Current Issue
May 2014 magazine cover
Subscribe

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

Keeping you current

Meet the First Robot to Ring the NASDAQ Bell

As trading gets more and more automated and computers more integral to the process, it was probably only time before some sort of robot rang the bell

You might be ready for your robot overlords, but NASDAQ isn’t. They’ve invited all sorts of humans to ring their opening and closing bell, but yesterday marked the first robot to ever execute the honor. New Scientist has video:

The robot that did the deed is the UR5—a “multi-jointed, people-friendly robot arm,” as New Scientist describes it:

“It is a very exciting step for us, and an exciting step for the robot industry as a whole,” says Esben Østergaard of Universal Robots in Odense, Denmark, which makes UR5. “The world needs robots, and we are very happy to be chosen to represent this important event in the history of robot technology.”

Here you can see how the UR5 arm works in more detail:

Jennifer Hicks, at Forbes, explains exactly how the robot rang the bell:

To ring the NASDAQ closing bell, the UR5 robot arm was integrated with a three-fingered SDH gripper. UR5 weighs only 40 pounds and can handle a payload of up to 11.3 pounds. The programming to ring the bell is through an intuitive 3D tablet touchscreen — or by just grabbing the robot arm to demonstrate the desired movement.

As trading gets more and more automated and computers more integral to the process, it was probably only time before some sort of robot rang the bell. Just one more step to world domination by robots.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Robots Get Their Own Internet
My Robot Helper of Tomorrow

Tags
About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

Read more from this author |

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus