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Posts tagged ‘robots’

Halloween Robot!

One man’s secret to a socially distant Halloween: A robot who’ll deliver candy to trick-or-treaters

Megan JohnsonSun, September 27, 2020, 2:11 PM PDT·4 mins read

Luke Keyes stands in his Austin driveway with Arty the robot. (Photo: Luke Keyes)
Luke Keyes stands in his Austin driveway with Arty the robot. (Photo: Luke Keyes)

Luke Keyes has always loved Halloween. Every year, the software engineer and his wife create a haunted science lab in their garage for the kids in their North Austin neighborhood to explore. But, wanting to encourage social distancing this year, Keyes decided to scrap those plans and focus on a back-up: a candy-delivering robot.

COVID is very real to us. We actually know of one person that passed away during the beginning, and the person that she lived with — he has permanent heart damage from it,” Keyes told Yahoo Life. “It’s very real to us.”

Keyes also has a lung condition of his own, and didn’t want to do anything that would encourage unsafe behavior.

“I’m comprised. I know it’s very real and I don’t want to get it, and condone or encourage others to spread it. But I feel bad because [the science lab] has finally grown to where the neighborhood kids will see me and ask about it,” says Keyes. “So I was like, OK, what can we do?”

A longtime robotics enthusiast, Keyes began building his robot, Arty, eight years ago out of Lego bricks and a Roomba. (Arty’s name is derived from the acronym for “Robot Test.”)

“I’m an ‘80s kid. In the ‘80s, robots were everywhere. They were in every movie,” said Keyes. “So when I was growing up, I just saw robots. Any time my parents would buy me a toy with a motor in it, they’d get so upset because I would take it apart and be like, I’m building a robot!”

There have been several changes to Arty over the years, but the robot now measures nearly 6 feet tall. He’s constructed out of a Balder power wheelchair that someone left in a boat shed, several cameras and a lot of wood. Keyes controls the robot, which he estimates weighs over 300 pounds, with an Xbox controller.

Arty the robot prepares to make the rounds this Halloween. (Photo: Luke Keyes)
Arty the robot prepares to make the rounds this Halloween. (Photo: Luke Keyes)

About a month ago, Keyes realized he could put Arty to use this Halloween season in an effort to promote safe trick-or-treating.

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/trick-or-treating-robot-safe-halloween-pandemic-211100274.html

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“Apocalypse Not!”

spectrum dream

Welcome back from the Mayan scam. After that Harold Camping fiasco last year, I’m cynical about end of the world predictions. “Wired” magazine takes credit for this headline. They knew that December 21st was not the end and wrote an article with that title explaining why. Very fascinating. Yet global climate change is still with us. Random disasters like hurricane Sandy and extreme weather seasons may become the norm. There’s dangerous methane in the ice melting at the North Pole. Wackos are shooting people everywhere. And who knows what the Hadron Collider and mobile devices will do to us in the long run? But the world still has good in it. People are living longer. Most media is free to obtain or create. I now work for a solar energy company. Obama was reelected even though the fiscal cliff still looms.

Next thing “Wired” magazine tells us is that robots will be coming into our lives. They’ll be taking over our jobs and we’ll be glad they did. Even if our jobs are fun like musician or web designer, because we’ll invent new jobs that and we’ll continually turn these over to robots and keep inventing better jobs and evolving. Wired was right about the Mayan apocalypse and may be right about robots but with all the new mobile technology these days, shouldn’t they call themselves “Wireless” and not “Wired”? I also wonder why they are still available as a paper magazine and not just in e form. Hmmm. I’ll just have to be satisfied with this rainbow reminding me from Noah’s Ark that God will never destroy the earth again.

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