Hamlet iCub and Other Humanoid Robots in Photos

Enjoy these inspiring and funny photos of humanoid robots in different poses and places

8 min read
Hamlet iCub: To be, or not to be
Photos: VisLab@ISR-Lisboa; DIBRIS/University of Genoa; NASA; CNRS-LAAS; New Jersey Institute of Technology

As part of the IEEE RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots in Birmingham, U.K., last month, the awards committee decided to organize a fun photo contest. Participants submitted 39 photos showing off their humanoids in all kinds of poses and places. I was happy to be one of the judges, along with Sabine Hauert from the University of Bristol and Robohub, and with Giorgio Metta, the conference’s awards chair, overseeing our selection. All photos were posted on Facebook and Twitter, and users were invited to vote on them. Sabine and I then looked at the photos with the most votes and scored them for originality, creativity, photo structure, and tech or fun factor. Here are the winners of the two categories, “Best Humanoid Photo” and “Best Funny Humanoid Photo,” and all the amazing submissions.

The winner for “Best Humanoid Photo” features iCub in a Hamlet-inspired pose. The photo, titled “To be, or not to be,” was submitted by Pedro Vicente from VisLab in Lisbon, Portugal. Congratulations Pedro!

iCubTitle: “To be, or not to be”  Robot: iCub  Photo: Pedro Vicente, VisLab@ISR-Lisboa

The three finalists for “Best Humanoid Photo,” in no particular order, were:

iCubTitle: “One who doesn’t throw the dice can never expect to score a six. One who doesn’t throw the ball can never expect to learn to juggle.”  Robot: NICO (Neuro-Inspired COmpanion)  Photo: Erik Strahl, Universität Hamburg (University of Hamburg, Germany)

ToroTitle: “Ready to explore (TORO accompanied by LRU, two experimental robots for verifying concepts for planetary exploration)”  Robot: Toro and LRU  Photo: Maximo A. Roa, Christian Ott, Johannes Englsberger, Bernd Henze, Alexander Werner, Oliver Porges, DLR – German Aerospace Center

SweatyTitle: “Sweaty goes Japan”  Robot: Sweaty  Photo: Heitz, Benjamin, University Offenburg

The winner for “Best Funny Humanoid Photo” was titled “If only I had a self-driving car” and featured a robot called SABIAN sitting in the driver’s seat.  The photo was submitted by Marco Moscato from the Biorobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. Congratulations Marco!

iCubTitle: “If only I had a self-driving car.”  Robot: SABIAN (Sant’Anna BIped humANoid)  Photo: Marco Moscato, The Biorobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

The three finalists for “Best Funny Humanoid Photo,” in no particular order, were:

NaoTitle: “NAOs’ Kindergarten :)”  Robot: Nao  Photo: Mohsen Kaboli, Technical University of Munich (TUM)

iCubTitle: “Ain’t easier than ImageNet” Robot: iCub  Photo: Lorenzo Natale, Elisa Maiettini, Vadim Tikhanoff, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Talos and NaoTitle: “The Humanoids deadline is in six hours—I need those results!”  Robots: Talos and Nao  Photo: Aljaž Kramberger, Barry Ridge, Robert Bevec, Miha Deniša, Miha Dežman, Rok Goljat and Andrej Gams, Jožef Stefan Institute

You can see all the other photos below. Congratulations to all the participants, and to Serena Ivaldi from INRIA and the other members of Humanoids awards committee for the organization!

SabianTitle: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (千里之行,始於足下) Robot: SABIAN (Sant’Anna BIped humANoid)  Photo: Marco Moscato, The Biorobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

BaxterTitle: “Ready for the match of the year: Baxter VS McGregor”  Robot: Baxter  Photo: Alessandro Albini and Simone Denei, DIBRIS (University of Genoa, Italy)

ValkyrieTitle: “Valkyrie preparing to use a drill”  Robot: Valkyrie  Photo: Nicholas Thoma, NASA

DyrosTitle: “DYROS JET Ready for Action”  Robot: DYROS JET  Photo: Jaehoon Sim, Seoul National University, South Korea

DyrosTitle: “What’s up bro”  Robot: DYROS JET  Photo: Jaehoon Sim, Seoul National University, South Korea

DyrosTitle: “JET prefers riding”  Robot: DYROS JET  Photo: Jaehoon Sim, Seoul National University, South Korea

Dyros RedTitle: “Walking to the future”  Robot: DYROS RED  Photo: Mathew Schwartz, Seoul National University

Dyros JetTitle: “Machine Learning”  Robot: DYROS JET  Photo: Jaehoon Sim, Seoul National University, South Korea

iCub and VizzyTitle: “The Creation of Vizzy”  Robot: iCub and Vizzy Photo: João Avelino, VisLab, Institute for Systems and Robotics, Instituto Superior Técnico

Romeo & HRP2Title: “Dialogue of generations”  Robots: HRP2 and Romeo  Photo: Mehdi Benallegue, CNRS-LAAS, France

Romeo and HRP2Title: “Discussing the fate of humanity” Robots: Romeo and HRP2  Photo: Mehdi Benallegue, CNRS-LAAS, France

NimbRo-OP2Title: “NimbRo-OP2 vs. Sweaty (RoboCup 2017 AdultSize Final)” Robots: NimbRo-OP2  Photo: Sven Behnke, University of Bonn

NimbRo-OP2Title: “NimbRo-OP2 kicking” Robot: NimbRo-OP2  Photo: Sven Behnke, University of Bonn

NimbRo-OP2Title: “They grow up so fast” Robot: NimbRo-OP2  Photo: Sven Behnke, University of Bonn

NimbRo-OP2Title: “Posing with NimbRo-OP2”  Robot: NimbRo-OP2  Photo: Aimee Han, ROBOTIS

iCubTitle: “Yes, I’m drunk.”  Robot: iCub  Photo: Daniele Pucci, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

iCubTitle: “I’ve lost my mind for the conference”  Robot: iCub  Photo: Daniele Pucci, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

iCubTitle: “Don’t look at me, I’m naked!!”  Robot: iCub  Photo: Daniele Pucci, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

TalosTitle: “Discobolus”  Robot: Talos  Photo: Carlos Viva, PAL Robotics

TalosTitle: “Walk like an Egyptian”  Robot: Talos  Photo: PAL Robotics

iCubTitle: “Soccer Champion”  Robot: Nao  Photo: Mathew Schwartz, New Jersey Institute of Technology

iCubTitle: “Brace yourselves. iCub is coming.”  Robot: iCub Photo: Marco Randazzo, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)

iCubTitle: “Blessed among women: life is not so hard when you are a broken robot”  Robot: iCub  Photo: Brice Clement, INRIA Nancy, France

ToroTitle: “Fainting robot (TORO getting tired of doing experiments)”  Robot: Toro  Photo: Maximo A. Roa, Christian Ott, Johannes Englsberger, Bernd Henze, Alexander Werner, Oliver Porges, DLR – German Aerospace Center

ToroTitle: “Challenging Yoga pose (Toro getting ready for transportation)”  Robot: Toro  Photo: Maximo A. Roa, Christian Ott, Johannes Englsberger, Bernd Henze, Alexander Werner, Oliver Porges, DLR – German Aerospace Center

ToroTitle: “Pick and install (TORO picks a part for installation on an airplane frame – project COMANOID)”  Robot: Toro  Photo: Maximo A. Roa, Christian Ott, Johannes Englsberger, Bernd Henze, Alexander Werner, Oliver Porges, DLR – German Aerospace Center

iCubTitle: “I could work faster, if only I had ten fingers.”  Robot: Nao  Photo: Aljaž Kramberger, Barry Ridge, Robert Bevec, Miha Deniša, Miha Dežman, Rok Goljat and Andrej Gams, Jožef Stefan Institute

iCubTitle: “(He)iCub and “integration””  Robots: Nao and HeiCub  Photo: Yue Hu, Optimization, Robotics and Biomechanics (ORB), ZITI, Heidelberg University

iCubTitle: “I want a head” – the (!)sad story of a headless iCub”  Robots: Nao and HeiCub  Photo: Yue Hu, Optimization, Robotics and Biomechanics (ORB), ZITI, Heidelberg University

Pepper, iCub, and NaoTitle: If I had a robot…. – Elementary school students draw what they would like a robot do for them.  Robots: Pepper, iCub, Nao  Photo: Wibke Borngesser, Institute for Cognitive Systems, TU München

SweatyTitle: Sweaty supports exhausted coach during RoboCup Soccer  Robot: Sweaty  Photo: Sandra Lutz-Vogt, Univ. Appl. Sci. Offenburg

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The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
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A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof
DarkGray

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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