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Video Friday: TruckBot

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read

A photo of a huge robotic vehicle with arms, standing inside a warehouse
Tsubame Industries

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 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
ROSCON 2023: 18–20 October 2023, NEW ORLEANS
HUMANOIDS 2023: 12–14 December 2023, AUSTIN, TEXAS
CYBATHLON CHALLENGES: 02 February 2024, ZURICH

Enjoy today’s videos!

For US $2.7 million, one of these can be yours.

[ Impress ]

Here’s a little bit more IRL footage of Apptronik’s Apollo, which was announced this week.

[ Apptronik ]

TruckBot is an autonomous robot that can unload both truck trailers and shipping containers at a rate of up to 1,000 cases per hour. It reaches up to 52 feet [16 meters] into the truck trailer or shipping container and can handle boxes weighing up to 50 lbs [23 kilograms], including containers with packing complexities and mixed SKU loads.

[ Mujin ]

These high-speed robot hands from the late 1990s and 2000s are still impressive.

[ Namiki Laboratory ]

This is maybe the jauntiest robot I’ve ever seen.

[ UPenn ]

Or maybe this is the jauntiest robot I’ve ever seen.

[ Deep Robotics ]

Turns out, if you make feet into hydrofoil shapes and put a pair of legs into a water current that’s been disturbed by a cylinder, you’ll get a fairly convincing biological walking gait.

[ UMass Amherst ]

Thanks, Julia!

Humans are generally good at whole-body manipulation, but robots struggle with such tasks. To the robot, each spot where the box could touch any point on the carrier’s fingers, arms, and torso represents a contact event that it must reason about. With billions of potential contact events, planning for this task quickly becomes intractable. Now MIT researchers have found a way to simplify this process, known as contact-rich manipulation planning.

Okay, but I want to know more about Mr. Bucket <3.

[ MIT News ]

By collaborating with Dusty on the Stanford University Bridge Project, California Drywall was able to cut layout time in half and fast-track the installation project.

[ Dusty Robotics ]

PILOTs for robotic INspection and maintenance Grounded on advanced intelligent platforms and prototype applications (PILOTING) is an H2020 European project coordinated by CATEC. The variety of inspection and maintenance operations considered within the project requires the use of different robotic systems. A series of robotic vehicles from PILOTING partners has been adapted/developed and integrated within the PILOTING I&M platform.

[ GRVC ]

A NASA flight campaign aims to enable drones to land safely on rooftop hubs called vertiports for future delivery of people and goods. The campaign may also lead to improvements in weather prediction.

[ NASA ]

An unscripted but presumably edited long interview with Robot Sophia, if you’re into that particular kind of theater.

[ Hanson Robotics ]

Thanks, Dan!

The Conversation (1)
E_Z Points
E_Z Points25 Aug, 2023

TruckBot video: If you freeze the video at 1:03, you can see a man, through the window on the right, with a controller, in his hands. Not a great demonstration of an autonomous unloader.