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
ERF 2022: 28–30 June 2022, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
CLAWAR 2022: 12–14 September 2022, Açores, Portugal

Enjoy today's videos!


Novel technological solutions at the service of archaeology are being tested in Pompeii. One of the latest monitoring operations of the archaeological structures was recently carried out with the aid of Spot, a quadruped robot capable of inspecting even the smallest of spaces in complete safety, gathering and recording data useful for the study and planning of interventions.

[ Pompeii ]

A drone show in Japan in support of Ukraine.

[ Robotstart ]

In this paper, we propose a lip-inspired soft robotic gripper. This gripper is motivated by animals’ oral structure, especially from lips. Lips have various functions: holding, regrasping, sucking in, and spitting objects. This gripper especially focuses on the functions of holding and regrasping. We validated the capability of the lip pouch of the gripper with various objects through experiments. Moreover, we demonstrated regrasping objects with this gripper.

[ Kimlab ]

A small drone with a 360-degree camera on top of it has no problems creating a dense map of a complex environment, including the insides of pipes.

[ RoblabWHGe ]

Thanks, Hartmut!

I have no idea what’s happening here, and perhaps it’s better that way.

[ Naver Labs ]

EPFL engineers have developed a silicone raspberry that can help teach harvesting robots to grasp fruit without exerting too much pressure.

[ EPFL ]

Robots have now conquered Habitrail environments!

[ Paper ]

Welcome, human. Your job is to watch this robot not fall over, to music.

[ Agility Robotics ]

Robotic wheelchairs may soon be able to move through crowds smoothly and safely. As part of CrowdBot, an E.U.-funded project, EPFL engineers are exploring the technical, ethical, and safety issues related to this kind of technology. The aim of the project is to eventually help the disabled get around more easily.

[ EPFL ]

Self-driving cars are expected on our roads soon. In the project SNOW (Self-driving Navigation Optimized for Winter), we focus on the unexplored problem of autonomous driving during winter, which still raises reliability concerns. We have the expertise to automatically build 3D maps of the environment while moving through it with robots. We aim at using this knowledge to investigate mapping and control solutions for challenging conditions related to Canadian weather.

[ Norlab ]

The amphibious drone of the PON PLaCE project and its shelter station made their debut in a real scenario, an artificial lake. During the three-day test, the various systems and automatisms of this sophisticated drone were tested, from autonomous aerial take-off and monitoring, to ditching and on-site testing of biological parameters in the water column (pH, temperature, salinity, photosynthetically active radiation, chlorophyll).

[ PlaCE ]

The HEBI Robotics Platform can seamlessly integrate with other robots and tools. In this demo, a HEBI arm and vision system is connected to a Clearpath Jackal.

[ HEBI Robotics ]

With a screwdriver and about 3 minutes, you can replace the vacuum motor in a Roomba S9. I’ve never had durability issues with my Roombas, but I really appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into their repairability.

[ iRobot ]

For Episode 13 of the Robot Brains Podcast, we’re joined by industry pioneer Dean Ayanna Howard. She began working at NASA’s JPL at 18 years old to help build the Mars rover and never slowed down from there. She is a successful roboticist, entrepreneur, and educator, and is the author of the recent book Sex, Race, and Robots: How to Be Human in the Age of AI.

[ Robot Brains ]

Waymo just started operating its vehicles with no in-car safety drivers, although they may or may not be “fully autonomous,” depending on what definition you use. Anyway, here’s how it’s going.

[ Waymo ]

An IUI 2022 keynote by Stuart Russell, on “Provably Beneficial Artificial Intelligence.”

[ IUI 2022 ]


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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