Video Friday: Crossing the Alps, DRC Robots, and Kirobo Goes to Space

No need to act surprised: it's Friday, and we have Robot Videos

3 min read
Video Friday: Crossing the Alps, DRC Robots, and Kirobo Goes to Space

It's barely September, but here at Automaton, we're already looking ahead to November. We've just booked our tickets to IROS (the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems) along with IREX (the International Robot Exhibition), both held in Tokyo from November 3 to November 10. How are we going to contain our excitement for the next two months? Videos. Lots of videos.

Kirobo has just become the first robot talking robot in space:

I'm definitely hoping that there will be some Kirobo + Robonaut shenanigans.

[ Kirobo ]



In June, Microdrones GmbH sent one of their md4-1000 autonomous drones all the way across the Alps, from Switzerland to Italy. The flight covered over 12 kilometers with a 0.7 kilometer elevation change, and took 22 minutes. For a relatively small drone, it's an impressive feat:


The raw footage from the on-board camera runs long, but it's worth watching, both for the lovely alpine scenery and to see the drone desperately fighting against high, gusting winds:

[ Microdrones ]



Team ViGIR (which includes TORC, TU Darmstadt, Oregon State, and Virginia Tech) just got their Atlas! W00T!

I like how the Atlas robot arrives packaged like a burrito.

Team ViGIR/TORC Robotics ]

Thanks Jesse!



Team DRC-Hubo isn't getting an Atlas, because they (of course) have a Hubo. Here's a pile of b-roll showing what the Hubo can do. There have been a bunch of hardware modifications, and I'm pretty sure that a stock Hubo is not designed for quadrupedal locomotion.

[ DRC-Hubo ]



Here's what happens when a Motley Fool analyst tackles the robotics industry:

Personally, I think the processing power and software are both mostly there, but artificial intelligence is entirely separate. Also, I'm honestly not sure how much of an impact the DRC is going to have on commercial and industrial robotics, at least in the short term, because that's not how DARPA challenges seem to work. These certainly are all things to watch, though, if you're looking for a general trend of how "robotics" is going, but WE are a MUCH better source of robotics news on that front. I promise!

[ Motley Fool ]



Watch Angelica Lim, who you can spot on our masthead up on the right, get totally schooled at the NAO robot Dance Challenge, at the 2013 Summer NAO Humanoid Robot User Group meeting in Tokyo.

Negative 450 points? Ouch.

Via [ Robots-Dreams ]



This video of a Adept Cobra SCARA arm playing Chinese checkers starts off kinda fast. Then, it gets faster.

[ Adept Cobra ]



Robots are better at basketball than you are. Maybe not faster, but certainly more talented.

[ ABB ]



Evidently, Roomba has it:

A parody of this, and a much better version, in my opinion.

[ GirlsWithBrownHair ]



With a reasonable amount of creativity and an excess of Legos, it's possible to turn a series of small wheeled robots into a snake:

[ Thymio ]



And we'll wrap with this documentary called "Robots in Flight" that you can easily sink 43 minutes into.

"Robots take to the sky! Follow the journey of five teams, as they battle it out to be the first ever team to fly a UAV in to a search area, locate a lost bushwalker, drop a bottle of life saving water and return safely to the aerodrome."


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?

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