Video Friday: Happy Holidays

Your yearly selection of awesome holiday robot videos

2 min read
Robot Holidays

Happy Holidays from Evan, Erico, and the rest of the team at IEEE Spectrum. We’re out of calendar events for the year, and next week is our once a year week off, so please enjoy the last Video Friday of 2016, full of all kinds of festive robot celebrations. 

It's nice to see that an entire team of robots is only slightly better at making Christmas cookies than I am:

Somebody really, really needs to let NAO out of the oven.

[ FZI ]

Thanks Arne!

The Autonomous Systems Lab and the Robotic Systems Lab from ETH Zurich outdo themselves, as always:

All legged robots should be required to wear cute socks at all times.

[ ETH Zurich ]

Happy holidays from IIT, Mannequin Challenge-style. See if you can count all the iCubs, and make sure to watch until then end:

[ IIT ]

Thanks Claudio!

According to Plymouth University, Plymouth University's Mannequin Challenge video is the best Mannequin Challenge video of all time:

You know, I was skeptical at first, but now I kinda believe it.

[ Plymouth University ]

Thanks Ricardo!

At this point, I don't think that Santa (or the post office) has to worry about Snake Monsters stealing their jobs:

[ CMU Biorobotics ]

If RE2's HDMS robot seems suspiciously capable at decorating things, it's because there's a human on the other end of it:

[ RE2 ]

Here's FANUC's holiday vid:

Hmm. I think if you're a giant robotics company with a marketing budget and stuff, you should be required to put REAL ROBOTS in your holiday videos.


This was inevitable, wasn't it?

[ Flite Test ] via [ Gizmodo ]

Props to the Edinburgh Robot Perception Group for a Christmas video that's almost entirely autonomous:

[ Edinburgh ]

No, forcing Makeblock's little robot kits into holiday costumes doesn't turn out even a little bit creepy, see?

[ Makeblock ]

Angry Santa robot is angry, because wouldn't you be this time of year?

[ Lichron ] via [ Robohub ]

It doesn't take a kilo of kilobots to make Christmas-y shapes:

The one at 0:15 is #meirl

[ Sheffield Robotics ] via [ Robohub ]

I'm not sure what takes more work: writing holiday cards yourself, or building Lego robots to do it for you.

[ Lego Mindstorms ]

This is, I kid you not, an entire hour of BB-8 doing BB-8 things in front of a cozy fireplace. 

[ Sphero ]

Happy holidays!

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
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

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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