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.

IEEE CASE 2022: 20–24 August 2022, MEXICO CITY
CLAWAR 2022: 12–14 September 2022, AZORES, PORTUGAL
IROS 2022: 23–27 October 2022, KYOTO, JAPAN
ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals: 4–5 November 2022, LOS ANGELES
CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today's videos!


Telexistence announced the mass production of its originally developed AI robot, TX SCARA, to be installed in 300 FamilyMart stores, Japan’s top-tier convenience store chain in major metropolitan areas, starting in late August 2022. TX SCARA was created to do the specific task of restocking refrigerated shelves with bottles and cans, a repetitive, tedious job generally performed by employees in often uncomfortable settings. TX SCARA can be in operation 24/7, relying almost completely on its AI system to know when and where products need to be placed on the shelves.

It’s awesome to see a mobile (ish?) manipulator doing useful commercial work, but I have to wonder about this system where bottles are stocked on one shelf (presumably by a human?) and then have to be constantly moved to a different shelf nearby. Is there not a better way of doing it?

[ Telexistence ]

Curiosity has spent 10 years on Mars, which is both awesome and vaguely shocking since I was at JPL a decade ago watching it happen. Here are a couple of videos very briefly summarizing what’s been going on, and what’s to come.

[ JPL ]

I (still) really appreciate what Canvas is doing, solving a specific problem with tangible value. Robots doing what robots are good at!

[ Canvas ]

I do not understand who these people are that they have this massive trailer containing a robot to make them (just the two of them!) coffee, but the shape of the robot pleases me, so we’ll let it slide.

[ Richtech ]

Thanks, Timothy!

Look, delivery drones are certainly a technical challenge, and making them safe and robust is important. But I’m still waiting for someone to show me that doing consumer delivery is sustainable and makes sense.

[ Amazon ]

The latest from RoMeLa at ICRA 2022: "Design and Control of a Miniature Bipedal Robot with Proprioceptive Actuation for Dynamic Behaviors."

[ RoMeLa ]

When the rubber hits the road, even the best technology can carry you only so far. We partnered with footwear sole technology experts Vibram Corporation to develop a new sole for Digit. The result was increased stability on variable surfaces and decreased wear, and we couldn’t be happier.

[ Agility Robotics ]

Lunar Zebro, a project of the @TU Delft, in the Netherlands, wants to build a robot and be the first Dutch and European rover to walk on the moon.

[ Lunar Zebro ]

You’ll have to sit through a lot of “okays” in this video, but it’s worth it for the last few seconds for what happens after the robot finally finishes its kitting task.

[ HRI Lab ]

Extend Robotics set out to perform a feasibility study of using a virtual-reality human-robot interface software, AMAS, to demonstrate human-assisted robotic docking in a simulated space environment.

[ Extend Robotics ]

FIRST is great, but the competitions they put on are always superchaotic (and confusing) to watch.

[ FIRST ]

You may have done some reliability testing on your robot, but if you really want to know what it takes to build something durable that you can bring back from the dead, check out this video from Ray Billings on a postmortem after one of the best BattleBots in the world got knocked out in the ring.

[ Tombstone ]

Marco Hutter’s keynote speech from ICRA 2022.

[ RSL ]

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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