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Video Friday: Spot Levels Up

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read

A yellow robot dog with an arm mounted on its head opens a heavy door in an industrial environment
Boston Dynamics

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.

Energy Drone & Robotics Summit: 10–12 June 2023, HOUSTON
RoboCup 2023: 4–10 July 2023, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
RSS 2023: 10–14 July 2023, DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA
IEEE RO-MAN 2023: 28–31 August 2023, BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA
IROS 2023: 1–5 October 2023, DETROIT
CLAWAR 2023: 2–4 October 2023, FLORIANOPOLIS, BRAZIL
Humanoids 2023: 12–14 December 2023, AUSTIN, TEXAS

Enjoy today’s videos!

The industry standard for dangerous and routine autonomous inspections just got better, now with a brand-new set of features and hardware.

[ Boston Dynamics ]

For too long, dogs and vacuums have existed in a state of conflict. But Roomba robots are finally ready to make peace. To celebrate Pet Appreciation Week (4–10 June), iRobot is introducing T.R.E.A.T., an experimental prototype engineered to dispense dog treats on demand. Now dogs and vacuums can finally be friends.

[ T.R.E.A.T. ]

Legged robots have better adaptability in complex terrain, and wheeled robots move faster on flat surfaces. Unitree B-W, the ultimate speed all-rounder, combines the advantages of both types of two robots, and continues to bring new exploration and change to the industry.

[ Unitree ]

In this demonstration, Digit starts out knowing there is trash on the floor and that bins are used for recycling/trash. We use a voice command “Clean up this mess” to have Digit help us. Digit hears the command and uses a large language model to interpret how best to achieve the stated goal with its existing physical capabilities. At no point is Digit instructed on how to clean or what a mess is. This is an example of bridging the conversational nature of Chat GPT and other LLMs to generate real-world physical action.

[ Agility ]

Battery endurance represents a key challenge for long-term autonomy and long-range operations, especially in the case of aerial robots. In this paper, we propose AutoCharge, an autonomous charging solution for quadrotors that combines a portable ground station with a flexible, lightweight charging tether and is capable of universal, highly efficient, and robust charging.

[ ARPL NYU ]

BruBotics secured a place in the Guinness World Records! Together with the visitors of the Nerdland Festival, they created the longest chain of robots ever, which also respond to light. Vrije Universiteit Brussel/Imec professor Bram Vanderborght and his team, consisting of Ellen Roels, Gabriël Van De Velde, Hendrik Cools, and Niklas Steenackers, have worked hard on the project in recent months. They set their record with a chain of 334 self-designed robots. The BruBotics research group at VUB aims to bring robots closer to people with their record. “Our main objective was to introduce participants to robots in an interactive way,” says Vanderborght. “And we are proud that we have succeeded.”

[ VUB ]

Based in Italy, Comau is a leading robot manufacturer and global systems integrator. The company has been working with Intrinsic over the past several years to validate our platform technology and our developer product Flowstate through real-world use cases. In a new video case study, we go behind the scenes to explore and hear firsthand how Comau and Intrinsic are working together. Comau is using Intrinsic Flowstate to assemble the rigid components of a supermodule for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

[ Intrinsic ]

Thanks, Scott!

GITAI has achieved a significant milestone with the successful demonstration of a GITAI, an inchworm-type robotic arm equipped with a tool-changer function, and a GITAI lunar robotic rover in a simulated regolith chamber, featuring a 7-ton regolith simulant (LHS-1E).

[ GITAI ]

Uhh, pinch points...?

[ Deep Robotics ]

Detect, fetch, and collect. A seemingly easy task is being tested to find the best strategy to collect samples on the Martian surface, some 290,000 million kilometers away from home. The Sample Transfer Arm will need to load the tubes from the Martian surface for delivery to Earth. ESA’s robotic arm will collect them from the Perseverance rover, and possibly others dropped by sample-recovery helicopters as a backup.

[ ESA ]

Wing’s AutoLoader for curbside pickup.

[ Wing ]

MIT Mechanical Engineering students in Professor Sangbae Kim’s class explore why certain physical traits have evolved in animals in the natural world. Then they extract those useful principles that are applicable to robotic systems to solve such challenges as manipulation and locomotion in novel and interesting ways.

[ MIT ]

I get that it’s slightly annoying that robot vacuums generally cannot clean stairs, but I’m not sure that it’s a problem actually worth solving.

https://gizmodo.com/migo-ascender-first-robot-vacu...

Also, the actual existence of this thing is super sketchy, and I wouldn’t give them any money just yet.

[ Migo ] via [ Gizmodo ]

The fastest, tiniest, mouse-iest competition for how well robots can stick to smooth surfaces.

[ Veritasium ]

Art and language are pinnacles of human expressive achievement. This panel, part of the Stanford HAI Spring Symposium on 24 May 2023, offered conversations between artists and technologists about intersections in their work. Speakers included Ken Goldberg, professor of industrial engineering and operations research, University of California, Berkeley, and Sydney Skybetter, deputy dean of the College for Curriculum and Co-Curriculum and senior lecturer in theater arts and performance studies, Brown University. Moderated by Catie Cuan, Stanford University.

[ Stanford HAI ]

An ICRA 2023 Plenary from 90-year-old living legend Jasia Reichardt (who coined the term “uncanny valley” in 1978), linking robots with Turing, Fellini, Asimov, and Buddhism.

[ ICRA 2023 ]

Thanks, Ken!

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