Video Friday: H-Muscle Hydraulic Robot Actuator, and More

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

H-Muscle
Image: Kazumichi Moriyama via YouTube
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Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!):

Robotic Arena – January 12, 2019 – Wrocław, Poland
RoboDEX – January 16-18, 2019 – Tokyo, Japan

Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.


Not everyone managed to get their holiday videos posted in time for us to steal them for the last Video Friday of 2018, so let’s just pretend the holidays are still going on, you’ve eaten too much, your family is driving you nuts, and you can’t wait for things to just get back to normal. And if you need 300 days of recovery because of the music, better just hit mute right now.

Happy holidays from RightHand Robotics!

No photos or videos of the bots, please.

[ RightHand Robotics ]

Thanks Jeff!


Happy holidays from OTTO Motors!

I think it’s okay to call this a happy holidays from Clearpath Robotics, too.

[ OTTO Motors ]

Thanks Srna!


Happy holidays from the Reconfigurable Robotics Lab at EPFL!

[ RRL ]


Happy holidays from COLLMOT, who put on this drone light show at Buckingham Palace:

[ COLLMOT ]


A thousand happy holidays from the Kilobot swarm at Sheffield Robotics!

[ Sheffield Robotics ]


Happy holidays from the Aerospace Robotics and Control Lab at Caltech!

[ Aerospace Robotics and Control Lab ]


Happy holidays from Team Blacksheep!

[ Team BlackSheep ]


Meanwhile, some folks have already moved on to 2019 by looking back at 2018. Good for them! This is from the Robotics, Vision and Control Group at the University of Seville.

[ GRVC ]


The Dynamic Interaction Control Lab at IIT had an exciting 2018 as well:

Hoping that iCub is gonna take us to the danger zone in 2019!

[ IIT ]


Sabine Hauert at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and collaborators EMBL Barcelona published a paper in Science Robotics last month that looked at how swarms of robots can self-organize and collaborate to create shapes and patterns without any kind of centralized control. This happens all the time in our bodies, since cells can only really talk to the cells immediately around them- it’s remarkable that we don’t all fall to pieces, and this research is helping us understand why.

Morphogenesis allows millions of cells to self-organize into intricate structures with a wide variety of functional shapes during embryonic development. This process emerges from local interactions of cells under the control of gene circuits that are identical in every cell, robust to intrinsic noise, and adaptable to changing environments. Constructing human technology with these properties presents an important opportunity in swarm robotic applications ranging from construction to exploration. Morphogenesis in nature may use two different approaches: hierarchical, top-down control or spontaneously self-organizing dynamics such as reaction-diffusion Turing patterns. Here, we provide a demonstration of purely self-organizing behaviors to create emergent morphologies in large swarms of real robots. The robots achieve this collective organization without any self-localization and instead rely entirely on local interactions with neighbors. Results show swarms of 300 robots that self-construct organic and adaptable shapes that are robust to damage. This is a step toward the emergence of functional shape formation in robot swarms following principles of self-organized morphogenetic engineering.

[ Hauert Lab ] via [ RoboHub ]

Thanks Sabine!


P4 is Toyota Research Institute’s most advanced automated driving research vehicle. It is based on the all-new fifth-generation Lexus LS flagship sedan, the 2018 LS 500h. Newly available chassis and steering control technology from Lexus allows P4 to provide vehicle occupants with a much smoother automated driving experience as a result of refined steering. The new test model also has greater perception with the addition of two cameras and two imaging sensors plus optimized radar for better object detection around the vehicle.

Well, that’s pretty fancy looking. Like most autonomous research vehicles, though, it’s almost certainly too oversensored (and expensive) to ever be used for anything but research. The idea is that Toyota will be able to take what they learn from this car and transition it into production vehicles.

[ Toyota ]


Hydraulics are still used in robots because they can do things like this:

This (relatively) small and light hydraulic actuator comes from H-Muscle, a venture from the Suzumori Endo Robotics Laboratory at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. It’ll be commercialized early this year.

[ H-Muscle ] via [ Robotstart ]


A severe fire broke out at the Liverpool Echo Arena Multi Story Car Park on 31st December 2017. Once the fire was under control and extinguished, public safety was of the highest concern. Mandated by Liverpool City Council, PCF Survey deployed Elios to safely investigate the aftermath.

[ Flyability ]


LBR iisy is KUKA’s new lightweight, safe and industrially proven robot meant to break all barriers to automation - available in 2019. In this demo see how functionality can be extended with more tools and senses.

[ Kuka ]


Life with Cozmo is back with an epic Karate Kit-inspired trilogy, complete with even more puns than you can reasonably expect and a Cozmo-level special effects budget.

Also, it’s not too late to enter to win an Anki Vector—do the obligatory comment and subscribe thing (details in the video description) by Saturday, and be creative about it for the best chance of winning.

[ Life with Cozmo ]

Thanks David!


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