The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on August 25, 1985 · Page 7
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 7

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Sunday, August 25, 1985
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Page 7
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THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR- 7A iThe human touch j n ! Hfl.rt.-nvenmhKnn- L 1 I - - oi i irnig iuuui uu nil vun uvui till gg? HJO 'ASSOCIATED press I Boston In an effort to give robots a human fiduch, researchers have developed a mechanical Jand that can crack an egg, drop the contents ijito a bowl, and whip them faster than a skilled hef. . , I The device is intended not to make a better quiche, but to aid in the precision assembly of delicate mechanical and electronic components. ! Still in the research stages, the concept is a .controversial one as some robotics specialists Suggest that trying to imitate human fingers Would at best institutionalize the limitations of the hand and at worst be a futile quest. The robot hand is a collaborative effort between the University of Utah's Center for Biomedical Design and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to a report in the September issue of High Technology magazine. . Stephen Jacobsen at Utah, the chief designer. caift tho Oft a I rtf tho nminnt ttric tn ilrmAitrn rt hand that exhibits performance levels roughly equivalent to the natural human hand." The hand has three fingers and a thumb. Each finger has four joints, and the thumb has three. Moving so many fingers requires 32 sturdy ten-don belts, driven by 32 tiny valves bunched in the forearm and activated by compressed air. Although commercial application of the hand is not expected for as long as a decade, MIT researcher John Hollerbach says parts of the design, such as the valves or tendons, could be used sooner in the space program. The development of dexterous hands is currently based mostly in academia because it is still largely speculative. Robot manufacturers and industrial users are studying dexterous hands but not yet investing in them, High Technology reported. General Motors, for example, is cautious. "The articulated hand is on the back burner," said Richard Beecher, manager of robotics at GM's Technical Center in Warren, Mich. One argument against robot hands is cost. Compared with simple grippers and similar de vice's currently on the market, dexterous hands will be expensive, even in wide use. "Criticism comes from both sides," said Utah researcher Edwin Iversen. "Some feel that multipurpose functionality is not important . . . while others feel that if you are going to make it multipurpose, why emulate the hand?" By the time many of these questions are resolved, dexterous hands from Japan might well beat U.S. researchers to the punch. The Japanese have probably built a greater number of articulated grippers than anyone else in the world, although most are still in the planning stage, said James Albus, chief of the robot systems division at the National Bureau of Standards. Whether or not they are modeled after the human hand, Albus believes that multipurpose grippers can coexist with specialized ones. "I don't see coalescing of one (approach) or the other," he said. "Both should grow and prosper. There are good ecomonic reasons to go in both directions." When Mom needs j a nurse at home When someone you love needs professional care -long or short term, hourly or around the clock-we can help. With skilled nurses, therapists, companions and more. We are Medicare certified and very affordable. We bring nursing care home. American Nursing Care 257-6592 anyme' hours a day. 6100 N. Keystone Avenue, Suite 433 Nebraska officials mum on probe into deaths of 2 on survivalists' farm Associated press Si Fall City, Neb. - Amid talk of brainwashing and a survivalist cult, Nebraska officials are trying to keep a lid on details about the case against three people charged with murder on a farm where a man and a boy were killed. k ' 1 - The bodies of James Thimm, 26, and Luke Stice, 5, were discovered last weekend buried on the farm near Rulo, in the state's southeast-Cm corner, one day after weapons and explosives were discovered there. f Michael Ryan, 37, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths. His son, Dennis Ryan, 15, and Timothy Haverkamp, 23, have been charged with murder in Thimm's death. " The elder Ryan and Haverkamp1 are being held without bail. The younger Ryan was arrested on a farm in Kansas and is fighting extradition to Nebraska. , Relatives of Rick Stice, the slain boy's father, say he is being held in protective custody by the FBI, the New York Times reported Saturday. Federal and state authorities have refused to comment on Stice's whereabouts, and Doug Merz, county attorney here in Richardson County, said they are not known. Most of the details made public by officials about the deaths have Mitterrand, Kohl discuss defense UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL Bormesles Mimosas, France French President Francois Mitterrand and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl met Saturday for discussions on defense issues. Mitterrand told reporters that defense strategy and East-West relations topped the agenda at the day long talks, which are held twice a year. " come from Douglas Sebelius, prosecutor in Norton County, Kan., where the younger Ryan was arrested. Assistant Nebraska Attorney . General Terry Schaaf, saying he feared pretrial publicity unfair to the defendants, said Friday he would ask the Kansas Justice Department to keep Sebelius from re-' vealing more evidence in the case. Sebelius disclosed that Thimm had apparently been placed in a sleeping bag, put in an open grave and shot, that the boy's neck had been broken, and that authorities arresting the younger Ryan confiscated a .45 caliber gun that may have been used to shoot Thimm. Sebelius said the religious beliefs of the people living on the farm were a major focus of the murder investigation and that there was "a certain amount of torture" at the farm. Following a memorial service for Thimm in Beatrice, Neb., Thursday, a friend said he believed Thimm was "brainwashed" into getting involved with the Rulo group. "He was brainwashed," said Brian Hoyle. "I'm sure of that." Last weekend's raid turned up literature from the militant anti-tax Posse Comitatus and the white supremacist Aryan Nations, according to the FBI. Merz said the two murders "did not appear to be ritualistic" and said he would not characterize the farm's residents as religious. "To me they're a survivalist group that had unusual philosophies, including what they thought religion to be," he said. "But these guys are just criminals and they should be considered as such, no more and no less." Samuel Van Pelt, a retired Lancaster County district judge who interviewed the elder Ryan in June while investigating the killing of survivalist farmer Arthur Kirk, said, "I'm sure he (Ryan) convinces the people and children living there that he's a spokesman" for God. Dennis Whelan, an Omaha private investigator who was searching for Cheryl Gibson, Haverkamp's sister, who was found at the Rulo farm in June, said he believed she was brainwashed by a religious cult affiliated with the Posse Comitatus. 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