Video Friday: Skilled Gymnasts, Giant Spiders, Robot Beatdowns, and How to Murder a Grapefruit

It's an extra-large helping of robot video Friday: twice the vids, twice the calories, twice the awesomeness

2 min read
Video Friday: Skilled Gymnasts, Giant Spiders, Robot Beatdowns, and How to Murder a Grapefruit

We've got an extra-large helping of robot vids for you today. You'll see a little robot gymnast showcase his talents on the high bar, a huge robot spider that can climb mountains, CHARLI-2 getting hit with a shoe on a stick, a fate marginally worse than being eaten for a hapless grapefruit, and more. More!

Hinamitetu’s robot gymnast has been trying to get this right for years, and at last, the robot sticks what I think  is called a "jaeger:"

That dismount still needs work, I'd say.

Want to see CHARLI-2 get a beatdown from a shoe on a stick and not fall over? Sure you do!

Last year, we posted some video from DFKI Bremen that included footage of SpaceClimber, one of the most most impressive robots in the category of "very large and spidery." This new video shows SpaceClimber doing its thing, complete with freaky movements and a climb up an 80% grade.

[ DFKI Bremen ]

Slicing a grapefruit can be dangerous. Very dangerous. Almost (but not quite) as dangerous as building a robot to do it for you with a GIANT STABBY KNIFE:

[ Grapefruit Segmenter ] via [ Hacked Gadgets ]

When robotic aircraft start making autonomous landings on aircraft carriers, they'll need to know what to do and where to go after touchdown. If you've watched Top Gun, you know that simple gesture recognition is not enough to interpret signals from plane directors on the deck of the carrier, since they're usually in constant motion. MIT has been working on an algorithm that can classify individual gestures contained in a continuous series of complex motions:   

Via [ MIT ]

We'll finish up with this video of a real life Real Steel match between Naoki Maru's Real King Kizer (a one meter tall boxing robot controlled by an ASUS Xtion Pro Live sensor) and a punching bag. The winner? Awesomness. Awesomeness is the winner.

[ King Kizer ] via [ GetRobo ]


The Conversation (0)

How the U.S. Army Is Turning Robots Into Team Players

Engineers battle the limits of deep learning for battlefield bots

11 min read
Robot with threads near a fallen branch

RoMan, the Army Research Laboratory's robotic manipulator, considers the best way to grasp and move a tree branch at the Adelphi Laboratory Center, in Maryland.

Evan Ackerman

“I should probably not be standing this close," I think to myself, as the robot slowly approaches a large tree branch on the floor in front of me. It's not the size of the branch that makes me nervous—it's that the robot is operating autonomously, and that while I know what it's supposed to do, I'm not entirely sure what it will do. If everything works the way the roboticists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in Adelphi, Md., expect, the robot will identify the branch, grasp it, and drag it out of the way. These folks know what they're doing, but I've spent enough time around robots that I take a small step backwards anyway.

This article is part of our special report on AI, “The Great AI Reckoning.”

The robot, named RoMan, for Robotic Manipulator, is about the size of a large lawn mower, with a tracked base that helps it handle most kinds of terrain. At the front, it has a squat torso equipped with cameras and depth sensors, as well as a pair of arms that were harvested from a prototype disaster-response robot originally developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a DARPA robotics competition. RoMan's job today is roadway clearing, a multistep task that ARL wants the robot to complete as autonomously as possible. Instead of instructing the robot to grasp specific objects in specific ways and move them to specific places, the operators tell RoMan to "go clear a path." It's then up to the robot to make all the decisions necessary to achieve that objective.

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