Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. At least they have robots to get some actual work done. If anyone can use some automation to boost production, it's Santa: That must have taken a ridiculous amount of helium.
He's probably best known as the artist who made iconic sculptures of solitary human figures with unbelievably long arms and legs. He's one of a group of artists and writers associated with describing the kind of angst about the future of civilization that gripped many artists living and working in Paris in the years after the Second World War. What's truly great about a new exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) is that it manages to both acknowledge Giacometti's amazing works and place him in the context of his time. Bruce Grenville, the co-ordinating curator for VAG, believes that Giacometti's continuing popularity has something to do with creating memorable works that have a strong effect on people. "I remember as a child going to Expo 67 and seeing the Giacometti sculptures," Grenville said, referring to Man Walking and Standing Woman (both of which are in the VAG exhibition).
"Flora," a two-channel video projection by the Swiss American duo Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, offers a melancholic true story of love and loss that is both surprising and somewhat confused. If it doesn't quite jell, it does open a curious window on human frailty. "Flora" is Flora Mayo, daughter of a wealthy Denver merchant who went to Paris in 1925 with dreams of establishing herself as an artist. A long love affair with a fellow student -- a slightly younger man who harbors similar aspirations -- in the atelier of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle comes a cropper when the Great Depression sets in. Flora's father pulls the financial plug that had been keeping her afloat, and she's finally forced to return to the United States.
If you, for one, are ready to welcome our new Russian overlords, there's good news: you can get one of those new-fangled throwback Nokia 3310 phones with a gold-encrusted Vladimir Putin face. SEE ALSO: The Trump-Putin New Yorker cover is clear about who's really in charge The phone is a product of Elijah Giacometti, an Italian jeweler who, as The Outline notes, has made quite a tidy business, called -- of course -- Caviar, out of selling ultra-luxury tech items like diamond-encrusted iPhones and an Apple Watch with an inscription celebrating Putin's birthday. And now Giacometti is pushing Caviar to embrace the wave of nostalgia sweeping through mobile users by expanding his line to include the Nokia 3310 throwback phone. While you can get a version with a titanium cover, why stop there? Why not take things even further with a gold-encrusted version of Putin's face?