Video Friday: World Cup Fever, Tricopters of Doom, and Generation Robot

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

5 min read

Evan Ackerman is IEEE Spectrum’s robotics editor.

Erico Guizzo is IEEE Spectrum’s digital innovation director.

ANYbotics ANYmal robot
Image: ETH Zürich via YouTube

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!):

ICARM 2018 – July 18-20, 2018 – Singapore
ICMA 2018 – August 5-8, 2018 – Changchun, China
SSRR 2018 – August 6-8, 2018 – Philadelphia, Pa., USA
ISR 2018 – August 24-27, 2018 – Shenyang, China
BioRob 2018 – August 26-29, 2018 – University of Twente, Netherlands
RO-MAN 2018 – August 27-30, 2018 – Nanjing, China
ELROB 2018 – September 24-28, 2018 – Mons, Belgium
ARSO 2018 – September 27-29, 2018 – Genoa, Italy
IROS 2018 – October 1-5, 2018 – Madrid, Spain

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

In preparation for Sunday’s World Cup final between France and Croatia, ETH Zurich and ANYbotics decided to teach their quadruped robots some soccer moves, which included head shots, bicycle kicks, and the required fake injury (0:07):

Thanks Péter!

Alphabet’s advanced tech division X has graduated a couple of flying robot projects recently: Loon and Wing.

[ Google X ]

We posted earlier this week about Toyota AI Ventures’ call for mobile manipulation startups, and here’s a follow-up video with a bit more detail than was in the press release.

[ Toyota AI Ventures ]

The DARPA Subterranean Challenge seeks multidisciplinary teams from around the world to compete in the development of the autonomy, perception, networking, and mobility technologies necessary to map explore and search underground networks in unpredictable conditions. The SubT Challenge Competitors’ Day in early Fall 2018 offers interested potential competitors additional information about participating in either the Systems or Virtual competitions.

We hear this is going to involve a lot of very cool robots. Stay tuned.

[ DARPA SubT ]

Cobalt has a very unique design for their security robot, and here’s where it came from.

[ Cobalt Robotics ]

While my inclination would be to keep unprotected electronics as far away from water as possible, this Kickstarter is funding some Arduino paddle boats that look like they could be a lot of fun.

The full kit is a $60 Kickstarter pledge, or $40 if you’ll 3D print the body and paddles yourself.

[ Kickstarter ]

Watching this robot make what I think are takoyaki is very satisfying, especially once it gets them all spinning:

Connected Robotics also has this prototype of what looks more like a sous chef, being helpful to a human rather than supplanting one:

[ Connected Robotics ] via [ Robotstart ]

If you need a robot to laser your mouth off, Kuka’s got you covered.

The KUKA Medical Robotics team has won the prestigious Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation Award 2018.

[ Kuka ]

The realization of a tricopter with three tilting motor-supporting arms in a planar 120◦ arrangement is described in detail. A single rigid body approximate model of this vehicle is fully actuated, thus allowing for a variety of flight maneuvers including translation without tilting and inclined hovering.

A triplet of tricopters can also cooperate to hoist a SPINNING TRIANGLE OF DOOM:

[ LSR ]

Thanks Abdurrahman!

Raytheon sponsored the 2018 International Seaperch Challenge, an underwater robotics competition held by Robonation.

[ SeaPerch ] via [ Raytheon ]

This six-legged, 10 by 16-foot robot mimics how satellites move in space. NASA uses the hexapod robot to conduct precise tests of robotic satellite servicing operations. Sitting on top of the six-legged hexapod is a partial model of a satellite. Mounted to a panel close by, representing the payload deck of a robotic servicing spacecraft, is an advanced robotic arm. Together, these robots practice a calculated dance. As the hexapod moves, the robotic arm reaches out to grasp the mock satellite. This complex maneuver has never been attempted in space with a satellite that wasn’t designed to be approached.

Lab demonstrations and testing will help NASA engineers perfect technologies for an autonomous (no humans involved) rendezvous in orbit. NASA is working to prove the combination of technologies necessary to robotically refuel a satellite in orbit that was not designed to be serviced. The same technologies developed for the Restore-L project will advance in-orbit repair, upgrade and assembly capabilities.

[ NASA ]

Flyability’s Elios is up in your ceiling inspecting your rafters without bothering your employees.

[ Flyability ]

I’m slightly concerned that if hinamitetu’s gymnastics robots get to be too good at what they do, they’ll be far less fun to watch.

[ Hinamitetu ]

Autonomous exploration of unknown environments has been widely applied in inspection, surveillance, and search and rescue. In exploration task, the basic requirement for robots is to detect the unknown space as fast as possible. In this paper, we propose an autonomous collaborative system consists of an aerial robot and a ground vehicle to explore in unknown environments.

[ HKUST Aerial Robotics ]

Here is a robot that will water your petunias for you:

It also puts out car fires.

[ ​Howe and Howe ]

DIY semi-autonomous Sphero bowling.

[ Sphero ]

1985: IMP (Intelligent Mobile Platform) could learn the floorpan of a house, follow instructions and avoid obstacles. IMP and its related security robot use a sonar ring (sometimes referred to a Denning Ring) with 24 Polaroid ultrasonic ranging devices. This pioneering work builds maps from the information gathered by the sonar ring.

Technology from IMP and the Denning Sonar Ring found its way onto a version of Terregator - an early autonomous mine mapping robot at the Robotics Institute at CMU.

[ CMU RI ]

Episode 3: In this installment of “Generation Robot”, Grant Imahara checks in to this uncanny resort for a truly unique experience, and gets a first-hand experience in human-robot interaction.

[ Mouser ]

In this week’s episode of Robots in Depth, Per interviews Richard Voyles from Purdue University.

Richard Voyles talks about rescue robotics and advising politicians about robotics. Richard shares how he reacted to the Three Mile Island accident by doing robotics research focused on rescue robotics. He also talks about how robotics has been able to help out in the later nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Fukoshima. We hear about how long different types of equipment last in such extreme environments and the spectrum of work that is being done in the area. We also learn how things we take for granted are not always true in a rescue situation and that creates a challenge for the sensors used in that environment. Richard and Per then discuss the role of robotics in the community and the importance of considering it in the political landscape.

[ Robots in Depth ]

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