Automaton has been blogging about robotics for over six years now. It's been an amazing journey, and every year that passes by we see robots getting better, faster, and more amazing. But 2013 wasn't just another year in the evolution of robotics; so much happened this year that we can say with certainty that 2013 was one of the best years for robots ever: We've seen tremendousactivity inrobotics starts-ups and VC funding; manufacturing robots have continued to diversifyand advance as industrial automationenters a new era; robotics conferences saw record attendanceand more and better work presented; big tech companies are payingclose attentionto robotics; and as the culmination of an already incredible year, the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trialswere a huge success,exceeding everyone's expectations.
But it's time to take a break. A very short break. We'll be back soon with our regular posting schedule. In the meantime enjoy these special robot holiday videos. And we wish a wonderful Christmas/Holidays/Festivus to all humans and robots out there!
What happens when quadruped robots, flying robots, ground robots, and even a ball-balancing robot decide to have a Christmas party? This is what happens.
[ ETH Zurich's Autonomous Systems Lab ]
Nao wants to invite you to spend New Year's Eve with him. Join the little humanoid in this interactive YouTube video and find out where you and Nao will end up.
Reindeer is so 4th Century. Good thing Santa is testing new delivery technologies, including drones. And you thought Amazon was cutting edge?
[ Ascending Technologies ] via [ Robohub ]
As his elder elves go into retirement, Santa is considering using robots to improve productivity.
Did anyone say robots and productivity? Baxter wants to help Santa, too.
[ Rethink Robotics ]
Kirobo, Japan's space robot, wants to ask Santa for a present (fast forward to 2:02). Hope Santa can make that delivery.
And a final shout-out to IEEE member Thomas Peterson from Applied Research Associates, who kindly shared with us the photo at the top of the post. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Thomas and ARA colleagues!
Erico Guizzo is the digital product manager at IEEE Spectrum. An IEEE Member, he is an electrical engineer by training and has a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.