Superhero bionic arm startup gets backing from F1 team Williams

The Independent - Tech

A robotics startup that designs bionic limbs for children in the style of superheroes has raised £4.6 million from investors including the Formula 1 team Williams. Bristol-based Open Bionics became the best-selling multi-grip bionic hand in the UK after launching its Hero Arm in 2018, and plans to use the funding to grow to international markets. Using 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies, the firm has managed to drastically reduce the cost of building robotic prosthetics, allowing the bionic limbs to be covered by national healthcare systems in the UK and abroad. "The Hero Arm is a custom made myoelectric prosthetic. This means users, amputees and people with limb differences below the elbow, can control their new bionic fingers by squeezing the muscles in their forearms," Open Bionics co-founder Samantha Payne told The Independent.

Video Friday: Self-Racing Cars, Robot Grumpy Cat, and Where's Keepon?

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

On a Friday morning nine (!) years ago, I published a post with just one video and one line of text on, That was the beginning of Video Friday. As more and more robot video content started showing up over the years, Video Friday turned into a way to keep you updated on everything that happened all week in one efficient (and hopefully entertaining) post. At one point Video Friday grew to include something like 30 videos (if we've crashed your browser, we're very sorry!). We've now toned it down to around 20 videos by being slightly more selective.

Net guns will protect Grand Prix from ISIS terrorists

Daily Mail

Formula 1 bosses have brought in the latest anti-drone technology to protect Lewis Hamilton and other drivers from Islamic State terrorists at this year's British Grand Prix. Race officials fear that jihadis could use drones carrying explosives to attack drivers and spectators at the Silverstone racetrack. So to counter the threat, security guards with electronic jammers and net guns will be on patrol before and during the race, which will be attended by tens of thousands of fans on Sunday, July 16. The move is in response to IS using drones to drop bombs on UK-backed forces in Syria and Iraq – and the danger posed by'lone wolf' jihadis who could buy a drone online or on a British high street. Last night, Silverstone officials confirmed that they have hired the British company Drone Defence to cover the race.

Drones put on show over Champs-Elysee in high-tech festival

The Japan Times

PARIS – The Champs-Elysee was the setting of a mini-air show on Sunday as amateur drone enthusiasts flew their high-tech toys over the famed Paris avenue in the city's first festival celebrating the gadgets. Concentrating intently, punters guided their remote-controlled flying machines through a brightly colored obstacle course accompanied by commentary worthy of a Formula One race. The afternoon festival included a race and demonstrations of the remote-controlled devices that are increasingly used as toys as well as for surveillance, aerial photography and -- controversially-- in the secretive U.S. counterterror campaign. "It's really magical to be at a site like the Champs-Elysees, one of the most famous places in the world," said Dunkan Bossian, 19, one of eight pilots who competed in the race. A German entrant, 27-year-old Julia Muller, added: "Events like this are important to show people that drones are not only dangerous things but you can have fun with them as well."

Attack of the drones: sport's next big buzz

The Guardian

They have been responsible for innumerable deaths in the Middle East during the last decade and, if Amazon has its way, will deliver millions of toasters, gift sets and novels in the future. But recently drones have begun to fulfil a less utilitarian kind of role: competition in the nascent world of futuristic motorsports. A confluence of technological advances has made drone racing possible. A minuscule camera, mounted on the drone's nose, allows the pilot, as competitors are luxuriously titled, to control the vehicle through virtual reality-style goggles, as if perched in its tiny cockpit. With powerful lithium batteries, the size of which dictates the speed class of the drone, these machines, which are typically the size of a box of tissues, can reach speeds in excess of 120mph.