The February 2023 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Video Friday: Happy Holidays!

Your yearly selection of awesome robot holiday videos

3 min read
A screenshot of a video showing a pyramid of three yellow quadruped robots putting a bow at the top of a Christmas tree

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos (special holiday edition!) 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.

ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON
RoboCup 2023: 4–10 July 2023, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
RSS 2023: 10–14 July 2023, DAEGU, KOREA
IEEE RO-MAN 2023: 28–31 August 2023, BUSAN, KOREA

Enjoy today’s videos!

We hope you have an uplifting holiday season! Spot was teleoperated by professional operators, don’t try this at home.

[ Boston Dynamics ]

This year, our robot Husky was very busy working for the European Space Agency (ESA). But will he have to spend Christmas alone, apart from his robot friends at the FZI – alone on the moon? His friends want to change that! So, they train very hard to reunite with Husky! Will they succeed?

[ FZI ]

Thanks, Arne!

We heard Santa is starting to automate at the North Pole and loads the sledge with robots now. Enjoy our little Christmas movie!

[ Leverage Robotics ]

Thanks, Roman!

A self healing soft robot finger developed by VUB-imec Brubotics and FYSC sending in morse to the world “MERRY XMAS”.

[ BruBrotics ]

Thanks, Bram!

After the research team made some gingerbread houses, we wanted to see how Nadia would do walking over them. Happy Holidays everyone!

[ IHMC Robotics ]

In this festive robotic Christmas sketch, a group of highly advanced robots come together to celebrate the holiday season. The “Berliner Hochschule für Technik” wishes a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

[ BHT ]

Thanks, Hannes!

Our GoFa cobot had a fantastic year and is ready for new challenges in the new year, but right now, its time for some celebrations with some cobot-made delicious cookies.

[ ABB ]

Helping with the office tree, from Sanctuary AI.

Flavor text from the video description: “Decorated Christmas trees originated during the 16th-century in Germany. Protestant reformer Martin Luther is known for being among the first major historical figures to add candles to an evergreen tree. It is unclear whether this was, even then, considered to be a good idea.”

[ Sanctuary ]

Merry Christmas from qbrobotics!

[ qbrobotics ]

Christmas, delivered by robots!

[ Naver Labs ]

Bernadett dressed Ecowalker in Xmas lights. Enjoy the holidays!

[ Max Planck ]

Warmest greetings this holiday season and best wishes for a happy New Year from Kawasaki Robotics.

[ Kawasaki Robotics ]

Robotnik wishes you a Merry Christmas 2022.

[ Robotnik ]

CYBATHLON wishes you all a happy festive season and a happy new year 2023!

[ Cybathlon ]

Here’s what LiDAR-based SLAM in a snow gust looks like. Enjoy the weather out there!

[ NORLAB ]

We present advances on the development of proactive control for online individual user adaptation in a welfare robot guidance scenario. The proposed control approach can drive a mobile robot to autonomously navigate in relevant indoor environments. All in all, this study captures a wide range of research from robot control technology development to technological validity in a relevant environment and system prototype demonstration in an operational environment (i.e., an elderly care center).

[ Paper ]

Thanks, Poramate!

“Every day in a research job :)”

[ Chengxu Zhou ]

Robots like Digit are purpose-built to do tasks in environments made for humans. We aren’t trying to just mimic the look of people or make a humanoid robot. Every design and engineering decision is looked at through a function-first lens. To easily walk into warehouses and work alongside people, to do the kinds of dynamic reaching, carrying, and walking that we do, Digit has some similar characteristics. Our Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Hurst, discusses the difference between humanoid and human-centric robotics.

[ Agility Robotics ]

This year, the KUKA Innovation Award is all about medicine and health. After all, new technologies are playing an increasingly important role in healthcare and will be virtually indispensable in the future. Researchers, developers and young entrepreneurs from all over the world submitted their concepts for the “Robotics in Healthcare Challenge”. An international jury of experts evaluated the concepts and selected our five finalists.

[ Kuka ]

In the summer of 2003, two NASA rovers began their journeys to Mars at a time when the Red Planet and Earth were the nearest they had been to each other in 60,000 years. To capitalize on this alignment, the rovers had been built at breakneck speed by teams at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The mission came amid further pressures, from mounting international competition to increasing public scrutiny following the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven. NASA was in great need of a success.
“Landing on Mars” is the story of Opportunity and Spirit surviving a massive solar flare during cruise, the now well-known “six minutes of terror,” and what came close to being a mission-ending software error for the first rover once it was on the ground.

[ JPL ]

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?

Keep Reading ↓Show less