The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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HyQReal Robot Pulls an Airplane
IIT's HyQReal quadruped is powered by a hydraulic actuation system designed by MOOG that includes 3D-printed titanium actuators and two hydraulic pumps.
Photo: IIT via YouTube

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!):

Robotic Arena – January 25, 2020 – Wrocław, Poland
DARPA SubT Urban Circuit – February 18-27, 2020 – Olympia, Wash., USA
HRI 2020 – March 23-26, 2020 – Cambridge, U.K.
ICARSC 2020 – April 15-17, 2020 – Ponta Delgada, Azores
ICRA 2020 – May 31-4, 2020 – Paris, France

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

IIT’s new HyQReal quadruped robot was released in May 2019. This highlight video shows previously unpublished footage of how we prepared the robot to pull a 3.3 ton airplane. Additionally, it shows the robot walking over unstructured terrain and during public events in October 2019. Including a face-to-face with a dog.

[ IIT ]

Thanks Claudio!

Agility Robotics has had a very busy 2019, and all 10 minutes of this video is worth watching.

Also: double Digits.

[ Agility Robotics ]

Happy (belated) holidays from Franka Emika!

[ Franka Emika ]

Thanks Anna!

Happy (belated) holidays from the GRASP lab!

[ GRASP Lab ]

Happy (belated) holidays from the Autonomous Robots Lab at the University of Nevada!

[ ARL ]

Happy (belated) holidays from the Georgia Tech Systems Research Lab!

[ GA Tech ]

Thanks Qiuyang!

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has attached the Mars 2020 Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover.

[ JPL ]

This isn’t a Roomba, mind you—are we at the point where “Roomba” is like “Xerox” or “Velcro,” representing a category rather than a brand?—but it does have a flying robot vacuum in it.

[ YouTube ] via [ Gizmodo ]

We’ve said it before, and it’s still true: Every quadrotor should have failsafe software like this.

[ Verity ]

KUKA robots are on duty at one of the largest tea factories in the world located in Rize, Turkey.

[ Kuka ]

This year, make sure and take your robot for more walks.

[ Sphero ]

Dorabot’s Robot for recycling, can identify, pick, and sort recyclable items such as plastic bottles, glass bottles, paper, cartons, and aluminum cans. The robot has deep learning-based computer vision and dynamic planning to select items in a moving conveyor belt. It also includes customized and erosion resistant grippers to pick irregularly shaped items, which results in a cost-effective integrated solution.

[ Dorabot ]

This cute little boat takes hyperlapse pictures autonomously, while more or less not sinking.

[ rctestflight ] via [ PetaPixel ]

Roboy’s Research Reviews takes a look at the OmniSkins paper from 2018.

[ RRR ]

When thinking about robot ethics (and robots in general), it’s typical to use humans and human ethics as a baseline. But what if we considered animals as a point of comparison instead? Ryan Calo, Kate Darling, and Paresh Kathrani were on a panel at the Animal Law Conference last month entitled Persons yet Unknown: Animals, Chimeras, Artificial Intelligence and Beyond where this idea was explored.

[ YouTube ]

Sasha Iatsenia, who was until very recently head of product at Kiwibot, gives a candid talk about “How (not) to build autonomous robots.”

We should mention that Kiwibot does seem to still be alive.

[ CCC ]

On this episode of the Artificial Intelligence Podcast, Lex Fridman interviews Sebastian Thrun.

[ AI Podcast ]

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
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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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