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Video Friday: ICRA 2022

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

2 min read
Video Friday: ICRA 2022
David Garzón Ramos

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. This week is going to be a little bit on the short side, because Evan is getting married this weekend [!!!!!! –Ed.] and is actually supposed to be writing his vows right now.

We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

RSS 2022: 21 June–1 July 2022, NEW YORK CITY
ERF 2022: 28–30 June 2022, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
RoboCup 2022: 11–17 July 2022, BANGKOK
IEEE CASE 2022: 20–24 August 2022, MEXICO CITY
CLAWAR 2022: 12–14 September 2022, AZORES, PORTUGAL

Enjoy today’s videos!

These five videos from ICRA 2022 were created by David Garzón Ramos, a Ph.D. student at IRIDIA, Université libre de Bruxelles, and a member of the ERC DEMIURGE project. David won an award from the ICRA organizing committee to help him attend the conference and share his experiences, and here's how he described his approach to communicating the most exciting parts of ICRA:

At ICRA 2022, I collaborated with the Publicity Committee to portrait some curious, interesting, and emotive moments of the conference in a series of video digests. I believe that working with robots is fun! However, I also believe that it happens quite often that the fascinating ecosystem of contemporary robots is reserved to few fortunate researchers, makers, and engineers. In my videos, I tried to depict and share this rich ecosystem as it was happening in Philadelphia’s ICRA 2022. I focused in creating stories that could be accessible and appealing for the specialized and the nonspecialized public. I wandered around the conference capturing those moments that, at least to my eyes, could help to communicate an important message: robots and people can engage positively. What could be more engaging than having funky robots?! :)

Many thanks to David for producing and sharing these videos!

We’ll have more ICRA content in the coming weeks, but if you’re looking for the latest research being done on awesome robots, look no further than the annual Legged Locomotion workshop. All of the talks from the ICRA 2022 edition are now online, and you can watch the whole playlist (or just skip to your favorite humans and robots!) below.

[ Legged Robots ]

The Conversation (0)

How the U.S. Army Is Turning Robots Into Team Players

Engineers battle the limits of deep learning for battlefield bots

11 min read
Robot with threads near a fallen branch

RoMan, the Army Research Laboratory's robotic manipulator, considers the best way to grasp and move a tree branch at the Adelphi Laboratory Center, in Maryland.

Evan Ackerman

“I should probably not be standing this close," I think to myself, as the robot slowly approaches a large tree branch on the floor in front of me. It's not the size of the branch that makes me nervous—it's that the robot is operating autonomously, and that while I know what it's supposed to do, I'm not entirely sure what it will do. If everything works the way the roboticists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in Adelphi, Md., expect, the robot will identify the branch, grasp it, and drag it out of the way. These folks know what they're doing, but I've spent enough time around robots that I take a small step backwards anyway.

This article is part of our special report on AI, “The Great AI Reckoning.”

The robot, named RoMan, for Robotic Manipulator, is about the size of a large lawn mower, with a tracked base that helps it handle most kinds of terrain. At the front, it has a squat torso equipped with cameras and depth sensors, as well as a pair of arms that were harvested from a prototype disaster-response robot originally developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a DARPA robotics competition. RoMan's job today is roadway clearing, a multistep task that ARL wants the robot to complete as autonomously as possible. Instead of instructing the robot to grasp specific objects in specific ways and move them to specific places, the operators tell RoMan to "go clear a path." It's then up to the robot to make all the decisions necessary to achieve that objective.

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