The December 2023 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Video Friday: Beyond the Limit

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
A picture of a silver robot dog climbing a set of concrete outdoor stairs with logs rolling down them.

Unitree’s new B2 quadruped demonstrates impressive agility.


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.

IEEE SSRR 2023: 13–15 November 2023, FUKUSHIMA, JAPAN
Humanoids 2023: 12–14 December 2023, AUSTIN, TEXAS
Cybathlon Challenges: 2 February 2024, ZURICH
Eurobot Open 2024: 8–11 May 2024, LA ROCHE-SUR-YON, FRANCE

Enjoy today’s videos!

Unitree B2: beyond the limit. Maximum speed of 6m/s, sustained load of 40kg and sustained walking endurance of 5h. The comprehensive performance is two to three times that of existing quadruped robots worldwide! Adaptable to all terrains, large load, long-lasting endurance, and super athletic performance! Evolve, evolve, and evolve again!

[ Unitree ]

This shape-changing robot just got a lot smaller. In a new study, engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder debuted mCLARI, a 2-centimeter-long modular robot that can passively change its shape to squeeze through narrow gaps in multiple directions. It weighs less than a gram but can support over three times its body weight as an additional payload.

[ CU Boulder ]

Researchers at CMU used fossil evidence to engineer a soft robotic replica of pleurocystitids, a marine organism that existed nearly 450 million years ago and is believed to be one of the first echinoderms capable of movement using a muscular stem.

[ CMU ]

Stretch has moved over a million customer boxes in under a year, improving predictability and preventing injuries. But how did we get there? Discover how we put our expertise in robotics research to use designing, testing, and deploying a warehouse robot. Starting from the technological building blocks of Atlas, Stretch has the mobility, power, and intelligence to automate the industry’s toughest challenges.

[ Boston Dynamics ]

What do the robots do on Halloween after everyone leaves? Join the Ingenuity Labs robots on their trick or treating adventure. Happy Halloween!

[ Queens University, Canada ]

Thanks Josh!

FreeLander is a versatile, modular legged-robot hardware platform with adaptive bio-inspired neural control. The robot platform can be used to construct different bio-inspired legged robots. Each module of the platform consists of two legs designed to function as a two-legged robot, which is able to walk on a metal pipe using electromagnetic feet. Multiple modules can be combined to obtain six-legged and eight-legged robots to walk on difficult terrains, such as rough terrain, slopes, random stepfield, gravel, grass, and even in-pipe.


Thanks Poramate!

Energy Robotics hopes you had a Happy Halloween!

[ Energy Robotics ]

This work presents a camera model for refractive media such as water and its application in underwater visual-inertial odometry. The model is self-calibrating in real time and is free of known correspondences or calibration targets.

[ ARL ]

Humans naturally exploit haptic feedback during contact-rich tasks like loading a dishwasher or stocking a bookshelf. Current robotic systems focus on avoiding unexpected contact, often relying on strategically placed environment sensors. In this paper we train a contact-exploiting manipulation policy in simulation for the contact-rich household task of loading plates into a slotted holder, which transfers without any fine-tuning to the real robot.

[ Paper ]

Thanks Samarth!

Presented herewith is another PAPRAS (Plug-And-Play Robotic Arm System) add-on system engineered to augment the functionalities of the quadrupedal robot, Boston Dynamics Spot. The system adeptly integrates two PAPRAS units onto the Spot, drawing inspiration from the mythological creature Orthrus—a two-headed dog in Greek mythology.


Marwa Eldiwiny is a Ph.D. student and early stages researcher (ESR) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel whose current research focus is on modelling and simulating self-healing soft materials for industrial applications. Her master’s thesis was “UAV anti-stealth technology for safe operation.” She worked as a research engineer at Inria Lille Nord Europe, research scholar at Tartu Institute of Technology, and a lecturer with the Mechatronics and Industrial Robotics Programme at Minia University, Egypt. Eldiwiny hosts the IEEE RAS Soft Robotics Podcast where researchers from both academia and industry discuss recent developments in the soft robotics research field.


3 labs. Different robotic solutions of the future. Meet CSAIL’s machine friends.


This University of Pennsylvania GRASP SFI Seminar is by E Farrell Helbling at Cornell, on autonomy for insect-scale robots.

Countless science fiction works have set our expectations for small, mobile, autonomous robots for use in a broad range of applications. The ability to move through highly dynamic and complex environments can expand capabilities in search-and-rescue operations and safety-inspection tasks. These robots can also form a diverse collective to provide more flexibility than a multifunctional robot. I will present my work on the analysis of control and power requirements for this vehicle, as well as results on the integration of onboard sensors. I also will discuss recent results that culminate nearly two decades of effort to create a power autonomous insect-scale vehicle. Lastly, I will outline how this design strategy can be readily applied to other micro and bioinspired autonomous robots.

[ UPenn ]

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