Well, as you may have noticed, we took a little bit of a break over the last week or two. Hopefully you can agree (at least a little bit) that we earned it; after all, it takes time to recover from the massive sunburn and millions of mosquito bites that we suffered at the DRC.
So now that we're back, and now that it's Friday, we've got a post full of videos to get you all caught up on the end of 2013.
We've been following Cubli for ages, and somehow Gajan Mohanarajah managed to secretly finish building a working version that's able to stand itself up without exploding:
"For us, it is just a cool little cube that can jump up, balance, and walk." Just, they say.
You can read lots more technical detail about how Cubli works on Robohub.
[ ETH ]
Another project that we've been following for ages is TU Delft's DelFly micro aerial vehicle. A new minuscule stereo vision system and lightweight onboard processing allows the flapping wing robot to keep itself entertained for about 10 minutes without crashing into anything, no external computers (or humans) necessary:
[ DelFly ]
[ Clearpath ]
[ Kickstarter ]
Team RoboBlade (Tian Gan, Fang-Yu Liu, and Matthew Gilbertson)
Kanga (Spencer Boone, Otto Briner, Saya Date, and David Wise)
These were just a few of our favorites; you can see more at the MIT Biomimetics YouTube channel.
[ YouTube ]
A Drone Fight Club, you say?
As long as these drones truly are as indestructible as the video claims, this looks like it could be a lot of fun.
3D Robotics put on a slightly less destructive UAV demonstration on board the USS Hornet aircraft carrier in Oakland:
[ 3D Robotics ]
And for some totally non-destructive UAVs, this is a swarm of them that can actively avoid running into a human:
Note that there's a Vicon motion capture system in use here.
[ Illinios ]
That crazy gymnastics robot is rapidly approaching (or maybe even surpassed) the point at which humans are comfortable competing:
[ YouTube ]
Here is a robot that lifts things if you ask it nicely. Rather a lot of things, in fact:
[ YouTube ]
At UPenn, taking a class called "Design of Mechatronic Systems" is really just a thinly veiled excuse to play with hockey robots for a semester:
Throughout the school year, members of the class, led by Jonathan Fiene, director of laboratory programs for the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, design pint-sized robotic hockey teams that face off in an annual competition known as The Robockey Cup. Each team produces three robots that skate on wheels, shoot with pistons, and see the puck, the goals, and each other using a variety of sensors.
[ UPenn ]
ABB is trying to teach robots to cut things out of stone, and it looks like they're doing a halfway decent job at it:
It's Team Blacksheep's 2013 retrospective. Come for the music and the visuals, stay for the occasional buzzing of law enforcement and farm animals:
[ Team Blacksheep ]