It's that weird time of year, right after the holidays and right before the Consumer Electronics Show, when most technology news is still on vacation. Robots, evidently, are not on vacation this week, so neither are we. Yay!
Here's something you should probably not do with a drone:
[ Team BlackSheep ]
Here's something you should feel free to do with a watermelon:
From the video description: "unfortunately the melon later tipped over and the electronics burned out from getting wet." And thus ends the electronic melon.
Hinamitetu’s robot gymnast has been working on some crazy stuff:
I'm not even sure humans can stick any of these moves.
Harvard's CS266 graduate course, "Bio-inspired Multi-agent Systems a.k.a Collective Intelligence," includes "a robotics project to design strategies for group foraging in both isolated and competitive settings. Each team had 3 epuck robots each, robots used only onboard sensing, and the goal was to collect as many pucks as possible within the 2 minute time limit."
[ Harvard CS266 ]
Here's a beat-tracking demo on a pair of NAO robots, featuring beat detection, joint motion detection, and motion synchronized to a MIDI player:
[ NAO Developer ]
iCub has graduated from crawling to standing, and its now able to balance by itself while grabbing for stuff thanks to some series elastic actuators in its knees and ankles:
[ RobotCub ]
"The DARPA ACTUV program aims to develop an unmanned autonomous surface vessel with the ability to track a quiet diesel-electric submarine overtly for months over thousands of kilometers, with minimal human input. SAIC provided conceptual design services in phase one of the program, creating an innovative wave piercing trimaran solution."
[ SAIC ]
[ DARPA ACTUV ]
And finally, here's a fascinating micropanel from Techonomy, featuring John Markoff, Rodney Brooks, and Andrew McAfee. The theme is "Where's My Robot," and it's well worth your 40 minutes, if for no other reason than Rodney Brooks is great to listen to.
[ Techonomy ] via [ Robots Dreams ]
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.