Video Friday: Remote-Control Burger Crafting

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
Two small black quadrupedal robots help each other to practice cooking a hamburger in a fake kitchen in a laboratory

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.

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
ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals: 4–5 November 2022, LOS ANGELES
CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today’s videos!


The Real Robotics Lab at University of Leeds presents two Chef quadruped robots remotely controlled by a single operator to make a tasty burger as a team. The operator uses a gamepad to control their walking and a wearable motion capture system for manipulation control of the robotic arms mounted on the legged robots.

We’re told that these particular quadrupeds are vegans, and that the vegan burgers they make are “very delicious.”

[ Real Robotics ]

Thanks Chengxu!

Elasto-plastic materials like Play-Doh can be difficult for robots to manipulate. RoboCraft is a system that enables a robot to learn how to shape these materials in just ten minutes.

[ MIT ]

Thanks, Rachel!

State-of-the-art frame interpolation methods generate intermediate frames by inferring object motions in the image from consecutive key-frames. In the absence of additional information, first-order approximations, i.e. optical flow, must be used, but this choice restricts the types of motions that can be modeled, leading to errors in highly dynamic scenarios. Event cameras are novel sensors that address this limitation by providing auxiliary visual information in the blind-time between frames.

[ University of Zurich ]

Loopy is a robotic swarm of one Degree-of-Freedom (DOF) agents (i.e., a closed-loop made of 36 Dynamixel servos). Each agent (servo) makes its own local decisions based on interactions with its two neighbors. In this video, Loopy is trying to go from an arbitrary initial shape to a goal shape (Flying WV).

[ WVU ]

A collaboration between Georgia Tech Robotic Musicianship Group and Avshalom Pollak Dance Theatre. The robotic arms respond to the dancers’ movement and to the music. Our goal is for both humans and robots to be surprised and inspired by each other. If successful, both humans and robots will be dancing differently than they did before they met.

[ Georgia Tech ]

Thanks, Gil!

Lingkang Zhang wrote in to share a bipedal robot he’s working on. It’s 70 centimeters tall, runs ROS, can balance and walk, and costs just US $200!

[ YouTube ]

Thanks, Lingkang!

The private-public partnership with NASA and Redwire will demonstrate the ability of a small spacecraft—OSAM-2 (On-Orbit Servicing, Manufacturing and Assembly)—to manufacture and assemble spacecraft components in low-Earth orbit.

[ NASA ]

Inspired by fireflies, researchers create insect-scale robots that can emit light when they fly, which enables motion tracking and communication.

The ability to emit light also brings these microscale robots, which weigh barely more than a paper clip, one step closer to flying on their own outside the lab. These robots are so lightweight that they can’t carry sensors, so researchers must track them using bulky infrared cameras that don’t work well outdoors. Now, they’ve shown that they can track the robots precisely using the light they emit and just three smartphone cameras.

[ MIT ]

Unboxing and getting started with a TurtleBot 4 robotics learning platform with Maddy Thomson, Robotics Demo Designer from Clearpath Robotics.

[ Clearpath ]

We present a new gripper and exploration approach that uses a finger with very low reflected inertia for probing and then grasping objects. The finger employs a transparent transmission, resulting in a light touch when contact occurs. Experiments show that the finger can safely move faster into contacts than industrial parallel jaw grippers or even most force-controlled grippers with backdrivable transmissions. This property allows rapid proprioceptive probing of objects.

[ Stanford BDML ]

This is very, very water resistant. I’m impressed.

[ Unitree ]

I have no idea why Pepper is necessary here, but I do love that this ice cream shop is named Quokka.

[ Quokka ]

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a wearable textile exomuscle that serves as an extra layer of muscles. They aim to use it to increase the upper body strength and endurance of people with restricted mobility.

[ ETH Zurich ]

VISTA is a data-driven, photorealistic simulator for autonomous driving. It can simulate not just live video but LiDAR data and event cameras, and also incorporate other simulated vehicles to model complex driving situations.

[ MIT CSAIL ]

In the second phase of the ANT project, the hexapod CREX and the quadruped Aliengo are traversing rough terrain to show their terrain adaption capabilities.

[ DFKI ]

Here are some satisfying food-service robot videos from FOOMA, a trade show in Japan.


ロビット CUTR レタスの芯抜き #FOOMAJAPAN2022www.youtube.com


デンソーウェーブ 不定形&柔軟物取り扱い #FOOMAJAPAN2022www.youtube.com


アールティ Fondly 弁当盛付 #FOOMAJAPAN2022www.youtube.com

[ Kazumichi Moriyama ]

The Conversation (0)

How Robots Can Help Us Act and Feel Younger

Toyota’s Gill Pratt on enhancing independence in old age

10 min read
An illustration of a woman making a salad with robotic arms around her holding vegetables and other salad ingredients.
Dan Page
Blue

By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

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