In an effort to bring robotics from factories and labs to the real world, the minds behind them are trying to find ways to integrate them into people’s lives. It’s a praiseworthy effort that might one day make lives easier for workers, the disabled, and everything in between. On the other hand, some would rather let pure spectacle do the talking. This is one of those instances, spearheaded by a man called a nutty professor.
Stelios Arcadiou of Australia’s Curtin University decided to put on a demonstration with a massive, $80,000 robot arm. Not content with simply having it build cars or slice fruit, he decided to become a part of the performance; the professor opted to be attached to a harness and let the arm swing his body around for a full thirty minutes. Although the arm didn’t move at its top speed and programmers stood nearby to pull the plug if anything happened, the performance went off without a hitch; Arcadiou was tossed, spun, and turned upside down at the machine’s discretion — and he walked away with just a little soreness.
The professor’s plan wasn’t simply to impress audiences with his courage, though. In an effort to show the bond between man and machine — where it stood, and where it could still go — he went through with the stunt ahead of its scheduled museum exhibition. It’s an endeavor that didn’t have to take place, but that’s to be expected from a man who willingly grew an ear on his arm