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Video Friday: Apple Drone

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

2 min read
Photo of a square red drone next to an apple tree from below, equipped with a gripper containing an apple

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. 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!):

ICRA 2022: 23–27 May 2022, Philadelphia
ERF 2022: 28–30 June 2022, Rotterdam, Netherlands
CLAWAR 2022: 12–14 September 2022, Açores, Portugal

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


This is the sort of thing that I’m used to seeing in animation form and then never hearing about ever again, but Tevel seems to have functional (for some value of functional) prototypes of its autonomous, tethered, fruit-picking drones.

I’m not sure that this can be commercially sustainable, but I’d absolutely love it if that were so.

[ Tevel ]

Researchers from North Carolina State University have demonstrated a new type of flexible, robotic grippers that are able to lift delicate egg yolks without breaking them, and that are precise enough to lift a human hair.

As someone who regularly faces the challenge of removing my pine nuts from the surface of my egg yolks, I approve of this research.

[ NC State ]

This video is a demo of a HEBI R-Series Robot arm. In this demo, the arm talks to two depth cameras to localize a moving fish in a fish tank. Then, knowing where the fish is, the arm follows a trajectory, programmed using the HEBI API to catch the fish and move it to a glass.

[ Hebi ]

On this tour of iRobot’s office, a few things to look for: the millionth and two-millionth Roombas, an inflatable hexapod from a decade ago, and (if you freeze frame at just the right time) one of iRobot’s vaguely creepy robot babies with half of its face missing.

Also, did you know that iRobot built some custom hardware to explore the pyramids?

[ iRobot ]

A beautiful and dead-nuts-accurate SLAM map of the DARPA SubT course from Team CSIRO Data61.

[ CSIRO Data61 ]

I never get tired of videos of tube-launched drones. I think it's the sound they make when they come out of the tube, honestly.

[ TAMU ]

This video demonstrates an end-to-end LIDAR mapping and autonomy system for robot inspection of complex, multi-floor industrial facilities demonstrated on the Boston Dynamics Spot quadruped robot.

[ ORI ]

DFKI’s Cuttlefish AUV is a submarine with two arms that can be teleoperated by a human, and when it is, it rotates to vertical to give itself a more humanlike workspace, which is a neat trick.

[ DFKI ]

This robots-vs.-children video is more wholesome than you either hoped for or feared.

[ Dave's Armory ]

“Decolonizing AI” is a critique and an emerging movement both in the West and Non-Western world amongst AI researchers, activists, and practitioners. While its proponents have identified parallels between historical colonialism and the colonial-like scale and extractive nature of AI-related technologies developed by big tech companies, can a decolonial framing address broader socio-economic issues of power and agency within the creation and use of AI? This talk explores the varying views on “decolonizing” AI and will build upon work from the “AI Decolonial Manyfesto” collaborative effort.

[ Stanford HAI ]

The Conversation (0)

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
Horizontal
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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