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Video Friday: Agilicious

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
A gif showing a brightly lit drone flying a spherical pattern in a dark warehouse

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

HRI 2023: 13–16 March 2023, STOCKHOLM
Robotics Summit & Expo: 10–11 May 2023, BOSTON
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON
RoboCup 2023: 4–10 July 2023, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
RSS 2023: 10–14 July 2023, DAEGU, KOREA
IEEE RO-MAN 2023: 28–31 August 2023, BUSAN, KOREA
CLAWAR 2023: 2–4 October 2023, FLORIANOPOLIS, BRAZIL
Humanoids 2023: 12–14 December 2023, AUSTIN, TEXAS

Enjoy today’s videos!

Agilicious is a co-designed hardware and software framework tailored to autonomous, agile quadrotor flight, which has been developed and used since 2016 at the Robotics and Perception Group of the University of Zurich. Agilicious is completely open-source and open hardware and supports both model-based and neural-network-based controllers!

[ Agilicious ]

Flexiv’s adaptive robot masseur fuses force control, computer vision, and artificial intelligence to emulate the skill and dexterity of a human massage therapist.

[ Flexiv ]

Freely inspired by Jean de la Fontaine’s “The Wolf and the Lamb”, Coperni’s fashion show in Paris. features the Spot robots from Boston Dynamics in relation with human beings. Unlike the original fable written in the 17th century, which raises questions relating to the balance of power between the human groups that make up society, Coperni reinterprets the story and transposes it to the year of 2023 with a positive vision of the future. The figure of the wolf is replaced by Spot robots, whereas the lambs by human beings. The fashion show tells the story of their meeting, their mutual taming and their cohabitation. The show presents Coperni’s vision which is that there is neither a dominant nor a dominated, but that the mankind and machine live in harmony.

[ Coperni ]

Meet the third-generation prototype Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV), a new category of capable work vehicle that can operate autonomously in a variety of dynamic work environments. The Honda AWV has the potential to bring greater efficiencies, enhanced workforce productivity, and better environmental performance to the construction industry, and to other industries seeking an autonomous off-road solution.

[ Honda ]

Skydio’s partnership with WeRobotics provides microgrant scholarships to Flying Labs across the globe, with Nepal Flying Labs being selected as a recipient for their project to create a digital twin of Changu Narayan Temple, the oldest temple in Kathmandu Valley, dating back to the 5th Century.

[ Skydio ]

This is perhaps the jauntiest gait I have ever seen in a humanoid robot.

[ GitHub ]

Interesting “autoloader” for Wing delivery drones.

[ Wing ]

In this video, we showcase how robots can learn from human experts to master complex task sequencing in various manufacturing processes, such as surface finishing and composite layup. We demonstrate how robots can learn the expert’s task sequencing policies for composite layup task and perform execution on a brand new test part.

[ USC Viterbi ]

We present a sim-to-real learning-based approach for real-world humanoid locomotion. We do not use state estimation, dynamics models, trajectory optimization, reference trajectories, or pre-computed gait libraries. Our controller is trained with large-scale model-free reinforcement learning on an ensemble of randomized environments in simulation and deployed to the real world in a zero-shot fashion. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a fully learning-based method for real-world full-sized humanoid locomotion.

[ Paper ]

Roboball? Roboball.

[ Texas A&M ]

This work addresses the problem of active collaborative localization of robot teams with unknown data association. In particular, it involves positioning a small number of identical unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) at desired positions so that an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can, through unlabelled measurements of UGVs, uniquely determine its global pose. This work enables robust localization in perceptually challenged GPS-denied environments, thus paving the road for large-scale multi-robot navigation and mapping.

[ UPenn ]

This work presents a multi-segment vine robot that can navigate complex paths without interacting with its environment. This is achieved by a new steering method that selectively actuates each single pouch at the tip, providing high degrees of freedom with few control inputs.

[ Paper ]

TBNET and DEEP Robotics deployed Jueying X20 quadruped robot with two high-precision surveying and mapping equipment. It has completed on-site data collection in the complex terrain of real scenes such as indoor and outdoor construction sites, electric tower groups, railways, underground garages, and ancient buildings.

[ DeepRobotics ]

Here’s a quick look at RoMeLa’s novel robotic limb EEMMMa (Elastic Extending Mechanism for Mobility and Manipulation), a long-reach steel tentacle that can both extend and bend. It can be used to deploy grappling hooks for climbing, and morph its shape to bend around obstacles. This can allow it to place cameras and retrieve samples from hard-to-reach places. The limb’s unique tape spring construction results in a versatile, lightweight, and compact system. This can enable future mobile robots to move easily and safely through highly unstructured terrain such as forests or cave systems.

[ RoMeLa ]

Micro Robots are a revolutionary new technology that could change how we interact with the world around us. For the first time, a collaborative research team of electrical and computer engineers, with support from NSF, has installed electronic brains on solar-powered microbots the size of a human hair. One of the biggest challenges is their small size-requiring external control, such as a computer or smartphone, limiting their range and making the bots difficult to manipulate remotely until now.

[ NSF ]

A team of scientists, engineers, and designers embark on an Arctic expedition to test space technology. The MIT Space Exploration Initiative expedition in Svalbard was not simply a space analog mission, but an experience to learn how to help enable better access to remote regions from the far corners of planet Earth, to the Moon, and Mars.

[ MIT ]

The Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in February 2021, has the most advanced autonomous driving capability ever flown to Mars. Having such an advanced capability contributes to the rover’s challenging mission to discover signs of life that may have existed on Mars in a distant past. This talk provides an overview on the current research and development efforts on robotics autonomy at JPL, with an emphasis on enhancing the safety, efficiency, and performance of robotic mobility through the applications of risk-aware decision making and machine learning.

[ JPL ]

An interactive webinar discussing the potential and the path toward general-purpose robotic manipulation. This will be the first in a series, hosted by Northwestern’s Center for Robotics and Biosystems, devoted to this grand challenge of robotics.

[ Northwestern ]

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