Video Friday: Penguins and Huskies

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

2 min read
Three emperor penguins stand in front of a small yellow wheeled robot in a snowy landscape

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.

ICRA 2022: 23–27 May 2022, PHILADELPHIA
IEEE ARSO 2022: 28–30 May 2022, LONG BEACH, CALIF.
RSS 2022: 21–1 June 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!


I’m not sure it’s geographically appropriate for a Husky robot to be this close to penguins in Antarctica, but on the other hand, who cares, because I am all in for robots and penguins.

The project consists of a hybrid (autonomous and remote-controlled) Husky UGV-based robot named ECHO that carries a variety of sensors including a camera and a radio-frequency-identification (RFID) antenna to read RFID tags from chipped penguins (the kind of chips that are also used to chip dogs and cats). With the RFID scanner, ECHO will scan penguins to assess their breeding status and survival success. Overall, the robot will be able to track individual penguins throughout their lifetimes, allowing researchers to gather data for behavioral and population dynamics research.

[ Clearpath ]

Snap has launched a little camera drone called Pixy. It’s nothing special, but that’s fine: It looks to be small, safe, and quite easy to use. And I really appreciate that this video seems to show actual footage from the drone, which is not fantastic, but totally workable.

Two hundred fifty U.S. dollars seems a bit steep, but perhaps the safe form factor and ease of use could make it worthwhile.

[ Pixy ]

This is pretty awesome—it’s a RoboCup standard platform event where the robots are operating fully autonomously. Watch right after kickoff as the robot in the black jersey (closest to the ball) books it off-screen to the left. As it turns out, she (her name is Sarah) went deep into the opponent’s half, where she camped out by the goal, in a perfect position to receive a brilliant pass.

[ B-Human ]

GITAI has already demonstrated its robotic arm inside of the International Space Station, and now it looks like the company is getting ready to work outside the station as well.

[ GITAI ]

Things that I want robots to do so that I don’t have to: waste-sorting.

Weird to have them call the robot both “she” and “unmanned” in practically the same sentence.

[ ZenRobotics ]

At Agility, we make robots that are made for work. Our expertise is marrying design, software, and hardware to build robots that are capable of doing limitless tasks as part of a blended human-robot workforce.

OK, I really want to know if Digit can use that step stool at the back of the trailer.

[ Agility ]

Zimbabwe Flying Labs' Tawanda Chihambakwe shares how Zimbabwe Flying Labs started using drones for STEM programs and how drones impact conservation and agriculture.

[ ZFL ]

Robotics has the potential to revolutionize our daily lives, enabling humans to do things never thought possible. SRI is at the forefront of developments that have and will continue to redefine manufacturing, medicine, safety, and so much more.

[ SRI ]

A drone show from CollMot, which seems to use much larger drones than anyone else.

[ CollMot ]

The Conversation (0)

Practical Power Beaming Gets Real

A century later, Nikola Tesla’s dream comes true

8 min read
This nighttime outdoor image, with city lights in the background, shows a narrow beam of light shining on a circular receiver that is positioned on the top of a pole.

A power-beaming system developed by PowerLight Technologies conveyed hundreds of watts of power during a 2019 demonstration at the Port of Seattle.

PowerLight Technologies
Yellow

Wires have a lot going for them when it comes to moving electric power around, but they have their drawbacks too. Who, after all, hasn’t tired of having to plug in and unplug their phone and other rechargeable gizmos? It’s a nuisance.

Wires also challenge electric utilities: These companies must take pains to boost the voltage they apply to their transmission cables to very high values to avoid dissipating most of the power along the way. And when it comes to powering public transportation, including electric trains and trams, wires need to be used in tandem with rolling or sliding contacts, which are troublesome to maintain, can spark, and in some settings will generate problematic contaminants.

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