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Video Friday: Catching Up

Well folks, this is what happens when we go away for a week: we come back to more robot videos than you can program a robot to shake a stick at. Make sure you have a comfy chair, because there's a good chance you'll be watching robot videos for the rest of the day.

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Clearpath Robotics Introduces Kingfisher M200

The coast of Portugal is not a bad place to launch a brand new autonomous maritime research vessel, especially when there's a swimming pool and a harbor right there, too. Along with a really, really nice beach. Clearpath Robotics brought their brand new roboboat, the Kingfisher M200, to IROS to introduce it to the world, and we've got some exclusive pics and video to share.

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Iuro Robot Finds Its Way Through Cities, With Your Help

One of the most, uh, striking robots at the IROS expo this year was Iuro, with its giant and highly expressive blue and white plastic head. Iuro can approach humans and ask them for directions to help it navigate around cities while acting in a “socially acceptable manner,” but at IROS, the robot was randomly (and hilariously) shifting back and forth between expressions of happiness, disgust, and astonishment, as you’ll see in our video interview after the jump.

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Video Friday: Jubilee

IROS is 25 years old this year, which I guess means that it's earned a little bit of a vacation by holding itself as this resort in Portugal. As part of the celebrations, roboticists were invited to submit Silver Jubliee videos "illustrating the history and/or milestones in intelligent robotics and/or intelligent systems in the last 25 years." If you couldn't be here at the conference with us, we're bringing you the six finalists for today's Video Friday.

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Robot Builds Ramp by Randomly Flinging 3,600 Toothpicks

One way of making a simple robot more capable is to give it the capacity to modify its environment. We've seen this in practice in the last year or two with robots that have the capacity to create tools, build buildings, and even manufacture other robots. This concept can be taken even farther, though, with robots that can construct large structures out of amorphous materials like glue, foam, and toothpicks.

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Robotic Airplane, Boat, and Submarine Team Up to Monitor Coral Reefs

Designing a robot that can do everything is hard. Robots work best when they’re given one specific task to perform and have been constructed with that task in mind, so if you’re trying to, say, monitor coral reefs from the air, the surface of the ocean, and under water all at once, you can either drive yourself nuts trying to come up with some sort of autonomous submersible seaplane, or you can just teach a robotic airplane, robotic boat, and robotic submarine to all work together.

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Inflatable Limb Robot Runs Around on Wiggly Legs

Some of the most interesting forms of locomotion in the animal kingdom come from creatures without bones. We're talking cephalopods, like octopi, who can use their tentacles to both "walk" like we do and move in a bunch of other ways, often while carrying objects. This has inspired researchers from the Italian Institute of Technology and Kings College London to design a new sort of quadruped robot that walks around on air-powered soft tentacles instead of legs.

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Automaton

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

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Erico Guizzo
 
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Evan Ackerman
 
 
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Angelica Lim
 

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