Video Friday: Realistic Robot Dog, and More

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos 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!): HRI 2019 – March 11-14, 2019 – Daegu, Korea ISMR 2019 – April 1-5, 2019 – Atlanta, GA, USA U.S. National Robotics Week – April 6-14, 2019 – USA We Robot 2019 – April 11-13, 2019 – Miami, Florida, USA RoboSoft 2019 – April 14-18, 2019 – Seoul, Korea NIST ARIAC Challenge – April 15-19, 2019 – Online Nîmes Robotics Festival – May 17-19, 2019 – Nîmes, France ICRA 2019 – May 20-24, 2019 – Montreal, Canada Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

Video Friday: MIT’s Origami Magic-Ball Gripper

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos 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!): HRI 2019 – March 11-14, 2019 – Daegu, Korea ISMR 2019 – April 1-5, 2019 – Atlanta, GA, USA We Robot 2019 – April 11-13, 2019 – Miami, Florida, USA RoboSoft 2019 – April 14-18, 2019 – Seoul, Korea NIST ARIAC Challenge – April 15-19, 2019 – Online Nîmes Robotics Festival – May 17-19, 2019 – Nîmes, France Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

How MIT’s Mini Cheetah Can Help Accelerate Robotics Research

Sangbae Kim talks to us about the new Mini Cheetah quadruped and his future plans for the robot Earlier this month, MIT posted a video of Mini Cheetah, a small quadruped robot from the lab of Sangbae Kim. We wanted to make sure you saw the video as soon as possible, which is why we featured it in Video Friday, but of course we wanted to know more about the robot. So last week we spoke a little bit with Sangbae and asked him a few questions about Mini Cheetah’s design and his future plans for the robot.

Video Friday: Festo’s Bionic Soft Arm, and More

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos 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!): HRI 2019 – March 11-14, 2019 – Daegu, Korea RoboSoft 2019 – April 14-18, 2019 – Daegu, Korea NIST ARIAC Challenge – April 15-19, 2019 – Online Nîmes Robotics Festival – May 17-19, 2019 – Nîmes, France ICRA 2019 – May 20-24, 2019 – Montreal, Canada 2nd Annual Robotics Summit & Expo – June 4-6, 2019 – Boston, Mass., USA Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

Video Friday: MIT’s Mini Cheetah Robot, and More

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos 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!): HRI 2019 – March 11-14, 2019 – Daegu, Korea RoboSoft 2019 – April 14-18, 2019 – Daegu, Korea NIST ARIAC Challenge – April 15-19, 2019 –  Nîmes Robotics Festival – May 17-19, 2019 – Nîmes, France ICRA 2019 – May 20-24, 2019 – Montreal, Canada 2nd Annual Robotics Summit & Expo – June 4-6, 2019 – Boston, Mass., USA Energy Drone Coalition Summit – June 12-13, 2019 – Woodlands, Texas, USA Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics – June 23-26, 2019 – London, UK Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

MIND KIT Is a Modular Robotics Development Platform Now on Kickstarter

This versatile kit includes sensors, servos, and compute modules that can be combined in many different ways From Vincross, the folks who brought you the HEXA robot, is a new Kickstarter for MIND KIT, a modular robotics development platform that you can use to build that robot that you’ve always wanted but doesn’t exist yet.

Video Friday: Final Goodbye to Opportunity Rover, and More

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos 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!): HRI 2019 – March 11-14, 2019 – Daegu, Korea RoboSoft 2019 – April 14-18, 2019 – Daegu, Korea Nîmes Robotics Festival – May 17-19, 2019 – Nîmes, France ICRA 2019 – May 20-24, 2019 – Montreal, Canada 2nd Annual Robotics Summit & Expo – June 4-6, 2019 – Boston, Mass., USA Energy Drone Coalition Summit – June 12-13, 2019 – Woodlands, Texas, USA Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

For Micro Robot Insects, Four Wings May Be Better Than Two

An extra pair of wings makes robot insects much easier to control In 2013, some folks from Rob Wood’s lab at Harvard, including then-postdoc Sawyer Buckminster Fuller, published a paper in Science introducing a (mostly) controllable version RoboBee, an insect-size flying robot that could lift itself, hover, and move around a bit using two flapping wings. Since then, there have been several more generations of RoboBee, including this nutty explosive diving one. The problem with robots at this scale, and especially flying robots at this scale, is energy storage. It takes a lot of oomph to lift off of the ground and stay there, which means that high power is necessary, which means a relatively big battery to provide that power for a significant amount of time, which means a heavier robot over, which means more power is required to lift off, and you can see what the problem is. Continue reading For Micro Robot Insects, Four Wings May Be Better Than Two

Robot Attempts to Navigate As Well As a Tiny Desert Ant

Desert ants can navigate remarkably well with the aid of the sun, a skill that robots are trying to duplicate Insects in general are unfailingly impressive with how intelligent and capable they are, with an absolute minimum of sensing and computing power. Where things start to get really interesting is when insects have to get clever in order to manage particularly challenging environments. Desert ants are a great example of this: While most ants rely on pheromone trails to navigate (they retrace their smell trails to get back to the nest), the heat of the desert means that pheromones don’t last very long. Instead, desert ants rely on a variety of techniques, including step counting, optic flow, landmarks, and most notably solar navigation. These techniques seem like they could come in handy for small, inexpensive robots exploring out in the solar system, where GPS isn’t available and sophisticated sensors come Continue reading Robot Attempts to Navigate As Well As a Tiny Desert Ant

Robot Melts Its Bones to Change How It Walks

Joints that are reconfigurable on the fly help this small robot avoid obstacles Different animals are optimized for different things, and this optimization is reflected in the structures of their bodies. It’s especially evident in the skeletons of animals designed to move around on land, where there’s a crazy diversity of limbs and joints and feet. There are some generalizable structures that tend to work well, like having hips and knees and ankles and feet, but if you look at the difference between the skeleton of an ostrich and the skeleton of an elephant, you’ll get a sense of just how much wiggle room there is. Unfortunately for animals, optimization means that while they’re excellent at some things, they struggle with other things, because they’re not able to redesign and re-optimize their skeletons on the fly, because how on earth would that even work, right? But robots suffer no such Continue reading Robot Melts Its Bones to Change How It Walks