Video Friday: Humanoid Waltz, Robot Sumo, and Happy Holidays!
Image: ETH Zurich Autonomous Systems Lab

Happy Holidays from all of us at IEEE Spectrum! Whether you choose to celebrate Robanzaa/KwanzaaRobonnukah/Hannukah, Xmas/Christmas, or any other robot/human holiday, we trust that your next few weeks will be filled with cheer, merriment, some amount of indulgence, and (if you’re good) maybe even some gifts

We may be taking a day or two off here and there over the next few weeks, but we’ll be back in force for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January. Usually, robots don’t headline at CES, so we’re not expecting anything big, but most of the time there are at least one or two worthwhile surprises.

Anyway, we’re not the only ones excited for the holidays, and we’ll start off Video Friday with some particularly festive robots.

This is no surprise: ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab has another absolutely epic Christmas Video. I think this is now definitely an annual tradition:

[ ASL ]

Thanks Péter!

You may have spotted a few Thymios in that video, but here’s a dedicated little tribute:

[ Thymio ]

Some serious skill, from ArtiMinds Robotics:

[ ArtiMinds ] via [ RoboHub ]

I mean, we would have been more impressed with real robots, but here’s something from Yaskawa Motoman nontheless:

[ Motoman ]

This is what we like to see: real robots, and even some real autonomy. And candy!

[ CITEC Neuroinformatics ]

Had enough holiday vids? Great! Becuase now, this:

[ Dr. Guero ]

We’ve always liked robots that are able to physically express themselves with minimal degrees of freedom. Here's some of the thinking that went into making Jibo good at it:

[ Jibo ]

The hybrid VTOL flying wing drone design that we first saw from KU Leuven is getting popular, and you can pledge for a solid looking design now on Kickstarter for $600:

[ X PlusOne ] via [ DIY Drones ]

Here is a slightly larger drone doing drone things on a boat:

[ Fire Scout ]

I can’t tell if this is really cool, a really huge mess, or some combination of both:

[ Ollie ]

A masterful display of midair pathing that for some reason totally creeps me out:

[ OC Robotics ]

As a general principle, robots are way more fun to watch when there are no humans involved:

[ Robots Dreams ]

Open house at PAL Robotics in Barcelona:

[ PAL Robotics ]

Here’s something cute to end on a non-holiday note. Summer Glau stars in a web series and accompanying mockumentary about what it’s like to work in Hollywood with a robot named Jeff:

Several more episodes are available on Wired’s YouTube channel here.

Via [ BBG ]

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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.

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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.

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