Rock-em, Sock-em Robot Beats Up Volunteers In the Name of Science

Ty Dunitz October 14 Offbeat

Six Slovenian volunteers have been undergoing a bizarre test: being punched in the arm over, and over, and over, and over again by a robot.

A researcher at the University of Ljubljana, Borut Povše, has somehow coerced six of his colleagues to agree to let an industrial robot repeatedly sock them in the arm, in an effort to discover the threshold of robot power. Honestly, had I known this is the kind of stuff I could be doing with my life, I’d have paid more attention in science class.

“Even robots designed to Asimov’s laws can collide with people. We are trying to make sure that when they do, the collision is not too powerful,” says Povše of his research. “We are taking the first steps to defining the limits of the speed and acceleration of robots, and the ideal size and shape of the tools they use, so they can safely interact with humans.”

The robots, provided by Epson, punched each volunteer 18 times at different rates of acceleration, after which each volunteer was asked to rate the punch on a scale from ‘painless’ to ‘unbearable’. Sometimes the robot was even armed with a ‘sharp tool’, according to New Scientist.

Seriously, men are volunteering for this shit. For free. For science. I guess even scientists have pissing contests now and again.

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.
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