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Video Friday: Telexistence

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
Telexistence robot
Photo: Telexistence

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. 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!):

RoboCup 2021 – June 22-28, 2021 – [Online Event]
RSS 2021 – July 12-16, 2021 – [Online Event]
Humanoids 2020 – July 19-21, 2021 – [Online Event]
RO-MAN 2021 – August 8-12, 2021 – [Online Event]
DARPA SubT Finals – September 21-23, 2021 – Louisville, KY, USA
WeRobot 2021 – September 23-25, 2021 – Coral Gables, FL, USA
IROS 2021 – September 27-1, 2021 – [Online Event]
ROSCon 2021 – October 21-23, 2021 – New Orleans, LA, USA

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

I don't know why Telexistence's robots look the way they do, but I love it. They've got an ambitious vision as well, and just raised $20 million to make it happen.

[ Telexistence ]

A team of researchers of the Robotic Materials Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US has now found a new way to exploit the principles of spiders’ joints to drive articulated robots without any bulky components and connectors, which weigh down the robot and reduce portability and speed. Their slender and lightweight simple structures impress by enabling a robot to jump 10 times its height.

[ Max Planck ]

For those of you who (like me) have been wondering where Spot’s mouth is, here you go.

[ Boston Dynamics ]

Meet Scythe: the self-driving, all-electric machine that multiplies commercial landscapers’ ability to care for the outdoors.

[ Scythe Robotics ]

Huge congrats do Dusty Robotics on its $16.5 million Series A!

[ Dusty Robotics ]

A team of scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed millimetre-sized robots that can be controlled using magnetic fields to perform highly manoeuvrable and dexterous manipulations. This could pave the way to possible future applications in biomedicine and manufacturing.

The made-in-NTU robots improve on many existing small-scale robots by optimizing their ability to move in six degrees-of-freedom (DoF) - that is, translational movement along the three spatial axes, and rotational movement about those three axes, commonly known as roll, pitch and yaw angles.

While researchers have previously created six DoF miniature robots, the new NTU miniature robots can rotate 43 times faster than them in the critical sixth DoF when their orientation is precisely controlled. They can also be made with ‘soft’ materials and thus can replicate important mechanical qualities—one type can ‘swim’ like a jellyfish, and another has a gripping ability that can precisely pick and place miniature objects.

[ NTU ]

Thanks, Fan!

Not a lot of commercial mobile robots that can handle stairs, but ROVéo is one of them.

[ Rovenso ]

In preparation for the SubT Final this September, Team Robotika has been practicing its autonomous cave mapping.

[ Robotika ]

Aurora makes some cool stuff, much of which is now autonomous.

[ Aurora ]

FANUC America’s paint robots are ideal for automating applications that are ergonomically challenging, hazardous and labor intensive. Originally focused solely on the automotive industry, FANUC’s line of electric paint robots and door openers are now used by a diverse range of industries that include automotive, aerospace, agricultural products, recreational vehicles and boats, furniture, appliance, medical devices, and more.

[ Aurora ]

I appreciate the thought here, but this seems like a pretty meh example of the usefulness of a cobot.

[ ABB ]

Analysis of the manipulation strategies employed by upper-limb prosthetic device users can provide valuable insights into the shortcomings of current prosthetic technology or therapeutic interventions. Typically, this problem has been approached with survey or lab-based studies, whose prehensile-grasp-focused results do not necessarily give accurate representations of daily activity. In this work, we capture prosthesis-user behavior in the unstructured and familiar environments of the participants own homes.

[ Paper ] via [ Yale ]

From HRI 2020, DFKI's new series-parallel hybrid humanoid called RH5, which is 2 m tall and weighs only 62.5 kg capable of performing heavy-duty dynamic tasks with 5 kg payloads in each hand.

[ Paper ] via [ DFKI ]

Davide Scaramuzza's presentation from the ICRA 2021 Full-Day workshop on Opportunities and Challenges with Autonomous Racing.

[ ICRA Workshop ]

Thanks, Fan!

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE/RAS) and the (IFR International Federation of Robotics) awarded the 2021 “Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics & Automation,” er, award, to ABB for its PixelPaint technology. You can see their finalist presentation, along with presentations from the other worthy finalists in this video.

[ IERA Award ]

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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