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Video Friday: Robot Halloween

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
A small tracked robot in a pirate costume with a pumpkin bucket on its back on a Halloween decorated porch with two other robots out of focus in the background

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!):

BARS 2021 – October 29, 2021 – Stanford, CA, USA

Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos.


Happy Halloween from HEBI Robotics!

[ HEBI Robotics ]

Thanks, Kamal!

Happy Halloween from UCL's Robot Perception and Learning Lab!

[ UCL RPL ]

Thanks, Dimitrios!

Happy Halloween from Berkshire Grey!

[ Berkshire Grey ]

LOOK AT ITS LIL FEET

[ Paper ]

DOFEC (Discharging Of Fire Extinguishing Capsules) is a drone suitable for autonomously extinguishing fires from the exterior of buildings on above-ground floors using its onboard sensors. The system detects fire in thermal images and localizes it. After localizing, the UAV discharges an ampoule filled with a fire extinguishant from an onboard launcher and puts out the fire.

[ DOFEC ]

Engineering a robot to perform a variety of tasks in practically any environment requires rock-solid hardware that's seamlessly integrated with software systems. Agility engineers make this possible by engineering and designing Digit as an integrated system, then testing it in simulation before the robot's ever built. This holistic process ensures an end result that's truly mobile, versatile, and durable.

[ Agility Robotics ]

These aerial anti-drone systems a pretty cool to watch, but at the same time, they're usually only shown catching relatively tame drones. I want to see a chase!

[ Delft Dynamics ]

The cleverest bit in this video is the CPU installation at 1:20.

[ Kuka ]

Volvo Construction Equipment is proud to present Volvo LX03–an autonomous concept wheel loader that is breaking new grounds in smart, safe and sustainable construction solutions. This fully autonomous, battery-electric wheel loader prototype is pushing the boundaries of both technology and imagination.

[ Volvo ]

Sarcos Robotics is the world leader in the design, development, and deployment of highly mobile and dexterous robots that combine human intelligence, instinct, and judgment with robotic strength, endurance, and precision to augment worker performance.

[ Sarcos ]

From cyclists riding against the flow of traffic to nudging over to let another car pass on a narrow street, these are just a handful of typical yet dynamic events The Waymo Driver autonomously navigates San Francisco.

[ Waymo ]

I always found it a little weird that Aibo can be provided with food in a way that is completely separate from providing it with its charging dock.

[ Aibo ]

With these videos of robots working in warehouses, it's always interesting to spot the points where humans are still necessary. In the case of this potato packing plant, there's a robot that fills boxes and a robot that stacks boxes, but it looks like a human has to be between them to optimize the box packing and then fold the box top together.

[ Soft Robotics ]

The 2021 Bay Area Robotics Symposium (BARS) is streaming right here on Friday!

[ BARS ]

Talks from the Releasing Robots into the Wild workshop are now online; they're all good but here are two highlights:

[ Workshop ]

This is an interesting talk exploring self-repair; that is, an AI system understanding when it makes a mistake and then fixing it.

[ ACM ]

Professor Andrew Lippman will welcome Dr. Joaquin Quiñonero Candela in discussing "Responsible AI: A perspective from the trenches." In this fireside chat, Prof. Lippman will discuss with Dr. Quiñonero-Candela the lessons he learned from 15 years building and deploying AI at massive scale, first at Microsoft and then at Facebook. The discussion will focus on some of the risks and difficult ethical tradeoffs that emerge as AI gains in power and pervasiveness.

[ MIT ]

The Conversation (0)

Economics Drives Ray-Gun Resurgence

Laser weapons, cheaper by the shot, should work well against drones and cruise missiles

4 min read
In an artist’s rendering, a truck is shown with five sets of wheels—two sets for the cab, the rest for the trailer—and a box on the top of the trailer, from which a red ray is projected on an angle, upward, ending in the silhouette of an airplane, which is being destroyed

Lockheed Martin's laser packs up to 300 kilowatts—enough to fry a drone or a plane.

Lockheed Martin

The technical challenge of missile defense has been compared with that of hitting a bullet with a bullet. Then there is the still tougher economic challenge of using an expensive interceptor to kill a cheaper target—like hitting a lead bullet with a golden one.

Maybe trouble and money could be saved by shooting down such targets with a laser. Once the system was designed, built, and paid for, the cost per shot would be low. Such considerations led planners at the Pentagon to seek a solution from Lockheed Martin, which has just delivered a 300-kilowatt laser to the U.S. Army. The new weapon combines the output of a large bundle of fiber lasers of varying frequencies to form a single beam of white light. This laser has been undergoing tests in the lab, and it should see its first field trials sometime in 2023. General Atomics, a military contractor in San Diego, is also developing a laser of this power for the Army based on what’s known as the distributed-gain design, which has a single aperture.

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