Rather than try to puzzle our way through all of the different holidays and whatnot that seem to happen this time of year, we're going to follow in the path blazed by the City of Birmingham in 1997 and just go with a friendly, all embracing, and politically not-incorrect "Happy Winterval!"
Robots, being robots, celebrate their own festivities without telling us about any of them, but they nonetheless get conscripted into what we've going on. Before we head off for a few (very few!) vacation days, here's a bunch of robots that have been programmed with all sorts of holiday cheer.
The Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at EPFL shows us how presents really make the trip from Santa to us:
[ LIS ]
Zen Robotics has a different theory, apparently:
So what happened to Y-mas, then?
[ Zen Robotics ]
Not so, says the Autonomous Christmas Lab at ETH Zurich. You get your presents like this:
Lovin' the outtakes. But seriously, how do I get StarlETH to pull me around on a sled? I've been a good boy this year, I promise!
[ ETH Zurich ]
At TU Eindhoven, present delivery takes a whole bevvy of robots working together:
[ TU Eindhoven ]
Meanwhile, GM's got some industrial robots hard at work:
Sphero temporarily took over Union Square in NYC to put on a light and sound performance:
28 Sphero robotic balls all independently programed and controlled by 4 smartphones to Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve / Sarajevo". Each ball had to be precisely choreographed and the complex dance routine written measure by measure.
[ Sphero ]
NAO does "Jingle Bells:"
[ TheAmazel ]
Rock version, plus xylophone:
And NAO does "We Wish You a Merry Christmas:"
[ DigitalSirip ]
Meanwhile, Aldebaran Robotics' NAO is all about the New Year:
Impressive that Aldebaran trusts NAO with something that's on fire. I'm not sure I would.
miBots learn to sing!
miBots are scientific instruments dedicated to cutting-edge research and development activities. But during the holiday season, they work on improving their artistic skills by taking singing lessons.
It's a TRANSFORMING PRESENT SANTA ROBOT:
[ VStone ]
And of course, Happy Holidays from all of us here at IEEE Spectrum Automaton. :)
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.