Watch this robot use nunchucks, after learning like a human student would


In an era of heightened fears about killer robots, teaching them martial arts may seem unwise. But researchers have now shown a robot how to flip nunchucks to demonstrate an intuitive approach for teaching complex manual tasks. The group built a bionic hand and a motion-capture glove that can be used to teach the robot by demonstration, a popular method for skills requiring dexterity. But that's like learning from a silent teacher, the engineers say in research uploaded to the arXiv preprint server, so they devised an approach closer to how humans are taught. First, the teacher explains each step of the trick using an intuitive symbolic flow chart called a Petri net.

Researchers just trained a robot to use nunchucks using trial and error


Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology taught a robot how to use a pair of nunchucks. The research was part of a machine learning experiment that would require a robot to handle complex objects consisting of a combination of parts with different materials and rigidities. This type of machine learning could be applied to other fields where delicate precision is required such as car interior fitting or fruit picking. You can read more about it in the research paper here.

Judge knocks down New York's nunchuck ban

The Japan Times

NEW YORK - A federal judge knocked down a New York state law banning nunchucks that dated to the 1970s, when martial arts star Bruce Lee popularized them in his movies by whipping around the twin sticks linked by a chain. U.S. District Court Judge Pamela Chen sided with an amateur martial artist who opposed the ban, reasoning that the right to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution applies not just to firearms but also to nunchucks. The 44-year-old law that makes possession of "chuka sticks" a crime is "an unconstitutional restriction on the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and are, therefore, void," Chen wrote in a judgment rendered on Friday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The law was challenged by James Maloney, who claimed the ban prevented him from teaching his twin sons a martial arts form that used nunchucks. Nunchucks are a traditional martial arts weapon developed in Okinawa and made famous in Lee's 1970s martial arts movies.

Time to speak out against the abuse in English football

Al Jazeera

It began with one ex-footballer in the United Kingdom, sitting down to tell his harrowing story to a Guardian journalist. As a teenager, Andy Woodward was repeatedly sexually assaulted by former football coach Barry Bennell. Bennell terrorised him, and manipulated him. He offered Woodward a dream life as a footballer for compliance. And he threatened him with nunchucks, in a bizarre Chuck Norris-style demonstration of virility, if he spoke out.

Man had 38 weapons at Cardiff Airport as 'souvenirs'

BBC News

A holidaymaker has been jailed for four years for trying to bring home 38 weapons which he said were "souvenirs".