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Robot Hands Jamming on a Bouncy Ball

Here's further proof that eventually, robots will become our masters and we'll just serve as food for them, or, if we're lucky, we'll be their pets. In this video, a series of extremely high-precision robotic hands manipulate various objects (including bouncing one of those super-bouncy balls crazy fast, and doing the twirling-a-pencil trick).

Let's just hope our robot overlords use their mega-powerful hands to gently pet us.

For more on these robotic hands, check out the Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory. For more amazing robot videos, check out BotJunkie on YouTube.

(Via Kottke.org.)

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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
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Space
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

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iStock
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science
What Makes a 'Moon'? (The Answer Is More Complicated Than You'd Think)
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iStock

Not all moons look like the spherical glowing orb that hovers above Earth. In fact, to be a moon, a space rock technically only has to be the natural satellite of a star’s satellite.

That said, these rocks don’t all look, or act, alike. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types, and they all have unique behaviors. For example, Jupiter has 53 known moons—including the solar system’s largest moon, Ganymede—and many of them have elliptical, backwards orbits. Meanwhile, Mars has two moons, and they're irregularly-shaped, dark satellites that orbit the planet’s equator in circles.

Since there are hundreds of moons—and even more conditional ones—in our solar system, this raises a question: Should we deem each and every one of these secondary satellites a “moon”? And if not, should the distinguishing criteria include factors like orbit, size, shape, or visibility from a planet’s surface?

MinuteEarth’s Kate Yoshida explores these questions in the video below.

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