Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. 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!):
IEEE Africon 2019 – September 25-27, 2019 – Accra, Ghana
RoboBusiness 2019 – October 1-3, 2019 – Santa Clara, CA, USA
ISRR 2019 – October 6-10, 2019 – Hanoi, Vietnam
Ro-Man 2019 – October 14-18, 2019 – New Delhi, India
Humanoids 2019 – October 15-17, 2019 – Toronto, Canada
ARSO 2019 – October 31-1, 2019 – Beijing, China
ROSCon 2019 – October 31-1, 2019 – Macau
IROS 2019 – November 4-8, 2019 – Macau
Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos.
We got a sneak peek of a new version of ANYmal equipped with actuated wheels for feet at the DARPA SubT Challenge, where it did surprisingly well at quickly and (mostly) robustly navigating some very tricky terrain. And when you're not expecting it to travel through a muddy, rocky, and dark tunnel, it looks even more capable:
[ Paper ]
In Langley’s makerspace lab, researchers are developing a series of soft robot actuators to investigate the viability of soft robotics in space exploration and assembly. By design, the actuator has chambers, or air bladders, that expand and compress based on the amount of air in them.
[ NASA ]
I’m not normally a fan of the AdultSize RoboCup soccer competition, but NimbRo had a very impressive season.
I don’t know how it managed to not fall over at 45 seconds, but damn.
[ NimbRo ]
This is more AI than robotics, but that’s okay, because it’s totally cool.
I’m wondering whether the hiders ever tried another possibly effective strategy: trapping the seekers in a locked shelter right at the start.
[ OpenAI ]
We haven’t heard much from Piaggio Fast Forward in a while, but evidently they’ve still got a Gita robot going on, designed to be your personal autonomous caddy for absolutely anything that can fit into something the size of a portable cooler.
Available this fall, I guess?
[ Gita ]
This passively triggered robotic hand is startlingly fast, and seems almost predatory when it grabs stuff, especially once they fit it onto a drone.
[ New Dexterity ]
Autonomous vehicles seem like a recent thing, but CMU has been working on them since the mid 1980s.
CMU was also working on drones back before drones were even really a thing:
Welcome to the most complicated and expensive robotic ice cream deployment system ever created.
[ Niska ]
Some impressive dexterity from a robot hand equipped with magnetic gears.
The Buddy Arduino social robot kit is now live on Kickstarter, and you can pledge for one of these little dudes for 49 bucks.
[ Kickstarter ]
Mobile manipulation robots have high potential to support rescue forces in disaster-response missions. Despite the difficulties imposed by real-world scenarios, robots are promising to perform mission tasks from a safe distance. In the CENTAURO project, we developed a disaster-response system which consists of the highly flexible Centauro robot and suitable control interfaces including an immersive telepresence suit and support-operator controls on different levels of autonomy.
[ CENTAURO ]
Determined robots are the cutest robots.
[ Paper ]
The goal of the Dronument project is to create an aerial platform enabling interior and exterior documentation of heritage sites.
It’s got a base station that helps with localization, but still, flying that close to a chandelier in a UNESCO world heritage site makes me nervous.
[ Dronument ]
Avast ye! No hornswaggling, lick-spittlering, or run-rigging over here - Only serious tech for devs. All hands hoay to check out Misty's capabilities and to build your own skills with plenty of heave ho! ARRRRRRRRGH...
International Talk Like a Pirate Day was yesterday, but I'm sure nobody will look at you funny if you keep at it today too.
[ Misty Robotics ]
This video presents an unobtrusive bimanual teleoperation setup with very low weight, consisting of two Vive visual motion trackers and two Myo surface electromyography bracelets. The video demonstrates complex, dexterous teleoperated bimanual daily-living tasks performed by the torque-controlled humanoid robot TORO.
[ DLR RMC ]
Lex Fridman interviews iRobot’s Colin Angle on the Artificial Intelligence Podcast.
Colin Angle is the CEO and co-founder of iRobot, a robotics company that for 29 years has been creating robots that operate successfully in the real world, not as a demo or on a scale of dozens, but on a scale of thousands and millions. As of this year, iRobot has sold more than 25 million robots to consumers, including the Roomba vacuum cleaning robot, the Braava floor mopping robot, and soon the Terra lawn mowing robot. 25 million robots successfully operating autonomously in people's homes to me is an incredible accomplishment of science, engineering, logistics, and all kinds of entrepreneurial innovation.
[ AI Podcast ]
This week’s CMU RI Seminar comes from CMU’s own Sarah Bergbreiter, on Microsystems-Inspired Robotics.
The ability to manufacture micro-scale sensors and actuators has inspired the robotics community for over 30 years. There have been huge success stories; MEMS inertial sensors have enabled an entire market of low-cost, small UAVs. However, the promise of ant-scale robots has largely failed. Ants can move high speeds on surfaces from picnic tables to front lawns, but the few legged microrobots that have walked have done so at slow speeds (< 1 body length/sec) on smooth silicon wafers. In addition, the vision of large numbers of microfabricated sensors interacting directly with the environment has suffered in part due to the brittle materials used in micro-fabrication. This talk will present our progress in the design of sensors, mechanisms, and actuators that utilize new microfabrication processes to incorporate materials with widely varying moduli and functionality to achieve more robustness, dynamic range, and complexity in smaller packages.
[ CMU RI ]
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.