Video Friday: Robot Dragons, Drones and Beer, and Baxter Learning Magic

Baxter may have originally been designed to be an industrial co-worker, but a $22,000 robot with two arms is proving too good of a deal to pass up for a lot of researchers. It doesn't move around or anything, but it can be taught to do magic, of a sort. See the work in progress, and (as always) lots more: welcome to Video Friday.

First up, the most important video of the entire week/month/year/Universe: at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems this year there's going to be a workshop on science communication, and I'll be giving a presentation! Woohoo!

Thanks to Sabine, Markus, and Bruno for organizing this, and if you show up at IROS, I promise we'll have donuts (or whatever the local equivalent is).

Okay, enough about me, let's move on to some actual giant fire-breathing robots since they're far more interesting.

[ Understanding Robotics and Public Opinion: Best Practices in Public Science Communication and Online Dissemination ]

 


 

You've probably seen this thing going around this week: it's the Guinness World Record Largest Walking Robot ever:

Apparently, when your dragon is that big, it gets its own custom car to ride around on. 'Cause big dragons be lazy, yo.

[ Zollner Elektronik ]

 


 

If you were to design a multirotor UAV to briefly lift as much beer as possible and do nothing else, this is what the result might look like:

That's 58.7 kilograms of beer (!), or over 125 pounds for you imperials. But here's something even more impressive:

That's a cup of beer on top of that quadrotor, and if you're in doubt as to whether it's real (or glued on or something), you can watch through to the end to see it fall off the UAV and get shredded by one of the props. Nice flying.

[ HobbyKing ] via [ Hacked Gadgets ]

 


 

Chef Eduardo Garcia is a cyborg, which I'm fairly certain makes his food taste much, much better:

So how do I get one with an integrated Slap Chop?

[ CNN ] via [ Gizmodo ]

 


 

I honestly have no idea why you'd want a quadrotor to bounce, but it's pretty funny to watch. And make sure to stick around until the end of the video for some excellent outtakes:

Summer research by Behzad Abghari, Jai Bansal, Ahmed Khan and Tristan Laidlow, with Prof. Angela Schoellig.

[ UTIAS ]

 


 

If you haven't upgraded to a Sphero 2.0 yet, here's a video that shows some of the things that Sphero can do besides just rolling around all over the place:

 

Also, did you know that Sphero 2.0 can jump? Not go over jumps, but actually jump?

[ Sphero ]

 


 

The only thing I know about this UAV research is that I could really, really use it, because I'm a terrible pilot:

Yep, crashing is suddenly a thing of the past, because the computer will avoid obstacles even if you deliberately aim for them! Note, however, that this is all being done in a motion capture environment, so don't try it at home. Or rather, you can try it at home, but probably just once.

[ University of Utah ARL ]

 


 

Hansen Robotics' R50 robot is " fully capable of thousands of expressions" thanks to ten motors and special Flubber skin. Here's two and a half minutes worth; my personal favorite is somewhere between 2:16 and 2:17.

The R50 robot also comes with a 36 degree of freedom walking body made of Dynamixel RX-64s and RS-28s, and you can adopt one for we're not quite sure how much, but it's likely either substantially more or substantially less than you think.

[ Hansen Robokind ]

 


 

I'm not sure what qualifies Baxter to be part of a magic act, but maybe "why the heck not" is qualification enough. Marco Tempest is working with MIT to teach Baxter to perform:

I really, really <3 that little MiniBaxter.

[ Marco Tempest ]

Thanks Marco!

 


 

How can your Roomba make your entire house smell like vanilla cupcakes? A little scented backpack ought to do the trick:

Each scent pack is good for 30 hours of vacuuming, and a starter pack will cost you $20 to $25, depending on what scent you fancy.

[ Robot Add-Ons ]

 


 

DRC Hubo can drive!

Also, DRC Hubo can drive while headless!

[ DRC-Hubo ]

 


 

Let's end the week with an excellent Curiosity Rover Update, featuring some extra details on that sweet autonomous driving mode that she's been testing out on Mars:

[ MSL ]

Related Stories

Automaton

IEEE Spectrum's award-winning robotics blog, featuring news, articles, and videos on robots, humanoids, automation, artificial intelligence, and more.
Contact us:  e.guizzo@ieee.org

Editor
Erico Guizzo
New York, N.Y.
Senior Writer
Evan Ackerman
Berkeley, Calif.
 
Contributor
Jason Falconer
Canada
Contributor
Angelica Lim
Tokyo, Japan
 

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up for the Automaton newsletter and get biweekly updates about robotics, automation, and AI, all delivered directly to your inbox.

Advertisement
Advertisement