Video Friday: Dark-Side Spot

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read

Evan Ackerman is IEEE Spectrum’s robotics editor.

A yellow quadruped robot with two arms attached to its head wields red and blue lightsabers

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 CASE 2022: 20–24 August 2022, MEXICO CITY
CLAWAR 2022: 12–14 September 2022, AZORES, PORTUGAL
IROS 2022: 23–27 October 2022, KYOTO, JAPAN
ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals: 4–5 November 2022, LOS ANGELES
CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today's videos!

I honestly could not tell you whether this goes against Boston Dynamics’ terms of sale or not.


Today, robots by and large exist in industrial environments, and are painstakingly coded for specific tasks. What if there was a better way to communicate with learning robots so they can help us? Researchers and engineers at Google Research and Everyday Robots are working together to combine the best of machine learning language models with helper robots that can complete complex and abstract tasks like ‘cleaning up a spilled drink.’

[ Google Research ]

From a robotics perspective, this is a nifty project, and well executed by Allen Pan. From the perspective of someone who loves snakes for what they are (!), I just want to point out that snakes do not need legs, do not want legs, do very well without legs, and are adorable without any modifications.

And this is a picture of my best friend Satin, who wants you to know that she’s perfect without any legs at all.

[ Allen Pan ]

GITAI developed the GITAI IN1 (Inchworm One), an inchworm-type robotic arm equipped with "grapple end-effectors" on both ends of the arm. This unique feature increases "Capability", which enables it to connect to various tools (end-effectors) to perform multiple tasks for various applications, and "Mobility", which enables it to move in any direction.


Thanks, Aki!

Okay, but what’s the deal with the dude watching the video of a fake robot right at the beginning there?

[ Engineered Arts ]

The Unitree Go1 has arrived at Trossen Robotics and it is here to stay. Quadrupeds in general have been receiving a lot of public attention lately. As Unitree's North American reseller, we thought we should share a little about their history, why they make sense from an evolutionary standpoint, their purpose in robotics research, and why the Go1 is such an impressive quadrupedal research and secondary development platform.

Looks like the base model is a mere US $5,500.

[ Trossen ]

You’ll want to turn the subtitles on for this one. Thank you, ASIMO.

[ Miraikan ]

Demonstration of a commercial UAV using a newly developed landing technology from the Createk Design Lab at the Université de Sherbrooke to land on steep slopes of up to 60° and at speeds of up to 2.75 m/s. The landing technology combines adaptative friction shock absorbers and reverse thrust to enable landings in difficult scenarios.

[ Paper ]

Is there anything that ANYmal can’t traverse? Sure there is! But this is impressive anyway.

[ Paper ]

Two arms for $1,700 seems pretty good, although as with most affordable hardware, getting it to do something useful is probably on you.

[ myBuddy ]

Shadow Teleoperation System - Your Hands. Anywhere. Anytime. Our technology can be used within the pharmaceutical industry for drug/ vaccine manufacturing, inspection tasks, quality control and more. It's the perfect solution to protect humans from potent substances and protect products/substances from human contamination.

[ Shadow Robot ]

This is not a great video, but the technology is important: using drones to identify power line issues that could start wildfires.

[ ORNL ]

We have developed a hybrid cell using robotics to reduce manual labor in satellite assembly operations. Robot-human interaction is necessary in risk-averse sectors such as aerospace, where efficient production is critical, but full automation is unlikely if the risk of process-induced defects exist. This video demonstrates the technical feasibility of fixture-free robotic assembly in hybrid cells.

[ CAM USC Viterbi ]

Rethink Robotics: still doing stuff.

[ Rethink Robotics ]

Members of Uganda Flying Labs share how their drone operations and data training programs help farmers improve their crop yield and care for their livestock.

[ Uganda Flying Labs ]

A conversation between two leaders in the robot space: Daniela Rus and Marc Raibert.


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