Video Friday: Valkyrie on Rough Terrain, Harvard Arthropods, and Flying Wheeled Robot

Valkyrie humanoid robot
Image: IHMC via YouTube

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!):

RoboBoat 2017 – June 20-20, 2017 – Daytona Beach, Fl., USA
Aerial Robotics International Research Symposium – June 21-22, 2017 – Toronto, ON, Canada
Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics – June 25-28, 2017 – London, England
Autonomous Systems World – June 26-27, 2017 – Berlin, Germany
RoboUniverse Seoul – June 28-30, 2017 – Seoul, Korea
RobotCraft 2017 – July 3-3, 2017 – Coimbra, Portugal
ICAR 2017 – July 10-12, 2017 – Hong Kong
RSS 2017 – July 12-16, 2017 – Cambridge, Mass., USA
MARSS – July 17-21, 2017 – Montreal, Canada
Summer School on Soft Manipulation – July 17-21, 2017 – Lake Chiemsee, Germany
Living Machines Conference – July 25-28, 2017 – Stanford, Calif., USA
RoboCup 2017 – July 27-31, 2017 – Nagoya, Japan

Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

I suppose you could decide that this project from MIT’s Tangible Media Group isn’t really a robot, but I think it’s arguably robotic enough (and definitely cool enough) that we can let it slide for this week:

We present AnimaStage: a hands-on animated craft platform based on an actuated stage. Utilizing a pin-based shape display, users can animate their crafts made from various materials. Through this system, we intend to lower the barrier for artists and designers to create actuated objects and to contribute to interaction design using shape changing interfaces for inter-material interactions.

[ MIT Tangible Media Group ]

IHMC’s Valkyrie is looking remarkably steady and confident lately:

It’s fantastic to see so much progress being made post-DRC. Here’s hoping that we see a live Space Robotics Challenge from NASA at some point over the next few years.

[ IHMC Robotics ]

At the end of every semester, UC Berkeley has a design showcase in Jacobs Hall. This particular class is required to make a bluetooth controlled vehicle at the end of the semester. For this semester, the limitation was that only one wheel could be used. So this led many of the students to get creative.

Just like the previous video, students may not use more than one wheel to achieve motion. Adding to the challenge this time, robots must "park" inside of a rotating garage before moving on.

Also, it’s the triumphant return of Racing Roomba!

My modified Racing Roomba takes on the obstacle course at UC Berkeley’s annual student vehicle challenge. I removed the stock motors and gearbox on my 10 year old Roomba and replaced them with large 600+ RPM planetary gear motors. The motor controller was also replaced, it is using a Sabertooth 2x12. The standard 14 volt Roomba battery is still used.

[ UC Berkeley’s Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation ]

Thanks Roland!

Inspired by arthropod insects and spiders, Harvard researchers have created an entirely new type of semi-soft robots capable of standing and walking using drinking straws and inflatable tubing. The team was even able to create a robotic water strider capable of pushing itself along the water’s surface.

While the robots themselves are easy and cheap to build, the system of compressed air that controls them isn’t particularly. This is still one of the major obstacles to the success of inexpensive soft robots: finding ways to pump them up.

[ Whitesides Lab ] via [ Harvard ]

Is there anything that Shadow’s Smart Grasping System can’t pick up? If so, they didn’t put it on this table:

[ Shadow Robot Company ]

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) has upgraded its nuclear accident monitoring robot with a bigger deployable drone, better remote control, and the ability to generate radiation maps:


Thanks Jongwon!

Two modules of EJBot propeller-type climbing robot which use a hybrid actuation system. The adhesion system based on simultaneous actuation of propeller thrust forces and wheel torques. EJbot can climb versatile material and surfaces easily. The main target of EJBot is visual and wall thickness inspection of petrochemical vessels.

This project comes from Mansoura University in Egypt; you can find more details in the paper at the link below.

[ EJBot ]

Thanks Dr. Mohamed Gouda Alkalla!

Showcased at ICRA 2017 in Singapore, this robot consists of a UR5 arm and Robotiq gripper mounted on a Ridgeback omnidirecitonal platform. The robot can autonomously navigate and position itself to pick/place a controller off a Jackal UGV.

[ Clearpath Robotics ]

Where this robot is going, it doesn’t need roads.


Prof. Pierre Dillenbourg and the members of the CHILI Lab, EPFL, explain how they are building robots to use in the classrooms of tomorrow.


Clickbait news: robot with gun shoots 18 soldiers!

[ paxshikai ]

MSU researchers are exploring the use of sensor-rich robofish for observing natural waters: feel the temperature, map harmful algae and even stalk invasive species.

[ Xiaobo Tan ] via [ MSU ]



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