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Archive for the ‘robots’ Category

Androids, The Good Kind

This Mass High Tech story about the FDA Foxboro’s Cyberkinetics was useful only in pointing out that was a company in Foxboro called Cyberkinectics. Well, that and it pointed out that they are trying do something minor, like cure paralysis or something:

Cyberkinetics’ Andara OFS (Oscillating Field Stimulator) system is a nerve growth stimulator designed as a treatment for acute spinal cord injuries. The device is designed to be implanted in patients within 18 days following a spinal cord injury to stimulate nerves to grow across the area of injury.

OK, not exactly cure, but aid those who’ve suffered spinal cord injuries. From CK themselves:

Results from a ten-participant, Phase Ia trial published in the January 2005 issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, reported that all participants showed statistically significant improvement in sensation and some improvement in movement, including hand, arm and leg movement. For those with cervical spinal cord injuries, for example, there is evidence of a two-segment improvement, or the functional difference between non-movement of an arm or hand and the ability to grasp a utensil to feed oneself.

And a vid for the busy is here. This seems fairly radical. So why is it only Mass High Tech that is giving developments here ink? What more interesting business could there be to cover?

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Boston Dynamics’ RHex looks like the Rambo of the bot world. Through mud, under water, over rock–whatever. Without a knife, I guess it is hard to pass off as worthwhile Christmas present for you nephew. But it makes a nice conversation piece. (via WIRED)

My favorite Dynamics product is without a doubt the Big Dog, though. Frightening:

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Kiva Keeps Your Kids Unemployed

Mass High Tech reports that Woburn’s Kiva Systems has just landed work from Walgreen’s, expanding their automated inventory and warehousing systems’ reach to another big box store. And yes, this means that your kids will have to take a service industry job. So make sure they keep brushing their teeth.

The system works just as you would imagine–robotic shelves shuffling about responding to orders and requests. Its not as flashy as the Jetsons, but it is damn cool and likely to make Bain Capital (who gave $10 mil to Kiva in 2005) some good money.

The best part of this is that it came from Mick Mountz, formerly attached to Webvan, one of the dotcom’s biggest busts thanks to the media hype. You don’t remember Webvan? Probably better that way.

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