Video Friday: Ascento Pro

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
Video Friday: Ascento Pro

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. 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!):

ICRA 2022 – May 23-27, 2022 – Philadelphia, PA, USA

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

Bigger, faster, stronger: This is Ascento Pro! Our newest creation can climb full flights of stairs, drive at up to 12km/h—and all this for up to 8h per battery charge. Oh, and also it is now autonomous.

[ Ascento ]

At the CMU Robomechanics Lab, to get new lab members used to working with the robots, every semester we have a competition where new members are challenged to make the silliest walk they can on any robot in the lab.

[ Robomechanics Lab ]

This is a small motion test for a Mesmer robot head. This head and neck has 22 custom servo actuators - only 5 around the mouth which is not enough for really good lip sync - which is why its not speaking in this clip.

[ Engineered Arts ]

At USC Center for Advanced Manufacturing, students have taught a robot to make pour-over coffee. This allows the robot to control the flow rate and the number of the pour.

[ USC Viterbi ]

Cheesiest robot video of the week, right here.

[ Bouébot ]

Merry Christmas from Thymio!

[ Thymio ]

Looking for some summer feeling in the cold and grey winter? One of the top acrobat-ic bartenders in the world competes against Makr Shakr, the most advanced system for robotic cocktail-making, powered by KUKA. It’s an extraordinary duel in front of the world-famous Milan Cathedral. Who will succeed in creating the perfect drink?

I definitely appreciate that Kuka actually used real robots slinging real liquid, although to be honest, I was expecting a little more, you know?

[ Kuka ]

Two new videos highlighting the performance of DeepRobotics' Jueying X20 quadruped.

Jueying X20 Quadruped Robot Load Test:What happens when a 75kg boy stands up?

[ DeepRobotics ]

MIT students and researchers from MIT Sea Grant work with local oyster farmers in advancing the aquaculture industry by seeking solutions to some of its biggest challenges. A combination of mechanical engineering, ocean engineering, and electrical engineering and computer sciences students work together to design a robot to help with flipping oyster bags at Ward Aquafarm on Cape Cod.

[ MIT ]

Space rovers like Zhurong or Perseverance are currently exploring the surface of Mars. However, the systems are unable to penetrate scientifically interesting places such as craters, caves, or rock crevices. Much more suitable are walking #robots, which can overcome rough terrain thanks to their flexible locomotor system.

[ DFKI ]

A presentation by JPL's Ali Agha from DARPA SubT Team CoSTAR, on Resilient Robotic Autonomy Under Uncertainty, part of CMU's Tartan SLAM Series.

[ CMU ]

Summary of the technical approach used by Team CSIRO Data61 in addressing the DARPA SubT Challenge.


Team CERBERUS' DARPA Subterranean Challenge Technical Approach and Lessons Learned. We outline our team's approach with respect to the robotic systems legged and flying mobility concepts, methods for resilient multi-modal and multi-robot localization and mapping, autonomy and especially exploration path planning, artifact detection and localization on the map, as well as communications and networking. Finally, we outline our competitive runs and results especially during the Prize Run of the DARPA Subterranean Challenge finals.


Skydio's VP of International Business Development, Martin Brandenburg, describes how autonomous drones hold the potential to become part of many industries, unlock new business outcomes, and deliver countless benefits.

[ Skydio ]

Herb Simon was captured at Carnegie Mellon University in September of 1979 giving a talk simply titled "Current Research". Simon discusses various Artificial Intelligence systems, concepts and technologies pioneered over the 25 years leading up to 1979.
The complete video is presented here because of its historical significance, complete with all the shortcomings of the original camera used at the time.

[ CMU ]

The Conversation (1)
Abdo Eid 13 Dec, 2021

Great work!

Great collection!

The Lies that Powered the Invention of Pong

A fake contract masked a design exercise–and started an industry

4 min read
Pong arcade game in yellow cabinet containing black and white TV display, two knobs are labeled Player 1 and Player 2, Atari logo visible.
Roger Garfield/Alamy

In 1971 video games were played in computer science laboratories when the professors were not looking—and in very few other places. In 1973 millions of people in the United States and millions of others around the world had seen at least one video game in action. That game was Pong.

Two electrical engineers were responsible for putting this game in the hands of the public—Nolan Bushnell and Allan Alcorn, both of whom, with Ted Dabney, started Atari Inc. in Sunnyvale, Calif. Mr. Bushnell told Mr. Alcorn that Atari had a contract from General Electric Co. to design a consumer product. Mr. Bushnell suggested a Ping-Pong game with a ball, two paddles, and a score, that could be played on a television.

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