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Video Friday: Bittle Is a Palm-Sized Robot Dog Now on Kickstarter

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read

Erico Guizzo is IEEE Spectrum's Digital Innovation Director.

Petoi Bittle
Photo: Rongzhong Li

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!):

ICRES 2020 – September 28-29, 2020 – Taipei, Taiwan
AUVSI EXPONENTIAL 2020 – October 5-8, 2020 – [Online]
IROS 2020 – October 25-29, 2020 – [Online]
CYBATHLON 2020 – November 13-14, 2020 – [Online]
ICSR 2020 – November 14-16, 2020 – Golden, Colo., USA

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

Rongzhong Li, who is responsible for the adorable robotic cat Nybble, has an updated and even more adorable quadruped that's more robust and agile but only costs around US $200 in kit form on Kickstarter.

Looks like the early bird options are sold out, but a full kit is a $225 pledge, for delivery in December.

[ Kickstarter ]

Thanks Rz!

I still maintain that Stickybot was one of the most elegantly designed robots ever.

[ Stanford ]

With the unpredictable health crisis of COVID-19 continuing to place high demands on hospitals, PAL Robotics have successfully completed testing of their delivery robots in Barcelona hospitals this summer. The TIAGo Delivery and TIAGo Conveyor robots were deployed in Hospital Municipal of Badalona and Hospital Clínic Barcelona following a winning proposal submitted to the European DIH-Hero project. Accerion sensors were integrated onto the TIAGo Delivery Robot and TIAGo Conveyor Robot for use in this project.

[ PAL Robotics ]

Energy Robotics, a leading developer of software solutions for mobile robots used in industrial applications, announced that its remote sensing and inspection solution for Boston Dynamics’s agile mobile robot Spot was successfully deployed at Merck’s thermal exhaust treatment plant at its headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. Energy Robotics equipped Spot with sensor technology and remote supervision functions to support the inspection mission.

Combining Boston Dynamics’ intuitive controls, robotic intelligence and open interface with Energy Robotics’ control and autonomy software, user interface and encrypted cloud connection, Spot can be taught to autonomously perform a specific inspection round while being supervised remotely from anywhere with internet connectivity. Multiple cameras and industrial sensors enable the robot to find its way around while recording and transmitting information about the facility’s onsite equipment operations.

Spot reads the displays of gauges in its immediate vicinity and can also zoom in on distant objects using an externally-mounted optical zoom lens. In the thermal exhaust treatment facility, for instance, it monitors cooling water levels and notes whether condensation water has accumulated. Outside the facility, Spot monitors pipe bridges for anomalies.

Among the robot’s many abilities, it can detect defects of wires or the temperature of pump components using thermal imaging. The robot was put through its paces on a comprehensive course that tested its ability to handle special challenges such as climbing stairs, scaling embankments and walking over grating.

Energy Robotics ]

Thanks Stefan!

Boston Dynamics really should give Dr. Guero an Atlas just to see what he can do with it.

[ DrGuero ]

World's First Socially Distanced Birthday Party: Located in London, the robotic arm was piloted in real time to light the candles on the cake by the founder of Extend Robotics, Chang Liu, who was sat 50 miles away in Reading. Other team members in Manchester and Reading were also able to join in the celebration as the robot was used to accurately light the candles on the birthday cake.

[ Extend Robotics ]

The Robocon in-person competition was canceled this year, but check out Tokyo University's robots in action:

[ Robocon ]

Sphero has managed to pack an entire Sphero into a much smaller sphere.

[ Sphero ]

Squishy Robotics, a small business funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is developing mobile sensor robots for use in disaster rescue, remote monitoring, and space exploration. The shape-shifting, mobile, senor robots from UC-Berkeley spin-off Squishy Robotics can be dropped from airplanes or drones and can provide first responders with ground-based situational awareness during fires, hazardous materials (HazMat) release, and natural and man-made disasters.

[ Squishy Robotics ]

Meet Jasper, the small girl with big dreams to FLY. Created by UTS Animal Logic Academy in partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force to encourage girls to soar above the clouds. Jasper was created using a hybrid of traditional animation techniques and technology such as robotics and 3D printing. A KUKA QUANTEC robot is used during the film making to help the Australian Royal Airforce tell their story in a unique way. UTS adapted their High Accurate robot to film consistent paths, creating a video with physical sets and digital characters.

[ AU AF ]

Impressive what the Ghost Robotics V60 can do without any vision sensors on it.

[ Ghost Robotics ]

Is your job moving tiny amounts of liquid around? Would you rather be doing something else? ABB’s YuMi got you.

[ Yumi ]

For his PhD work at the Media Lab, Biomechatronics researcher Roman Stolyarov developed a terrain-adaptive control system for robotic leg prostheses. as a way to help people with amputations feel as able-bodied and mobile as possible, by allowing them to walk seamlessly regardless of the ground terrain.

[ MIT ]

This robot collects data on each cow when she enters to be milked. Milk samples and 3D photos can be taken to monitor the cow’s health status. The Ontario Dairy Research Centre in Elora, Ontario, is leading dairy innovation through education and collaboration. It is a state-of-the-art 175,000 square foot facility for discovery, learning and outreach. This centre is a partnership between the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, OMAFRA, the University of Guelph and the Ontario dairy industry.

[ University of Guleph ]

Australia has one of these now, should the rest of us panic?

[ Boeing ]

Daimler and Torc are developing Level 4 automated trucks for the real world. Here is a glimpse into our closed-course testing, routes on public highways in Virginia, and self-driving capabilities development. Our year of collaborating on the future of transportation culminated in the announcement of our new truck testing center in New Mexico.

[ Torc Robotics ]

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