Friday, January 1, 2016

Giving Veterans a Leg Up

I let my fingers do the walking....

"VA agrees to pay for robotic legs" by Julie Watson Associated Press  December 18, 2015

News of the VA’s decision sent shares for ReWalk Robotics up over 100 percent Thursday. Sales have been sluggish since the FDA approval of the system, with few private insurers agreeing to cover it, but the company hopes the VA’s policy will prompt more private insurers to follow suit.

‘‘The VA is leading the world with this,’’ CEO Larry ReWalk Robotics said.

The ReWalk was invented by Israeli entrepreneur Amit Goffer, who was paralyzed in an accident in 1997. Several competing products that use similar technology — nicknamed ‘‘electronic legs”— are also being tested in US rehab hospitals.

I suppose it is only right since our guys are losing their legs in Wars for the Jews. They are even making a buck out of it.

None, including the ReWalk, are fast enough or can be worn long enough to replace wheelchairs....

Yeah, take a seat as you are waiting for your appointment.



"Apple fills a long-vacant job CEO Tim Cook once held [and] as part of the management shuffle, Johny Srouji was promoted to senior vice president for hardware technologies. The promotion of Srouji is a testament to the widening importance of chip making to Apple. Srouji joined Apple in 2008 and led development of the A4 chip, which went on to power iPads and a generation of iPhones. Heralded by the Haaretz newspaper as the highest-ranking Israeli in Silicon Valley, Srouji previously held senior positions at Intel Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. He’s a graduate of Technion, Israel’s institute of technology."

Do you understand the implications there?

I know, I should just get a grip:

"Soft Robotics gets $3 million amid demand for its octopus-inspired grippers" by Curt Woodward, 12/17/2015

Robots can perform an astonishing number of tasks for us, but they’re still not the most graceful machines ever built.

A Cambridge startup trying to solve that conundrum, Soft Robotics, has raised $3 million from venture investors and expects to add another $2 million in the next couple of months, chief executive Carl Vause said.

I wonder who they were.

The money will help Soft Robotics double its five-person company, Vause said, allowing it to handle more customers seeking its octopus-inspired robotic grippers for the manufacturing and food-processing industries.

“It’s been a whirlwind ride,” Vause said. “We’ve really hit on this unmet need of, how do we enable robots to handle things that vary in size and shape and weight? There’s pent-up demand.”

Soft Robotics was born out of research at the lab of George Whitesides, a Harvard chemist and prolific inventor who wanted to help build a new kind of flexible robot after seeing footage of an octopus squeezing through a small opening.

Soft Robotics was founded in 2013, and at first was fueled by money from the Defense Department in hopes of making surgical tools.

The company quickly turned its attention, however, to warehouse and assembly line markets — particularly in the food industry, where robots aren’t typically trusted to handle delicate items like fresh produce. Its fingerlike grippers are made of flexible material, such as silicone, and powered by compressed air....

It's almost as if they no longer want you.


"Too loud for military use? Boston Dynamics founder defends his four-legged robot" Nidhi Subbaraman 2 days ago

Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert strongly defended the large four-legged robots that his company built after a report last week suggested that the military, which funded the robots’ development, would “shelve” the finished products going forward.

Marines who worked with the LS3, the second generation of a load-carrying four-legged robot, described it as “a loud robot that’s going to give away their position,” Kyle Olson, a spokesman for the Warfighting Lab at the US Marine Corps told, which also stated that government funding allocated to the projects was running out, but Raibert said that each model has been quieter than the model that came before.

“They are not as quiet as people and animals, but” like other robotics startups with high launch costs, Boston Dynamics has received funding for many years from the Department of Defense and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Government investment in Boston Dynamics peaked in 2012 and 2013, during which years the company received $34 million and $31 million in contracts from the US Army, US Navy, and DARPA.

Looks like wa$te to me.



DARPA Robots at MIT
DARPA Projects Making MIT Students Depressed?
DARPA Adds to Arsenal

One wonders what mischief they are up to now.

Also seeWayne Rogers, Trapper John on ‘M.A.S.H.,’ dies at 82

The days of Trapper and Blake were the golden years of M*A*S*H, which has been dispatched down the ma$$ media memory hole like so many great 1970s comedies. One can not even imagine an antiwar sitcom in 21st-century America. 

I'm going to get a leg up and begin working on Saturday Specials for tomorrow. Good night, readers.

NDU: Man’s leg severed, two young boys injured in ATV crash