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Video Friday: Household Skills

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
TRI Robot

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!):

RoboCup 2021 – June 22-28, 2021 – [Online Event]
RSS 2021 – July 12-16, 2021 – [Online Event]
Humanoids 2020 – July 19-21, 2021 – [Online Event]
RO-MAN 2021 – August 8-12, 2021 – [Online Event]
DARPA SubT Finals – September 21-23, 2021 – Louisville, KY, USA
WeRobot 2021 – September 23-25, 2021 – Coral Gables, FL, USA
IROS 2021 – September 27-1, 2021 – [Online Event]

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

Toyota Research Institute (TRI) unveiled new robotics capabilities aimed at solving complex tasks in home environments. Specifically, TRI roboticists were able to train robots to understand and operate in complicated situations that confuse most other robots, including recognizing and responding to transparent and reflective surfaces in a variety of circumstances.

[ TRI ]

The FAA now requires all recreational drone pilots to complete an online test, and this video from Pilot Institute explains what the deal is.

Pilot Institute also offers the official test on their website at the link below.

[ Pilot Institute ]

Thanks, Greg!

Hyundai's acquisition of Boston Dynamics is now complete, so they put out this weird video to celebrate.

I am mildly concerned that some of the robots in this video are CGI. It always bugs me when CGI robots are shown doing what the actual robot can do, because why would you do that?

[ Hyundai ]

Making a gripper that can pick flat things up off of a flat surface is tricky, but here's an innovative design that makes it work.

[ Paper ] via [ HMI Lab ]

Thanks, Fan!

Well, this is one of the most ambitious concepts I've seen in a while: Using massive drones to help launch rockets.

Rammaxx’s RAD concept is a powerful octocopter designed for vertical flight via a streamlined hull and guidance fins. It is projected to be able to accelerate with a rocket to around ~ 300mph / 500kph up to an altitude of ~ 15,000ft / 5,000m. We envision one RAD carrying one or two small rockets for small payloads, e.g. micro satellites, and a swarm of RADs working together to carry a rocket designed for larger payloads.

[ Rammaxx ] via [ PetaPixel ]

Deep Robotics’ Jueying quadruped has your coffee, conveniently waiting for you on the ground.

[ Deep Robotics ]

Chao Cao, from CMU's SubT team, talks about autonomous exploration in complex, three-dimensional (3D) environments. A paper on this will be presented at RSS 2021 next month.

[ Paper ] via [ CMU ]

Thanks, Fan!

3D printing in carbon steel with a robot arm.

[ USC Viterbi ]

The VoloDrone is here to change the way we move things. The heavy-lift drone is equipped to carry a payload of up to 200 kilograms; and with its 40 km range, it can fly within a large radius from the take-off point.

[ Volocopter ]

A video on decentralized trajectory planning for multicopter swarms with some lovely visualizations.

[ Paper ] via [ FAST Lab ]

Thanks, Fan!

It's all coming together (Cozmo 2.0, that is)! Share in our excitement when you watch one of our technicians show off how easy it is to reassemble Cozmo 2.0 with its new battery compartment.

[ DDL ]

We introduce a multi-functional robotic gripper equipped with a set of actions required for disassembly of electromechanical devices. The system enables manipulation in 7 degrees of freedom (DoF) and offers the ability to reposition objects in hand and to perform tasks that usually require bimanual systems.

[ Paper ]

Automated test procedure for carrying out a stress test of an airplane seat folding table performed with a KUKA IIWA robot. The test was performed for 50,000 cycles and contributed to the improvement of the original design in several aspects.

[ PRISMA Lab ]

This introduces Bruce, the CSIRO Dynamic Hexapod Robot capable of autonomous, dynamic locomotion over difficult terrain. This robot is built around Apptronik linear series elastic actuators, and went from design to deployment in under a year by using approximately 80 percent 3D-printed structural (joints and link) parts. The robot is designed to move at up to 1.0 m/s on flat ground with appropriate control, and was deployed into the the DARPA SubT Challenge Tunnel circuit event in August 2019.

[ Paper ] via [ CSIRO Data61 ]

In this paper, we present a method for grasp planning and object manipulation that enables the world’s first autonomous assembly of a large-scale stone wall with an unmanned hydraulic excavator system.

[ Paper ] via [ RSL ]

Discover MACBA, the museum of contemporary and modern art of Barcelona with a kind help from Pepper!

[ SoftBank ]

On April 19, 2021, NASA made history with the deployment on Mars of Ingenuity, the first powered aircraft conceived by humans to fly on another planet. With four flights to date—from its initial brief foray at three meters elevation to its longer subsequent flights covering up to a football field’s distance at velocities of about two meters per second—Ingenuity has opened a new world to planetary flight and discovery. In this colloquium, Teddy Tzanetos, JPL’s assembly, test, operations lead and ground support designer will present the project’s inception, its operational goals and capabilities, and what its success may mean for space exploration.

[ IFRR ]

Advances in robotics and automation offer new solutions to humanity’s oldest problems of clean water, food and shelter. The 2021 ICRA Industrial Forum focused on the challenges in today’s construction industry, with potential new solutions coming out of research labs around the world.

[ RAS ]

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?

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