The August 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar
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 ]

From Your Site Articles
The Conversation (0)

How Robots Can Help Us Act and Feel Younger

Toyota’s Gill Pratt on enhancing independence in old age

10 min read
An illustration of a woman making a salad with robotic arms around her holding vegetables and other salad ingredients.
Dan Page
Blue

By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

Keep Reading ↓Show less