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Photo: Air Giants

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!):

ACRA 2020 – December 8-10, 2020 – [Online]

Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos.

“Who doesn’t love giant robots?”

Luma, is a towering 8 metre snail which transforms spaces with its otherworldly presence. Another piece, Triffid, stands at 6 metres and its flexible end sweeps high over audiences’ heads like an enchanted plant. The movement of the creatures is inspired by the flexible, wiggling and contorting motions of the animal kingdom and is designed to provoke instinctive reactions and emotions from the people that meet them. Air Giants is a new creative robotic studio founded in 2020. They are based in Bristol, UK, and comprise a small team of artists, roboticists and software engineers. The studio is passionate about creating emotionally effective motion at a scale which is thought-provoking and transporting, as well as expanding the notion of what large robots can be used for.

Here’s a behind the scenes and more on how the creatures work.

[ Air Giants ]

Thanks Emma!

If the idea of submerging a very expensive sensor payload being submerged in a lake makes you as uncomfortable as it makes me, this is not the video for you.

[ ANYbotics ]

As the pandemic continues on, the measures due to this health crisis are increasingly stringent, and working from home continues to be promoted and solicited by many companies, Pepper will allow you to keep in touch with your relatives or even your colleagues.

[ Softbank ]

Fairly impressive footwork from Tencent Robotics.

Although, LittleDog was doing that like a decade ago:

[ Tencent ]

It's been long enough since I've been able to go out for boba tea that a robotic boba tea kiosk seems like a reasonable thing to get for my living room.

[ Bobacino ] via [ Gizmodo ]

Road construction and maintenance is challenging and dangerous work. Pioneer Industrial Systems has spent over twenty years designing custom robotic systems for industrial manufacturers around the world. These robotic systems greatly improve safety and increase efficiency. Now they’re taking that expertise on the road, with the Robotic Maintenance Vehicle. This base unit can be mounted on a truck or trailer, and utilizes various modules to perform a variety of road maintenance tasks.

[ Pioneer ]

Extend Robotics arm uses cloud-based teleoperation software, featuring human-like dexterity and intelligence, with multiple applications in healthcare, utilities and energy

[ Extend Robotics ]

ARC, short for “AI, Robot, Cloud,” includes the latest algorithms and high precision data required for human-robot coexistence. Now with ultra-low latency networks, many robots can simultaneously become smarter, just by connecting to ARC. “ARC Eye” serves as the eyes for all robots, accurately determining the current location and route even indoors where there is no GPS access. “ARC Brain” is the computing system shared simultaneously by all robots, which plans and processes movement, localization, and task performance for the robot.

[ Naver Labs ]

How can we re-imagine urban infrastructures with cutting-edge technologies? Listen to this webinar from Ger Baron, Amsterdam’s CTO, and Senseable City Lab’s researchers, on how MIT and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) are reimagining Amsterdam’s canals with the first fleet of autonomous boats.

[ MIT ]

Join Guy Burroughes in this webinar recording to hear about Spot, the robot dog created by Boston Dynamics, and how RACE plan to use it in nuclear decommissioning and beyond.

[ UKAEA ]

This GRASP on Robotics seminar comes from Marco Pavone at Stanford University, "On Safe and Efficient Human-robot interactions via Multimodal Intent Modeling and Reachability-based Safety Assurance."

In this talk I will present a decision-making and control stack for human-robot interactions by using autonomous driving as a motivating example. Specifically, I will first discuss a data-driven approach for learning multimodal interaction dynamics between robot-driven and human-driven vehicles based on recent advances in deep generative modeling. Then, I will discuss how to incorporate such a learned interaction model into a real-time, interaction-aware decision-making framework. The framework is designed to be minimally interventional; in particular, by leveraging backward reachability analysis, it ensures safety even when other cars defy the robot's expectations without unduly sacrificing performance. I will present recent results from experiments on a full-scale steer-by-wire platform, validating the framework and providing practical insights. I will conclude the talk by providing an overview of related efforts from my group on infusing safety assurances in robot autonomy stacks equipped with learning-based components, with an emphasis on adding structure within robot learning via control-theoretical and formal methods.

[ UPenn ]

Autonomous Systems Failures: Who is Legally and Morally Responsible? Sponsored by Northwestern University’s Law and Technology Initiative and AI@NU, the event was moderated by Dan Linna and included Northwestern Engineering's Todd Murphey, University of Washington Law Professor Ryan Calo, and Google Senior Research Scientist Madeleine Clare Elish.

[ Northwestern ]

"Who doesn't love giant robots?"

Luma, is a towering 8 metre snail which transforms spaces with its otherworldly presence. Another piece, Triffid, stands at 6 metres and its flexible end sweeps high over audiences' heads like an enchanted plant. The movement of the creatures is inspired by the flexible, wiggling and contorting motions of the animal kingdom and is designed to provoke instinctive reactions and emotions from the people that meet them. Air Giants is a new creative robotic studio founded in 2020. They are based in Bristol, UK, and comprise a small team of artists, roboticists and software engineers. The studio is passionate about creating emotionally effective motion at a scale which is thought-provoking and transporting, as well as expanding the notion of what large robots can be used for.

Here's a behind the scenes and more on how the creatures work.

[ Air Giants ]

Thanks Emma!

If the idea of submerging a very expensive sensor payload being submerged in a lake makes you as uncomfortable as it makes me, this is not the video for you.

[ ANYbotics ]


As the pandemic continues on, the measures due to this health crisis are increasingly stringent, and working from home continues to be promoted and solicited by many companies, Pepper will allow you to keep in touch with your relatives or even your colleagues.

[ Softbank ]

Fairly impressive footwork from Tencent Robotics.

Although, LittleDog was doing that like a decade ago:

[ Tencent ]

It's been long enough since I've been able to go out for boba tea that a robotic boba tea kiosk seems like a reasonable thing to get for my living room.

[ Bobacino ] via [ Gizmodo ]

Road construction and maintenance is challenging and dangerous work. Pioneer Industrial Systems has spent over twenty years designing custom robotic systems for industrial manufacturers around the world. These robotic systems greatly improve safety and increase efficiency. Now they're taking that expertise on the road, with the Robotic Maintenance Vehicle. This base unit can be mounted on a truck or trailer, and utilizes various modules to perform a variety of road maintenance tasks.

[ Pioneer ]

Extend Robotics arm uses cloud-based teleoperation software, featuring human-like dexterity and intelligence, with multiple applications in healthcare, utilities and energy

[ Extend Robotics ]

ARC, short for "AI, Robot, Cloud," includes the latest algorithms and high precision data required for human-robot coexistence. Now with ultra-low latency networks, many robots can simultaneously become smarter, just by connecting to ARC. "ARC Eye" serves as the eyes for all robots, accurately determining the current location and route even indoors where there is no GPS access. "ARC Brain" is the computing system shared simultaneously by all robots, which plans and processes movement, localization, and task performance for the robot.

[ Naver Labs ]

How can we re-imagine urban infrastructures with cutting-edge technologies? Listen to this webinar from Ger Baron, Amsterdam's CTO, and Senseable City Lab's researchers, on how MIT and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) are reimagining Amsterdam's canals with the first fleet of autonomous boats.

[ MIT ]

Join Guy Burroughes in this webinar recording to hear about Spot, the robot dog created by Boston Dynamics, and how RACE plan to use it in nuclear decommissioning and beyond.

[ UKAEA ]

This GRASP on Robotics seminar comes from Marco Pavone at Stanford University, "On Safe and Efficient Human-robot interactions via Multimodal Intent Modeling and Reachability-based Safety Assurance."

In this talk I will present a decision-making and control stack for human-robot interactions by using autonomous driving as a motivating example. Specifically, I will first discuss a data-driven approach for learning multimodal interaction dynamics between robot-driven and human-driven vehicles based on recent advances in deep generative modeling. Then, I will discuss how to incorporate such a learned interaction model into a real-time, interaction-aware decision-making framework. The framework is designed to be minimally interventional; in particular, by leveraging backward reachability analysis, it ensures safety even when other cars defy the robot's expectations without unduly sacrificing performance. I will present recent results from experiments on a full-scale steer-by-wire platform, validating the framework and providing practical insights. I will conclude the talk by providing an overview of related efforts from my group on infusing safety assurances in robot autonomy stacks equipped with learning-based components, with an emphasis on adding structure within robot learning via control-theoretical and formal methods.

[ UPenn ]

Autonomous Systems Failures: Who is Legally and Morally Responsible? Sponsored by Northwestern University's Law and Technology Initiative and AI@NU, the event was moderated by Dan Linna and included Northwestern Engineering's Todd Murphey, University of Washington Law Professor Ryan Calo, and Google Senior Research Scientist Madeleine Clare Elish.

[ Northwestern ]

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
Horizontal
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
DarkGray

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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