The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar
Photo: NTT Disruption

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!):

ICCR 2020 – December 26-29, 2020 – [Online]
HRI 2021 – March 8-11, 2021 – [Online]
RoboSoft 2021 – April 12-16, 2021 – [Online]

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

Look who’s baaaack: Jibo! After being sold (twice?), this pioneering social home robot (it was first announced back in 2014!) now belongs to NTT Disruption, which was described to us as the “disruptive company of NTT Group.” We are all for disruption, so this looks like a great new home for Jibo. 

[ NTT Disruption ]

Thanks Ana!

FZI's Christmas Party was a bit of a challenge this year; good thing robots are totally competent to have a part on their own.

[ FZI ]

Thanks Arne!

Do you have a lonely dog that just wants a friend to watch cat videos on YouTube with? The Danish Technological Institute has a gift idea for you.

[ DTI ]

Thanks Samuel!

Once upon a time, not so far away, there was an elf who received a very special gift. Watch this heartwarming story. Happy Holidays from the Robotiq family to yours!

Of course, these elves are not now unemployed, they've instead moved over to toy design full time!

[ Robotiq ]

An elegant Christmas video from the Dynamics System Lab, make sure and watch through the very end for a little extra cheer.

[ Dynamic Systems Lab ]

Thanks Angela!

Usually I complain when robotics companies make holiday videos without any real robots in them, but this is pretty darn cute from Yaskawa this year.

[ Yaskawa ]

Here's our little christmas gift to the fans of strange dynamic behavior. The gyro will follow any given shape as soon as the tip touches its edge and the rotation is fast enough. The friction between tip and shape generates a tangential force, creating a moment such that the gyroscopic reaction pushes the tip towards the shape. The resulting normal force produces a moment that guides the tip along the shape's edge.

[ TUM ]

Happy Holidays from Fanuc!

Okay but why does there have to be an assembly line elf just to put in those little cranks?

[ Fanuc ]

Astrobotic's cute little CubeRover is at NASA busy not getting stuck in places.

[ Astrobotic ]

Team CoSTAR is sharing more of their work on subterranean robotic exploration.

[ CoSTAR ]

Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation (AEF), a new software product that delivers advanced AI-powered capabilities to assist the pilot during tactical situational awareness scenarios and detailed industrial asset inspections. Designed for professionals, it offers an enterprise-caliber flight experience through the new Skydio Enterprise application.

[ Skydio ]

GITAI's S1 autonomous robot will conduct two experiments: IVA (Intra-Vehicular Activity) tasks such as switch and cable operations, and assembly of structures and panels to demonstrate its capability for ISA (In-Space Assembly) tasks. This video was recorded in the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock mock-up facility @GITAI Tokyo office.


It's no Atlas, but this is some impressive dynamic balancing from iCub.

[ IIT ]

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and I don't agree on a lot of things, and I don't agree with a lot of the assumptions made in this video, either. But, here you go!

[ CSKR ]

I don't know much about this robot, but I love it.

[ Columbia ]

Most cable-suspended robots have a very well defined workspace, but you can increase that workspace by swinging them around. Wheee!

[ Laval ]

How you know your robot's got some skill: "to evaluate the performance in climbing over the step, we compared the R.L. result to the results of 12 students who attempted to find the best planning. The RL outperformed all the group, in terms of effort and time, both in continuous (joystick) and partition planning."

[ Zarrouk Lab ]

In the Spring 2021 semester, mechanical engineering students taking MIT class 2.007, Design and Manufacturing I, will be able to participate in the class’ iconic final robot competition from the comfort of their own home. Whether they take the class virtually or semi-virtually, students will be sent a massive kit of tools and materials to build their own unique robot along with a “Home Alone” inspired game board for the final global competition.

[ MIT ]

Well, this thing is still around!

[ Moley Robotics ]

Manuel Ahumada wrote in to share this robotic Baby Yoda that he put together with a little bit of help from Intel's OpenBot software.

[ YouTube ]

Thanks Manuel!

Here's what Zoox has been working on for the past half-decade.

[ Zoox ]

From Your Site Articles
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?

Keep Reading ↓Show less