Video Friday: Hacked Anki Drive, Cereal Arms, and Rocket Launching Drones

Mmm, Friday. The day that you get to enjoy all of these robot videos that we spent all of Thursday night (and often much of very early Friday morning) digging up. Not that you should feel guilty about that or anything: it's our job, and we love it, even if (on occasion) we to get a little bit grumpy roundabout 3 a.m. or so. If you do feel like making our lives easier, though, you should absolutely feel free to send us any robot videos that you run across that you think are new and cool, although we will most definitely make fun of you if you send us something that we've written about before.

Having said that, here are a bunch of videos that we're reasonably confident (reasonably) that we haven't written about before: it's Video Friday.

We wouldn't necessarily suggest that you try this with your Anki Drive, but Anki engineers cut up a bunch of racetracks, taped 'em all together, and went nuts with 127 little robot cars in the dark:

For the record, I gave Anki Drive a try for the first time a few weeks back, and it's way more fun than I thought it was going to be.

[ Anki Drive ]

 


 

Having a robot that can do all of your cooking for you has been a fantasy since The Jetsons. We're not there yet, but Oak Robotics' OlivR will at least take care of the heating and stirring:

The video is cool, but it's suspiciously like a cooking show, where everything has been pre-chopped and measured and whatnot into little bowls, and you don't get to see the cleanup afterwards. Moar robots!

[ Oak Robotics ]

 


 

I would under no circumstances want my computer monitor to do this, even if it is in my best interest:

While I hadn't seen this video before, the project appears to be from 2006, out of the MIT Media Lab.

[ RoCo ]

 


 

The BattleBots YouTube channel randomly comes to life every once in a while with excessively retro robot combat videos:

 

[ YouTube ]

 


 

Embry-Riddle has been testing out its unmanned boat for the AUVSI Maritime RobotX Challenge, which takes place in October in Singapore:

It's a lot easier to make boats when you don't have to worry about keeping people dry, huh?

[ AUVSI ]

 


 

This is totally and completely awesome:

Now, let's think about scaling this up, shall we? Like, how big of a quadcopter would you need to launch, say, this?

[ RC Tutor ] via [ PopSci ]

 


 

Using drones as remote controlled cameras is no longer something particularly noteworthy: it's become (or has nearly become) an established industry. But that shouldn't minimize how cool the footage that you can get is:

[ Antimedia ]

 


 

One of NASA's research Global Hawks is heading to Guam to study some upper atmosphere climate change stuff. If you need an aircraft on station in the middle of nowhere for hours at a time at 60,000 feet, there's really no better platform:

[ ATTREX ]

 


 

There's a big difference between learning about robots in school, and doing robots as a career. With all of the emphasis on robotics as part of a STEM curriculum, it's probably important to show kids what you can do with robotics and why it matters. AUVSI thinks so, at least, so they let budding roboticists wander around the floor of the Unmanned Systems Expo to check things out:

[ AUVSI ]

 


 

Parrot's AR.Drone kept busy in 2013; here's some of what it got up to:

[ AR.Drone ]

 


 

While I'm all for making absolutely everything as robotic as possible, is not having to pump your own gas really worth asking gas stations to invest in a $50,000 (when produced in volume, I assume) robot, the cost of which will almost certainly be passed on to consumers anyway? 

It also looks like your car will need to be somehow altered to make this worth, and it's worth mentioning that some states, like Oregon, won't let you pump your own gas anyway.

Via [ PopSci ]

 


 

Trossen robotics forum user dburongarcia set up a PhantomX Reactor robotic arm to feed himself cereal and deliver a straw to drink out of:

Using 4 pushbuttons, the user can pick food from 1 of 3 bowls, put the food back in the bowl, or get a drink of water. There’s also a version that uses facial recognition to feed the user.

[ Trossen ]

 


 

To celebrate MAKE's recent drone issue, they held a meet-up/fly-in last week, and some pretty cool people showed up, including Chris Anderson (3D Robotics) and Eric Cheng, an aerial cinematographer. Here are some back-to-back interviews to close out the week.

 

[ MAKE ]

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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

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Erico Guizzo
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