Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, 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.

CLAWAR 2022: 12–14 September 2022, AZORES, PORTUGAL
IROS 2022: 23–27 October 2022, KYOTO, JAPAN
ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals: 4–5 November 2022, LOS ANGELES
CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today’s videos!


There’s really nothing I can say to prepare you for this German music video, which features Spot for some reason.

I’m told that the music video is about how the idealized version of a forest is somewhat at odds with technology and that bringing your fancy fleece jackets and robots along with you into nature can kind of ruin the experience. I get it. Also, that IR shot of Spot at night is suuuper creepy.

[ Deichkind ]

Thanks, Thilo!

I’m going to assume that KIMLAB is not at all confused about which superhero has what equipment, and instead that Spot is cosplaying that one specific scene in Avengers: Endgame.

[ KIMLAB ]

Dongwon Son, who’s now at Ph.D. student at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, wrote in to share this work he did at Samsung Research. Somehow, they know exactly what my desk looks like most of the time.

[ Github ]

Thanks, Dongwon!

Rethink Robotics and Sawyer: still a thing!

[ Rethink ]

The designer of one of the most destructive combat robots ever built gives some tips on how to hit harder.

[ Hardcore Robotics ]

Some satisfying precision syringe filling.

[ Flexiv ]

When you put the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Operations Team together with Boston Dynamics, you get something not nearly as exciting as you were probably expecting.

[ Lockheed Martin ]

Philippines Flying Labs has teamed up with local clinics and public health professionals in Tawi-Tawi to enable demand-driven drone deliveries.

[ WeRobotics ]

Speaker John Enright, Principal Engineer, Amazon Robotics, tells the story of developing precision autonomy on Proteus, the new cost-effective autonomous mobile robot designed to work safely and efficiently alongside humans in shared, collaborative spaces.

[ Amazon Robotics ]

In this second episode of #MeetAGoogleResearcher, Drew Calcagno speaks with Kanishka Rao of Google Research and Daniel Ho of Everyday Robots, researchers who helped combine the PaLM-SayCan robotics algorithm with the advanced capabilities of a helper robot.

[ Google Research ]

Launched in 1977, the twin Voyager probes are NASA’s longest-operating mission and the only spacecraft ever to explore interstellar space. For two decades after launch, the spacecraft were planetary explorers, giving us up-close views of the gas giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Now, as they reach distances far beyond the hopes of their original designers, the aging spacecraft challenge their team in new ways, requiring creative solutions to keep them operating and sending back science data from the space between the stars. As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of these epic explorers, join Voyager deputy project scientist Linda Spilker and propulsion engineer Todd Barber for a live Q&A.

[ 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
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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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