Video Friday: Humanoids Sing, Giant Eyeball Robot, and Kuka Ping Pong Revenge

RoboThespians perform, and much more

Image: Engineered Arts
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CES 2015 has been over for a week, which means we’re only just starting to panic about the impending horror of CES 2016. We did see one or two cool robots at CES this year, although in our experience, it’s not a place where we’ve come to expect much in the way of groundbreaking robotics announcements. That said, we’re working up videos on the stuff that we did see, but for today, we’ve got a bunch of random CES robot videos to get you all caught up, plus the rest of the videos that we’ve been hanging onto while we’ve been up to our eyeballs in consumer electronics for the past few weeks.


Let’s get this out of the way: a Happy New Year message from Aldebaran Robotics, published earlier this month and done in stop motion using the new Nao figurines.

[ Aldebaran Robotics ]


We were more than a little bit disappointed with the highly publicized table tennis “match” between Timo Boll and a Kuka robot arm. For better or worse, there’s going to be a revenge match:

Get impressed by a new duel man vs. machine. See how the KUKA KR AGILUS uses it’s speed, precision and flexibility to challenge German table tennis star Timo Boll again. But this time, in a completely different way with completely different rules. 

We don’t know what the new rules will be, but we’re cautiously optimistic that CGI won’t be involved this time.

[ Kuka ]


Charlie is an almost entirely 3D printed robotic insect with capabilities similar to UC Berkeley’s STAR robot:

Designed by Jonathan Spitz, Charlie takes about 24 hours to print, is controlled via Bluetooth from your phone, and may go on sale next year. Want!

[ Jonathan Spitz ]

Thanks Jonathan!


In case you haven’t seen this robot before, ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab has posted a new video of Project Skye, a round robotic blimp that looks like a soccer ball (or, in some incarnations, an eyeball):

[ Project Skye ]


Here's a few things from CES. First is a robotic camera eyeball thing that Mercedes used for some reason during their press conference:

Via [ The Verge ]

And second, some big news from Suitable Robotics at their CES booth:

Yes, that’s right, the Beam Plus is now on public display and should be available soon.

Oh, and you did notice the Megabeam, right? Because Megabeam.

[ Suitable ]


Want to try ROS but don’t think TurtleBot is cool enough? Meet Oculus Prime:

Oculus Prime is a new mobile robot from Xaxxon Technologies, available as a build-it-yourself kit, or fully assembled and calibrated. The aim of the project is to be both a low cost platform for getting going with ROS, and a capable internet controlled vehicle for remote monitoring.

It features an auto-docking charging station, four wheel gear-motors including rotational encoder, a 3-axis gyro, a large capacity LiPO battery, mini-ITX desktop PC internals, WiFi and bluetooth connectivity, tilting camera and lights, 2-way audio, mounting for an Xtion depth sensor, and always-on reliability.

Without computers or sensors, the Oculus Prime will run you $550, or it’s $1400 with all of the electronics plus an Asus Xtion 3D sensor.

[ Oculus Prime ] via [ ROS News ]


If two RoboThespians are twice as good at singing as one RoboThespian, what’s going to happen when one day we have a whole chorus of ‘em?

[ RoboThespian ]


“Those wings don’t fly, but they do swim.”

SHARCs, or Sensor Hosting Autonomous Remote Craft, recently demonstrated their data collection, surveillance and communication abilities for Boeing in the waters near a Liquid Robotics test evaluation center in Kameula, Hawaii. See the unique way these unmanned marine vessels move through the water and how they connect seabed to space.

[ Boeing ]


Lastly this week we have a few of our favorite vids from the AAAI Video Competition. You can see the rest here, and they’re all certainly worth watching.

“A Robot Which Children Can Teach to Write - The CoWriter Project”
Deanna Hood, Séverin Lemaignan, Pierre Dillenbourg
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL

“Self-Organized Collective Decisions in a Robot Swarm”
Gabriele Valentini, Heiko Hamann, Marco Dorigo
Université Libre de Bruxelles
University of Paderborn

“Mario Lives! An Adaptive Learning AI Approach for Generating a Living and Conversing Mario Agent”
Stephan Ehrenfeld, Fabian Schrodt, & Prof. Dr. Martin V. Butz
Cognitive Modeling, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, University of Tübingen, Germany

[ AAAI ] via [ RoboHub ]

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IEEE Spectrum’s award-winning robotics blog, featuring news, articles, and videos on robots, humanoids, automation, artificial intelligence, and more.