The February 2023 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Video Friday: Baby Clappy

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

2 min read
Two cartoonish round red robots with clapping hands above their head next to a smaller, cuter version of the same robot

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.

RSS 2022: 21 June–1 July 2022, NEW YORK CITY
ERF 2022: 28 June–30 June 2022, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
RoboCup 2022: 11 July–17 July 2022, BANGKOK
IEEE CASE 2022: 20 August–24 August 2022, MEXICO CITY
CLAWAR 2022: 12 September–14 September 2022, AZORES, PORTUGAL
ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals: 4 November–5 November 2022, LOS ANGELES
CoRL 2022: 14 December–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today’s videos!

The secret to making a robot is to pick one thing and do it really, really well. And then make it smaller and cheaper and cuter!

Not sure how much Baby Clappy is going to cost quite yet, but listen for it next year.

[ Baby Clappy ]

Digit is capable of navigating a wide variety of challenging terrain. Robust dynamic stability paired with advanced perception capabilities enable Digit to maneuver through a logistics warehouse environment or even a stretch of trail in the woods. Today Digit took a hike in our own backyard, along the famous Pacific Crest Trail.

[ Agility Robotics ]

The match of Tech United versus the ladies from Vitória Sport Clube during the European RoboCup 2022 in Guimarães, Portugal. Note that the ladies intentionally tied against our robots, so we could end the game in penalties.

[ Tech United ]

Franka Production 3 is the force-sensitive robot platform made in Germany, an industry system that ignites productivity for everyone who needs industrial robotics automation.

[ Franka Emika ]

David demonstrates advanced manipulation skills with the 7-degrees-of-freedom arm and fully articulated five-finger hand using a pipette. To localize the object, we combine multi-object tracking with proprioceptive measurements. Together with path planning, this allows for controlled in-hand manipulation.


DeepRobotics has signed a strategic agreement with Huzhou Institute of Zhejiang University for cooperating on further research to seek various possibilities in drones and quadrupeds.

[ Deep Robotics ]

Have you ever wondered if that over-the-counter pill you took an hour ago is helping to relieve your headache? With NSF's support, a team of Stanford University mechanical engineers has found a way to target drug delivery…to better attack that headache. Meet the millirobots. These finger-size, wireless, origami-inspired, amphibious robots could become medicine’s future lifesaver.

[ Zhao Lab ]

Engineers at Rice University have developed a method that allows humans to help robots “see” their environments and carry out tasks. The strategy called Bayesian Learning IN the Dark—BLIND, for short—is a novel solution to the long-standing problem of motion planning for robots that work in environments where not everything is clearly visible all the time.

[ Rice ]

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
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

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?

Keep Reading ↓Show less