Video Friday: Pretending to Learn Things at Stanford, Emys Likes Colors, and a Girlfriend for Robonaut

In space, nobody can hear your robot scream that he needs some female companionship already


Robonaut would be a pretty desirable dude to date. Good looks, steady job, big muscles, what more could a lady robot want? To make this love story happen, we just need to send a lady robot into space, and AILA could be the one. Look for the feature film (Cooperative Microgravitic Manipulation: a Romance) to premiere on Video Friday just as soon as we can make it happen, but for this week, you'll just have to suffer through what amounts to a teaser trailer instead. But don't worry, it's not all disappointment... That's the beauty of Video Friday: it's a simultaneous microcosm of everything that is right and wrong with the universe. And while you're thinking that one through, enjoy this week's vids.

Back when I was in school, we had to do work. And learn stuff. At Stanford, they get to just build robots for fun:

[ Stanford ]



Remember Emys, that weirdly expressive robot from Poland? It's learning colors, and whether or not it's being intentionally funny (or just Polish), this video is intermittently hilarious. Skip ahead a bit and you'll see.


[ Emys ]



Instead of teaching their robotic limb to throw and punch and kick using powerful motors, researchers at the University of Edinburgh are programming elastic actuators to store up and then explosively release energy for throwing and punching and kicking. Since, you know, that's exactly what we want to be teaching robots. 

Via [ Autonomous Robots ]



Ford uses a robot named RUTH (Robotized Unit for Tactility and Haptics) to quantify things like softness and feel to help develop standards for ambiguous terms like "quality:"

So, er, how do you know it's a she?

Via [ Engadget ]



Robonaut is probably getting lonely up there on the ISS with only SPHERES for company, so he ought to be happy that DFKI's AILA is training for space:

[ DFKI ]

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