Next Wednesday night, we'll be taking a redeye out to Florida for the DARPA Robotics Challenge. There'll be a media briefing on Thursday afternoon, and the trials themselves will run all day Friday and Saturday, with a robotics expo and demos running at the same time. Saturday night is the closing ceremony, with a media briefing to follow. As we mentioned last week, there will be extensive live coverage (including streaming video) provided by DARPA itself, and we'll be getting you all the details on that after the Thursday media briefing.
As far as our coverage goes, we understand that there's going to be a lot of media at this event, so what we're going to try and do is bring you the sorts of stories that you're not likely to find anywhere else, with the level of detail that (we hope) you know and love. And if there are specific things that you'd like to see, make sure and let us know. Meanwhile, here's one or two videos to tide you over until the action starts next week.
Our first video today comes, like so many great videos, from EPFL in Switzerland. They've outfitted a MAV swarm with directional microphones, giving the drones the ability to localize in on sounds like an emergency whistle or (one has to assume) you screaming, if it comes to that:
"Robust acoustic source localization of emergency signals from Micro Air Vehicles," by Basiri, M., Schill, F., Lima, P. U., and Floreano, D., can be found in the IROS proceedings from last year.
Cobots are robots at Carnegie Mellon University that autonomously wander around, performing helpful tasks:
One of the Cobot's neatest features is its ability to ask humans for help: Cobot doesn't have a manipulator, so if it needs to use an elevator, it'll just hang out and look helpless until someone comes by who'll push the button for it. There are plenty of much more complicated ways to get robots to interact with elevators, but it's really much easier to manipulate meatbags into doing it instead.
[ CMU ]
Team Blacksheep was in New York City for the DARC Conference back in October, and they set about beautifully breaking a whole bunch of FAA regulations:
[ Team Blacksheep ]
[ PAL Robotics ]
As much as we like to write about drones, we do acknowledge that they have a potentially sinister side, as this video from Alex Cornell conceptualizes:
[ Alex Cornell ]
RoboGames might not be running anymore, but that doesn't make this video of Mortician destroying another robot any less satisfying:
FZI's LAURON robot has some new skills, including grasping and object recognition:
[ LAURON ]
This just in: bees do not like quadrotors:
We'll be seeing Team Mojavaton at the DRC next week, and as an unfunded team, they could use a little extra support:
[ Team Mojavaton ]
Couldn't scrape together funding to attend the Pioneers Festival in Vienna this year? Yeah, me neither, but here's a video of a robotics panel that includes (among others) Rodney Brooks and Steve Cousins:
Let's wrap with this kind of amazing video that explores the past (and potential future) of some famous research robots:
Via [ Engadget ]
Evan Ackerman is the senior writer for IEEE Spectrum’s award-winning robotics blog, Automaton. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and emerging technology, covering conferences and events on every single continent except Africa, Antarctica, Australia, and South America (although he remains optimistic). In addition to Spectrum, Evan’s work has appeared in a variety of other online publications including Gizmodo and Slate, and you may have heard him on NPR’s Science Friday or the BBC World Service if you were listening at just the right time. Evan has an undergraduate degree in Martian geology, which he almost never gets to use, and still wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. In his spare time, he enjoys scuba diving, rehabilitating injured raptors, and playing bagpipes excellently.