Video Friday: Robo Cheetah Goes for a Trot, Mind-Controlled Arms, and Robots Playing Football

You didn’t think that just because we’re going all-out covering ICRA that we’d let any other cool robot news slip past us this week, did you? Of course you didn’t! There are many more awesome ICRA articles in the works for next week, but in the mean time, here are two robot vids that weren’t at the conference, plus several more that definitely should have been.

We posted about Notre Dame’s annual robot football competition (that’s American football for all you rest-of-the-worlders) back in 2010, but this year’s competition was especially exciting since it featured the first robot-to-robot pass completion in the known universe:

[ ND News ] via [ Wired ]



Also in the news this week was this story about brain implants being used by disabled humans to directly control robot arms with their thoughts. The concept has already been shown to work with monkeys, and now humans have shown that they can mentally direct robots to assist them with tasks like drinking coffee:

[ Nature ] via [ Ars ]



We’ve known for a while that Sangbae Kim and the MIT Biomimetics Lab have been working on a robot cheetah under the same DARPA program as Boston Dynamics. So, we of course paid special attention to what members of the lab were presenting here at ICRA, and we found two papers: “A Compact Two DOF Magneto-elastomeric Force Sensor for a Running Quadruped,” and “Optimally Scaled Hip-Force Planning: A Control Approach for Quadrupedal Running.” Interesting stuff, for sure, but neither of those papers included this video of a scarily complete robot cheetah:


Or this video, of the robot cheetah trotting:


Or, for what it’s worth, this video, of the robot cheetah breaking its spine:


Poor little guy. That must have hurt.

[ MIT Biomemetics ]



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