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Video Friday: Robot Cube, Drone Fight Club, and the Rest of 2013

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.

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When Will We Have Robots To Help With Household Chores?

This is a guest post. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not represent positions of IEEE Spectrum or the IEEE.

Google has recently been in the news for its buying spree of robotics companies. Many people are excited about this and believe that this will greatly accelerate robotics technology development and hopefully make robots ubiquitous in our lives. I hope that's true, and if so, the big question is: When will we be able to buy robots to help us with household chores?

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Video Friday: The Year in Robots

In 2013, we posted 282 articles on robotics. A lot of amazing stuff happened this year, and we did our best to cover absolutely all of it. But one of the downsides of posting as many articles as we do is that we're constantly forced to keep moving on to the latest thing, and it's too easy to forget what happened last month, last week, or even yesterday. With that in mind, we thought it would be nice to close out the year with a look back at some of our (entirely subjective) favorite stories and videos from 2013.

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These Robots Want to Wish You Happy Holidays

Automaton has been blogging about robotics for over six years now. It's been an amazing journey, and every year that passes by we see robots getting better, faster, and more amazing. But 2013 wasn't just another year in the evolution of robotics; so much happened this year that we can say with certainty that 2013 was one of the best years for robots ever: We've seen tremendous activity in robotics starts-ups and VC funding; manufacturing robots have continued to diversify and advance as industrial automation enters a new era; robotics conferences saw record attendance and more and better work presented; big tech companies are paying close attention to robotics; and as the culmination of an already incredible year, the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials were a huge success, exceeding everyone's expectations.

But it's time to take a break. A very short break. We'll be back soon with our regular posting schedule. In the meantime enjoy these special robot holiday videos. And we wish a wonderful Christmas/Holidays/Festivus to all humans and robots out there!

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DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials: Day 2 and The Future

The DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials ended on Saturday night, and we're heading home from Florida today. If you haven't been following the event, you can watch recordings of most challenges here, and below is DARPA's Day 2 wrap video: 

We're going to have some detailed follow-ups on some DRC specifics over the next few weeks, but for now, we'll leave you with our thoughts from Day 2 of the competition, as well as some comments from DARPA about what we have to look forward to at the DRC Finals next year.

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Video Friday: Meet the DARPA Robotics Challenge Teams

UPDATED 12/21/13: DARPA posted more team profile videos, and we've included them below.

The DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials officially kicked off this morning, and you can actually watch some of the action in real time directly from the Homestead Miami Speedway, thanks to DARPA's live feeds. (Don't be disappointed if nothing much is happening when you tune in; that's how it's supposed to be, so be patient and soon you'll see robots doing things, or at least trying to do things.) DARPA has also been posting video profiles of the DRC teams, and that's what we'll bring you today in this special edition of Video Friday. And keep checking back for our continuing coverage of the DRC Trials!

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IEEE Spectrum's award-winning robotics blog, featuring news, articles, and videos on robots, humanoids, automation, artificial intelligence, and more.
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Erico Guizzo
New York, N.Y.
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Evan Ackerman
Berkeley, Calif.
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Angelica Lim
Tokyo, Japan

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