The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Cassie dressed as AT-ST from Star Wars
Image: OSU via YouTube

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!):

ICSR 2018 – November 28-30, 2018 – Qingdao, China
RoboDEX – January 16-18, 2019 – Tokyo, Japan

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

Oregon State’s Cassie dressed up as an AT-ST from Star Wars. AT-ST stands for “All Terrain Scout Transport,” which is basically accurate for Cassie, too.

Oregon State says that no Ewoks were harmed during the making of this video, in case you were worried.

[ OSU ]

Happy Halloween from Clearpath Robotics! Watch our Husky, equipped with the new Universal Robots UR5e cobot arm, carve its masterpiece using ROS and MoveIt!

[ Clearpath ]

Happy Halloween from HEBI Robotics!

[ HEBI Robotics ]

These robots in the Healthcare Robotics Lab led by Prof. Laurel Riek have some tricks up their sleeve for Halloween! They were programmed and trained by PhD students Maryam Pourebadi, Jeremy Seiji Smith, Alyssa Kubota and Sachiko Matsumoto. Riek’s research group focuses on human-robot teaming, computer vision and healthcare engineering. Her projects are applications in critical care, neurorehabilitation and home health.

[ UCSD ]

A little Halloween skit from Cozmo.

[ Anki ]

In a one week pilot installation, ANYmal autonomously performed various inspection tasks. After being taken on a guided tour of the platform to 3D-map the environment and learn the position and characteristics of all inspection points, ANYmal autonomously navigated the platform and processed inspection protocols. This video documents a fully autonomous mission, covering a total of 16 inspection points such as gauges, levers, oil- and water levels and various other visual and thermal measurements.

DJI has a new and super expensive “Enterprise” version of the Mavic 2, for those who don’t want to just 3D-print accessory mounts for cheap.

DJI is also introducing a flight simulator, which is a brilliant idea for anyone who wants to practice flying without risking their fancy new drone.

[ DJI ]

Let’s just go ahead and call this biorobotics or cybernetics or something, because it’s cute.

[ Tohoku University ]

Many children on the autism spectrum respond positively to robots, and interaction with socially assistive robots generally improves the social behaviors of children with autism, in addition to motivating them to learn. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), roboticist Maja Matarić, educational psychologist Gisele Ragusa and a team in the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California are developing fundamental computational techniques that will enable the design, implementation and evaluation of robots that encourage social and cognitive growth in children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental challenges.

[ USC ]

Here’s a new video from AIST giving more detail (in English, yay!) on HRP-5P. Nice soundtrack!

[ AIST ]

SoftBank is officially introducing the Nao 6, which I’m pretty sure has been out for a while now anyway, but here’s an overview vid.

[ Nao ]

A group of researchers from MIT and the NASA Langley Research Center has developed an autonomous system for a fleet of quadrotor drones that enables them to search collaboratively under dense forest canopies using only on-board computation and wireless communication. No GPS is required.

MIT ]

QUT’s reef protector robot is set to become ‘mother’ to hundreds of millions of baby corals in a special delivery coinciding with this month’s annual coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef. In a world first, QUT’s underwater robot RangerBot has been transformed into LarvalBot by QUT’s robotics team, led by Professor Matthew Dunbabin from the Institute for Future Environments.

QUT ] via [ TechCrunch ]

Control the Robot Claw Crane only using your hands. The user gets 60 seconds to grab one of the balls out of the pool using a humanoid robot hand. This intuitive, gesture-based control method, without the use of any device, tracks the position of the user’s hand and directly translates it into control signals. By using the 3D data of a Basler time-of-flight camera, it is possible to control the robot tool position in all three dimensions.

FZI ]

Satisfying robot pick and place.

[ FANUC ]

In this video, FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik presents the coordinated interaction of five robots and two assembly lines using ROS-Industrial, an open source robotics software framework. The robots of the Conveyor Bot 4.0 assemble individually ordered packages from various articles.

[ FZI ]

Did you know Iron Man is real? So what really is an exoskeleton? Today, on Talk Techy To Me we’re unveiling our version of a super power. Intrigued? Have questions? Let us know by commenting below.​

Hmm...we’d like to see more techy less talky maybe?

[ Lockheed Martin ]

Jacob Templin from Quartz put together this great video interview with the always entertaining Jun-Ho Oh at KAIST.

[ Quartz ]

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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