The February 2023 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Video Friday: Preparing for the SubT Final

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
Video Friday: Preparing for the SubT Final

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!):

DARPA SubT Finals – September 21-23, 2021 – Louisville, KY, USA
WeRobot 2021 – September 23-25, 2021 – [Online Event]
IROS 2021 – September 27-1, 2021 – [Online Event]
Robo Boston – October 1-2, 2021 – Boston, MA, USA
WearRAcon Europe 2021 – October 5-7, 2021 – [Online Event]
ROSCon 2021 – October 20-21, 2021 – [Online Event]
Silicon Valley Robot Block Party – October 23, 2021 – Oakland, CA, USA

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


Team Explorer, the SubT Challenge entry from CMU and Oregon State University, is in the last stage of preparation for the competition this month inside the Mega Caverns cave complex in Louisville, Kentucky.

[ Explorer ]

Team CERBERUS is looking good for the SubT Final next week, too.

Autonomous subterranean exploration with the ANYmal C Robot inside the Hagerbach underground mine

[ ARL ]

I'm still as skeptical as I ever was about a big and almost certainly expensive two-armed robot that can do whatever you can program it to do (have fun with that) and seems to rely on an app store for functionality.

[ Unlimited Robotics ]

Project Mineral is using breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, sensors, and robotics to find ways to grow more food, more sustainably.

[ Mineral ]

Not having a torso or anything presumably makes this easier.

Next up, Digit limbo!

[ Hybrid Robotics ]

Paric completed layout of a 500 unit apartment complex utilizing the Dusty FieldPrinter solution. Autonomous layout on the plywood deck saved weeks worth of schedule, allowing the panelized walls to be placed sooner.

[ Dusty Robotics ]

Spot performs inspection in the Kidd Creek Mine, enabling operators to keep their distance from hazards.

[ Boston Dynamics ]

Digit's engineered to be a multipurpose machine. Meaning, it needs to be able to perform a collection of tasks in practically any environment. We do this by first ensuring the robot's physically capable. Then we help the robot perceive its surroundings, understand its surroundings, then reason a best course of action to navigate its environment and accomplish its task. This is where software comes into play. This is early AI in action.

[ Agility Robotics ]

This work proposes a compact robotic limb, AugLimb, that can augment our body functions and support the daily activities. The proposed device can be mounted on the user's upper arm, and transform into compact state without obstruction to wearers.

[ AugLimb ]

Ahold Delhaize and AIRLab need the help of academics who have knowledge of human-robot interactions, mobility, manipulation, programming, and sensors to accelerate the introduction of robotics in retail. In the AIRLab Stacking challenge, teams will work on algorithms that focus on smart retail applications, for example, automated product stacking.

[ PAL Robotics ]

Leica, not at all well known for making robots, is getting into the robotic reality capture business with a payload for Spot and a new drone.

Introducing BLK2FLY: Autonomous Flying Laser Scanner

[ Leica BLK ]

As much as I like Soft Robotics, I'm maybe not quite as optimistic as they are about the potential for robots to take over quite this much from humans in the near term.

[ Soft Robotics ]

Over the course of this video, the robot gets longer and longer and longer.

[ Transcend Robotics ]

This is a good challenge: attach a spool of electrical tape to your drone, which can unpredictably unspool itself and make sure it doesn't totally screw you up.

[ UZH ]

Two interesting short seminars from NCCR Robotics, including one on autonomous racing drones and "neophobic" mobile robots.

Dario Mantegazza: Neophobic Mobile Robots Avoid Potential Hazards

[ NCCR ]

This panel on Synergies between Automation and Robotics comes from ICRA 2021, and once you see the participant list, I bet you'll agree that it's worth a watch.

[ ICRA 2021 ]

CMU RI Seminars are back! This week we hear from Andrew E. Johnson, a Principal Robotics Systems Engineer in the Guidance and Control Section of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on "The Search for Ancient Life on Mars Began with a Safe Landing."

Prior mars rover missions have all landed in flat and smooth regions, but for the Mars 2020 mission, which is seeking signs of ancient life, this was no longer acceptable. Terrain relief that is ideal for the science obviously poses significant risks for landing, so a new landing capability called Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN) was added to the mission. This talk will describe the scientific goals of the mission, the Terrain Relative Navigation system design and the successful results from landing on February 18th, 2021.

[ CMU RI Seminar ]

The Conversation (0)

How Duolingo’s AI Learns What You Need to Learn

The AI that powers the language-learning app today could disrupt education tomorrow

9 min read
Vertical
This playful illustration shows Duolingo’s owl mascot, cut away down the midline, showing hidden inside a high-tech skeleton suggestive of some sort of AI robot.
Eddie Guy
Blue

It’s lunchtime when your phone pings you with a green owl who cheerily reminds you to “Keep Duo Happy!” It’s a nudge from Duolingo, the popular language-learning app, whose algorithms know you’re most likely to do your 5 minutes of Spanish practice at this time of day. The app chooses its notification words based on what has worked for you in the past and the specifics of your recent achievements, adding a dash of attention-catching novelty. When you open the app, the lesson that’s queued up is calibrated for your skill level, and it includes a review of some words and concepts you flubbed during your last session.

Duolingo, with its gamelike approach and cast of bright cartoon characters, presents a simple user interface to guide learners through a curriculum that leads to language proficiency, or even fluency. But behind the scenes, sophisticated artificial-intelligence (AI) systems are at work. One system in particular, called Birdbrain, is continuously improving the learner’s experience with algorithms based on decades of research in educational psychology, combined with recent advances in machine learning. But from the learner’s perspective, it simply feels as though the green owl is getting better and better at personalizing lessons.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":[]}