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!):
CLAWAR 2019 – August 26-28, 2019 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
IEEE Africon 2019 – September 25-27, 2019 – Accra, Ghana
ISRR 2019 – October 6-10, 2019 – Hanoi, Vietnam
Ro-Man 2019 – October 14-18, 2019 – New Delhi, India
Humanoids 2019 – October 15-17, 2019 – Toronto, Canada
ARSO 2019 – October 31-1, 2019 – Beijing, China
ROSCon 2019 – October 31-1, 2019 – Macau
IROS 2019 – November 4-8, 2019 – Macau
Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.
I know you’ve all been closely following our DARPA Subterranean Challenge coverage here and on Twitter, but here are short recap videos of each day just in case you missed something.
[ DARPA SubT ]
After Laikago, Unitree Robotics is now introducing AlienGo, which is looking mighty spry:
[ Unitree ]
The majority of soft robots today rely on external power and control, keeping them tethered to off-board systems or rigged with hard components. Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Caltech have developed soft robotic systems, inspired by origami, that can move and change shape in response to external stimuli, paving the way for fully untethered soft robots.
The Rollbot begins as a flat sheet, about 8 centimeters long and 4 centimeters wide. When placed on a hot surface, about 200°C, one set of hinges folds and the robot curls into a pentagonal wheel.
Another set of hinges is embedded on each of the five sides of the wheel. A hinge folds when in contact with the hot surface, propelling the wheel to turn to the next side, where the next hinge folds. As they roll off the hot surface, the hinges unfold and are ready for the next cycle.
[ Harvard SEAS ]
A new research effort at Caltech aims to help people walk again by combining exoskeletons with spinal stimulation. This initiative, dubbed RoAM (Robotic Assisted Mobility), combines the research of two Caltech roboticists: Aaron Ames, who creates the algorithms that enable walking by bipedal robots and translates these to govern the motion of exoskeletons and prostheses; and Joel Burdick, whose transcutaneous spinal implants have already helped paraplegics in clinical trials to recover some leg function and, crucially, torso control.
[ Caltech ]
Once ExoMars lands, it’s going to have to get itself off of the descent stage and onto the surface, which could be tricky. But practice makes perfect, or as near as you can get on Earth.
That wheel walking technique is pretty cool, and it looks like ExoMars will be able to handle terrain that would scare NASA’s Mars rovers away.
[ ExoMars ]
I am honestly not sure whether this would make the game of golf more or less fun to watch:
[ Nissan ]
Finally, a really exciting use case for Misty!
It can pick up those balls too, right?
[ Misty ]
You know you’re an actual robot if this video doesn’t make you crave Peeps.
[ Soft Robotics ]
COMANOID investigates the deployment of robotic solutions in well-identified Airbus airliner assembly operations that are tedious for human workers and for which access is impossible for wheeled or rail-ported robotic platforms. This video presents a demonstration of autonomous placement of a part inside the aircraft fuselage. The task is performed by TORO, the torque-controlled humanoid robot developed at DLR.
[ COMANOID ]
It’s a little hard to see in this video, but this is a cable-suspended robot arm that has little tiny robot arms that it waves around to help damp down vibrations.
[ CoGiRo ]
This week in Robots in Depth, Per speaks with author Cristina Andersson.
In 2013 she organized events in Finland during European robotics week and found that many people was very interested but that there was also a big lack of knowledge.
She also talks about introducing robotics in society in a way that makes it easy for everyone to understand the benefits as this will make the process much easier. When people see the clear benefits in one field or situation they will be much more interested in bringing robotics in to their private or professional lives.
[ Robots in Depth ]
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.
Erico Guizzo is the digital product manager at IEEE Spectrum. An IEEE Member, he is an electrical engineer by training and has a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.