Stickman Explores the Physics of Flying Through the Air

Disney Research is teaching this skinny robot how to perform a variety of somersaulting stunts Image: Disney Research This is a guest post. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not represent positions of IEEE Spectrum or the IEEE. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles has a signature move that is named after her because she is the only woman on earth capable of performing it. The move starts as a layout double flip, but more than halfway through suddenly develops a twist that rotates her body through an extra 180 degrees to land face first. The only visible source of this sudden change in rotation is a small motion of one hand as her arm goes from straight to bent. It’s a beautiful example of how the seemingly simple physics of ballistic motion, completely governed by a relatively simple conservation of angular momentum, can produce amazing Continue reading Stickman Explores the Physics of Flying Through the Air

Video Friday: Andy Rubin on Robotics, Dynamic Exoskeleton, and Two Robot Heads

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: Flash Robotics 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!): ICRA 2018 – May 21-25, 2018 – Brisbane, Australia Dynamic Walking Conference – May 21-24, 2018 – Pensacola, Fla., USA RoboCup 2018 – June 18-22, 2018 – Montreal, Canada RSS 2018 – June 26-30, 2018 – Pittsburgh, Pa., USA Ubiquitous Robots 2018 – June 27-30, 2018 – Honolulu, Hawaii MARSS 2018 – July 4-8, 2018 – Nagoya, Japan AIM 2018 – July 9-12, 2018 – Auckland, New Zealand ICARM 2018 – July 18-20, 2018 – Singapore ICMA 2018 – August 5-8, 2018 – Changchun, China SSRR 2018 – August 6-8, 2018 – Philadelphia, Pa., USA Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos. Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert returns to TechCrunch Sessions Robotics and Continue reading Video Friday: Andy Rubin on Robotics, Dynamic Exoskeleton, and Two Robot Heads

Feel What This Robot Feels Through Tactile Expressions

Inflatable spikes and goosebumps help this robot communicate Photo: Cornell We humans think we’re pretty clever with all of the different ways that we have of communicating with each other. We vocalize, we have expressive faces, we gesture. It seems like plenty of modes of communication, but we’re missing out on a few that are routine for animals, including texture: Animals can express emotional states through skin changes, like when cats cause their hair to stand up, or when a blowfish inflates itself and gets all pokey. We can’t make textural expressions like these (although it does sometimes happen to us involuntarily), but we can often do a reasonable job of interpreting them when we see them: Anything that grows spikes, for example, probably prefers not to be touched. Guy Hoffman’s Human-Robot Collaboration & Companionship (HRC2) Lab at Cornell University is working on a new robot that’s designed to investigate this Continue reading Feel What This Robot Feels Through Tactile Expressions

Laser-Powered Robot Insect Achieves Lift Off

Everything is better with lasers, especially tiny robot insects Photo: University of Washington For robots of all sizes, power is a fundamental problem. Any robot that moves is constrained in one way or another by power supply, whether it’s relying on carrying around heavy batteries, combustion engines, fuel cells, or anything else. It’s particularly tricky to manage power as your robot gets smaller, since it’s much more straightforward to scale these things up rather than down—and for really tiny robots (with masses in the hundreds of milligrams range), especially those that demand a lot of power, there really isn’t a good solution. In practice, this means that on the scale of small insects robots often depend on tethers for power, which isn’t ideal for making them practical in the long term. At the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Brisbane, Australia, next week, roboticists from the University of Washington, in Seattle, Continue reading Laser-Powered Robot Insect Achieves Lift Off

Video Friday: Atlas Jogging, Drive.ai Launch, and Robotic Warehouse

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: Boston Dynamics 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!): NASA Robotic Mining Competition – May 14-18, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA ICRA 2018 – May 21-25, 2018 – Brisbane, Australia Dynamic Walking Conference – May 21-24, 2018 – Pensacola, Fla., USA RoboCup 2018 – June 18-22, 2018 – Montreal, Canada RSS 2018 – June 26-30, 2018 – Pittsburgh, Pa., USA Ubiquitous Robots 2018 – June 27-30, 2018 – Honolulu, Hawaii MARSS 2018 – July 4-8, 2018 – Nagoya, Japan AIM 2018 – July 9-12, 2018 – Auckland, New Zealand ICARM 2018 – July 18-20, 2018 – Singapore ICMA 2018 – August 5-8, 2018 – Changchun, China SSRR 2018 – August 6-8, 2018 – Philadelphia, Pa., USA Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, Continue reading Video Friday: Atlas Jogging, Drive.ai Launch, and Robotic Warehouse

Video Friday: Security Robot as a Service, Robotic Mining, and Saved by a Drone

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Photo: Mike Collett/Promus Ventures 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!): Applied Collegiate Exoskeleton Competition – May 05, 2018 – University of Michigan, USA NASA Robotic Mining Competition – May 14-18, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA ICRA 2018 – May 21-25, 2018 – Brisbane, Australia Dynamic Walking Conference – May 21-24, 2018 – Pensacola, Fl., USA RoboCup 2018 – June 18-22, 2018 – Montreal, Canada RSS 2018 – June 26-30, 2018 – Pittsburgh, Pa., USA Ubiquitous Robots 2018 – June 27-30, 2018 – Honolulu, Hawaii MARSS 2018 – July 4-8, 2018 – Nagoya, Japan AIM 2018 – July 9-12, 2018 – Auckland, New Zealand ICARM 2018 – July 18-20, 2018 – Singapore Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos. Nothing Continue reading Video Friday: Security Robot as a Service, Robotic Mining, and Saved by a Drone

Video Friday: Cassie on Fire, Disney’s Soft Robot Hand, and Car Humanoid

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: Michigan Robotics/Dynamic Legged Locomotion Lab 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!): NASA Robotic Mining Competition – May 14-18, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA ICRA 2018 – May 21-25, 2018 – Brisbane, Australia Dynamic Walking Conference – May 21-24, 2018 – Pensacola, Fl., USA RoboCup 2018 – June 18-22, 2018 – Montreal, Canada RSS 2018 – June 26-30, 2018 – Pittsburgh, Pa., USA Ubiquitous Robots 2018 – June 27-30, 2018 – Honolulu, Hawaii MARSS 2018 – July 4-8, 2018 – Nagoya, Japan AIM 2018 – July 9-12, 2018 – Auckland, New Zealand ICARM 2018 – July 18-20, 2018 – Singapore Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos. If you’ve ever wondered why Cassie continually takes Continue reading Video Friday: Cassie on Fire, Disney’s Soft Robot Hand, and Car Humanoid

Video Friday: Investing in Robotics, Horrific Westworld Animatronics, and Circus Robot

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: Rudi Renner Agentur via VimeoCircus artist Martin Riedel performs with an industrial robot arm at Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain 2018 in Paris. 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!): RoboSoft 2018 – April 24-28, 2018 – Livorno, Italy ICARSC 2018 – April 25-27, 2018 – Torres Vedras, Portugal NASA Robotic Mining Competition – May 14-18, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA ICRA 2018 – May 21-25, 2018 – Brisbane, Australia RSS 2018 – June 26-30, 2018 – Pittsburgh, Pa., USA Ubiquitous Robots 2018 – June 27-30, 2018 – Honolulu, Hawaii MARSS 2018 – July 4-8, 2018 – Nagoya, Japan AIM 2018 – July 9-12, 2018 – Auckland, New Zealand ICARM 2018 – July 18-20, 2018 – Singapore Let us know if you have Continue reading Video Friday: Investing in Robotics, Horrific Westworld Animatronics, and Circus Robot

Video Friday: Robot With Scissors, Cassie on a Segway, and Atlas Kicking

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: RC2L/KITECH 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!): NASA Swarmathon – April 17-19, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA RoboSoft 2018 – April 24-28, 2018 – Livorno, Italy ICARSC 2018 – April 25-27, 2018 – Torres Vedras, Portugal NASA Robotic Mining Competition – May 14-18, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA ICRA 2018 – May 21-25, 2018 – Brisbane, Australia RSS 2018 – June 26-30, 2018 – Pittsburgh, Pa., USA Ubiquitous Robots 2018 – June 27-30, 2018 – Honolulu, Hawaii MARSS 2018 – July 4-8, 2018 – Nagoya, Japan AIM 2018 – July 9-12, 2018 – Auckland, New Zealand Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos. Oh yes, this is an excellent idea. Cassie Blue Continue reading Video Friday: Robot With Scissors, Cassie on a Segway, and Atlas Kicking

Video Friday: Robot Barber, Untethered iCub, and Aibo’s Best Friend

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: Robotstart 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!): U.S. National Robotics Week – April 7-17, 2018 – United States Xconomy Robo Madness – April 12, 2018 – Bedford, Mass., USA NASA Swarmathon – April 17-19, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA RoboSoft 2018 – April 24-28, 2018 – Livorno, Italy ICARSC 2018 – April 25-27, 2018 – Torres Vedras, Portugal NASA Robotic Mining Competition – May 14-18, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA ICRA 2018 – May 21-25, 2018 – Brisbane, Australia RSS 2018 – June 26-30, 2018 – Pittsburgh, Pa., USA Ubiquitous Robots 2018 – June 27-30, 2018 – Honolulu, Hawaii MARSS 2018 – July 4-8, 2018 – Nagoya, Japan Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s Continue reading Video Friday: Robot Barber, Untethered iCub, and Aibo’s Best Friend