Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. Every week, we also post a calendar of upcoming robotics events; here's what we have so far (send us your events!):
Robotronica – August 18, 2019 – Brisbane, Australia
CLAWAR 2019 – August 26-28, 2019 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
IEEE Africon 2019 – September 25-27, 2019 – Accra, Ghana
ISRR 2019 – October 6-10, 2019 – Hanoi, Vietnam
Ro-Man 2019 – October 14-18, 2019 – New Delhi
Humanoids 2019 – October 15-17, 2019 – Toronto
ARSO 2019 – October 31-November 2, 2019 – Beijing
ROSCon 2019 – October 31-November 1, 2019 – Macau
IROS 2019 – November 4-8, 2019 – Macau
Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos.
Team CoSTAR (JPL, MIT, Caltech, KAIST, LTU) has one of the more diverse teams of robots that we’ve seen:
[ Team CoSTAR ]
A team from Carnegie Mellon University and Oregon State University is sending ground and aerial autonomous robots into a Pittsburgh-area mine to prepare for this month’s DARPA Subterranean Challenge.
“Look at that fire extinguisher, what a beauty!” Expect to hear a lot more of that kind of weirdness during SubT.
[ CMU ]
Unitree Robotics is starting to batch-manufacture Laikago Pro quadrupeds, and if you buy four of them, they can carry you around in a chair!
I’m also really liking these videos from companies that are like, “We have a whole bunch of robot dogs now—what weird stuff can we do with them?”
[ Unitree Robotics ]
Why take a handful of pills every day for all the stuff that's wrong with you, when you could take one custom pill instead? Because custom pills are time-consuming to make, that’s why. But robots don’t care!
Multiply Labs’ factory is designed to operate in parallel. All the filling robots and all the quality-control robots are operating at the same time. The robotic arm, in the meanwhile, shuttles dozens of trays up and down the production floor, making sure that each capsule is filled with the right drugs. The manufacturing cell shown in this article can produce 10,000 personalized capsules in an 8-hour shift. A single cell occupies just 128 square feet (12 square meters) on the production floor. This means that a regular production facility (~10,000 square feet, or 929 m2 ) can house 78 cells, for an overall output of 780,000 capsules per shift. This exceeds the output of most traditional manufacturers—while producing unique personalized capsules!
[ Multiply Labs ]
If you’re getting tired of all those annoying drones that sound like giant bees, just have a listen to this turbine-powered one:
In retrospect, it’s kind of amazing that nobody has bothered to put a functional robotic dog head on a quadruped robot before this, right?
Equipped with sensors, high-tech radar imaging, cameras and a directional microphone, this 100-pound (45-kilogram) super-robot is still a “puppy-in-training.” Just like a regular dog, he responds to commands such as “sit,” “stand,” and “lie down.” Eventually, he will be able to understand and respond to hand signals, detect different colors, comprehend many languages, coordinate his efforts with drones, distinguish human faces, and even recognize other dogs.
As an information scout, Astro’s key missions will include detecting guns, explosives and gun residue to assist police, the military, and security personnel. This robodog’s talents won’t just end there, he also can be programmed to assist as a service dog for the visually impaired or to provide medical diagnostic monitoring. The MPCR team also is training Astro to serve as a first responder for search-and-rescue missions such as hurricane reconnaissance as well as military maneuvers.
[ FAU ]
And now this amazing video, “The Coke Thief,” from ICRA 2005 (!):
[ Paper ]
CYBATHLON Series put the focus on one or two of the six disciplines and are organized in cooperation with international universities and partners. The CYBATHLON Arm and Leg Prosthesis Series took place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 16 to 18 May and was organized in cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the trade fair REHAB Karlsruhe.
The CYBATHLON Wheelchair Series took place in Kawasaki, Japan on 5 May 2019 and was organized in cooperation with the CYBATHLON Wheelchair Series Japan Organizing Committee and supported by the Swiss Embassy.
[ Cybathlon ]
Rainbow crepe robot!
There’s also this other robot, which I assume does something besides what's in the video, because otherwise it appears to be a massively overengineered way of shaping cooked rice into a chubby triangle.
[ PC Watch ]
The Weaponized Plastic Fighting League at Fetch Robotics has had another season of shardation, deintegration, explodification, and other -tions. Here are a couple fan favorite match videos:
[ Fetch Robotics ]
This video is in German, but it’s worth watching for the three seconds of extremely satisfying footage showing a robot twisting dough into pretzels.
[ Festo ]
Putting brains into farming equipment is a no-brainer, since it’s a semi-structured environment that's generally clear of wayward humans driving other vehicles.
[ Lovol ]
Watch some robots assemble suspiciously Lego-like (but definitely not actually Lego) minifigs.
[ DevLinks ]
The Robotics Innovation Facility (RIFBristol) helps businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers and public sector bodies to embrace the concept of ‘Industry 4.0'. From training your staff in robotics, and demonstrating how automation can improve your manufacturing processes, to prototyping and validating your new innovations—we can provide the support you need.
[ RIF ]
Ryan Gariepy from Clearpath Robotics (and a bunch of other stuff) gave a talk at ICRA with the title of “Move Fast and (Don’t) Break Things: Commercializing Robotics at the Speed of Venture Capital,” which is more interesting when you know that this year’s theme was “Notable Failures.”
In this week’s episode of Robots in Depth, Per interviews Michael Nielsen, a computer vision researcher at the Danish Technological Institute.
Michael worked with a fusion of sensors like stereo vision, thermography, radar, lidar and high-frame-rate cameras, merging multiple images for high dynamic range. All this, to be able to navigate the tricky situation in a farm field where you need to navigate close to or even in what is grown. Multibaseline cameras were also used to provide range detection over a wide range of distances.
We also learn about how he expanded his work into sorting recycling, a very challenging problem. We also hear about the problems faced when using time of flight and sheet of light cameras. He then shares some good results using stereo vision, especially combined with blue light random dot projectors.
[ Robots in Depth ]
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.
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.