bone-chilling experience.
Located in Studio Central, guests can experience the Golden Curse as they explore the chambers of King Aurelius, whose touch turns everything to gold. Step into these gilded corridors for a bone-chilling immersive experience but beware as golden soldiers lurk in the shadows of King Aurelius’ labyrinth. Oh, and be wary of what you touch!
Over at The Twilight Mirror, silence reigns in the ominous manor. Listen closely as the walls whisper tales of dread. The audio experience promises screeches and goosebumps.
For a darker encounter, brave souls can venture into the medieval dungeons of The Forsaken Piper in Underworld, Columbia Pictures zone. Summoning a horde of rats, the Pied Piper has transformed the prison into a realm of ruin, disease, and despair, a haunting testament to the piper’s nightmarish lair awaiting unsuspecting guests. No kids allowed.
An ancient passage tucked within the Columbia Pictures zone; Wraith’s Lament is guarded by eerie phantoms with sensitive hearing. A smart scholar made magical bells to disrupt the phantoms and make a path forward. In this interactive experience, guests can ring the bells to find their way, but they should be careful of the lurking phantoms.
Suitable for Halloween buffs of all ages, the Grim Tales: Dracula in Hotel Transylvania offers a spine-tingling experience where terror takes centre stage. Within the Taleweaver’s library, filled with scary books, horror comes to life as guests are immersed in the tales of Dracula.
THREE CREEPY SCARE ZONES
Prepare for screams and spine-chilling adventures as unsuspecting guests will encounter haunting characters as they venture into the spooky scare zones. Guests will be taken back to the 1950s as they walk through Nightshade Street, where innocent children playing with unknown forces cast their street into an eternal abyss. Now, until eternity, the creepy giggles of once-innocent children, echo as they revel in the screams of terrified guests.
For a more thrilling experience, guests can enter the haunted tent in Zombieland, Columbia Pictures, where the Freakshow of the century unfolds. As the tent veils rise, manic laughter fills the eerie room, setting the stage for spine-tingling entertainment. Both young and old can enter the Haunted Graveyard at the Hollywood Theatre. Ruled by the crypt keeper, each step on the decayed soil awakens restless spirits, promising laughter and (mostly) screams.
PARADE, SHOWS & MONSTER MEET AND GREETS
With a mix of spine-tingling excitement, MOTIONGATE Dubai’s captivating parades and shows are sure to keep guests of all ages engaged and entertained. Get ready for a scary live stage show as The Hollywood Theatre hosts The Taleweaver’s Nightmare Emporium, offering a chilling narration as myths and legends come to life before guests’ eyes.
Over at Studio Central, guests can witness the Midnight Tales street parade unfold, led by the mysterious Taleweaver, who summons terrifying creatures and manipulates nightmares, creating a mesmerising spectacle. The boundary between reality and imagination fades further with The Tale Weaver’s Short Stories, where guests, young and old, can enjoy family-friendly short stories from the mastermind himself that promise to captivate and thrill.
“Trick or treat?” Get ready for delightful meet-and-greets with the mischievous Candy Goblin, a playful trickster known for two things: his love of games, especially hide and seek, and his sweet tooth. Guests who have the skill to catch him will receive a tasty reward of delicious candies. Halloween lovers can also meet The Boogeyman in Studio Central, who lurks at the corner with mysterious and clever tricks that challenge even the bravest’s wits and courage.
Moreover, the park’s beloved characters will don Halloween-themed attire and eagerly greet their fans. For the younger ones, the charming Smurfs Village is back with its annual Trick-or-Treat activities. Here, children can fully immerse themselves in the Halloween spirit as their favourite Smurf-y friends distribute candy, creating delightful memories that will last a lifetime.
Are you ready to face your fears? MOTIONGATE Dubai’s biggest Fright Nights Volume VI is here and it promises to be an absolute scream.
LG to Showcase Sustainable Lifestyle with LG Smart Cottage at IFA 2023
LG Electronics (LG) is set to unveil its housing solution, LG Smart Cottage, at IFA 2023. The Smart Cottage is a compact, prefabricated home incorporating LG’s cutting-edge heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and energy solutions, as well as its newest smart home appliances and services. Blending premium appliances and convenient services with a space constructed using the latest in modular housing technologies and techniques, LG Smart Cottage introduces a new paradigm in residential living.
Designed with sustainability in mind, and aligned with LG’s vision of a Better Life for All, the Smart Cottage features a two-story, studio-style layout that provides a functional, convenient living environment and maximum space efficiency. The modular home, which has a small footprint yet boasts all the appliances and facilities one could need, can be easily transported and placed in the desired location. According to research conducted by ReportLinker, the global prefabricated housing market is expected to reach an estimated $22.9 billion by 2028 with a compound annual growth rate of 4.8 percent from 2023 to 2028.
Inside, the space has a relaxed, premium feel thanks to LG’s ‘gentle, stable and refined’ design and the harmonious use of diverse materials, such as hardwood, tile and brass. To reduce environmental impact, the home’s replaceable module components have been made with low-carbon steel materials produced by POSCO, a renowned South Korean steel company.
The innovative, high-efficiency LG kitchen, living, and air solutions installed in LG Smart Cottage include the WashTower Compact, QuadWash dishwasher, various built-in kitchen appliances, a water purifier and the Therma V Monobloc air-to-water heat pump (AWHP). In addition to delivering year-round indoor comfort while using less power than a conventional heating and cooling system, LG’s energy-saving AWHP can provide a reliable supply of hot water via connection to the 200-liter-capacity Integrated Water Tank (IWT).
Moving outside, the exterior of the Smart Cottage is equipped with sustainability-focused LG technologies that can meet the daily energy needs of up to two occupants. Roof-mounted 4-kilowatt (kW) solar panels connect with the company’s Energy Storage System (ESS) to ensure the safe, reliable on-site collection and storage of solar power, generating as much as 15 kilowatts of electricity per day. Any surplus energy can be stored in the ESS for later use, or sold to the contracted electricity provider. Additionally, LG’s modular house has an electric vehicle (EV) charger built in, so homeowners won’t have to worry about fitting one themselves in order to power up their EV.
For a smart and convenient user experience, all of the appliances inside this extraordinary abode connect seamlessly with LG ThinQ. Via the ThinQ app, users can effortlessly control each appliance, manage the entire HVAC system, and monitor energy storage and consumption in real time. What’s more, LG ThinQ connects to the Smart Cottage’s security-enhancing Internet of Things (IoT) accessories, including cameras, motion sensors and smart doorbells, helping to keep occupants safe and give them peace of mind.
To help bring the Smart Cottage to life, LG partnered with GS Engineering & Construction Corp (GS E&C), a South Korean construction and civil engineering service provider. “Far more than just a prefabricated home, LG Smart Cottage is an innovative housing solution that facilitates a sustainable lifestyle through state-of-the-art ThinQ connectivity,” said Lyu Jae-cheol, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company. “LG aims to redefine residential living by seamlessly integrating its energy solutions, appliances and services into a space that lets people live life their way.”
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