Video Friday: Japanese Child Robot Affetto, 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!): EU Robotics Week – November 16-25, 2018 – Europe ICSR 2018 – November 28-30, 2018 – Qingdao, China RoboDEX – January 16-18, 2019 – Tokyo, Japan Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

Video Friday: Collaborative Humanoid 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!): EU Robotics Week – November 16-25, 2018 – Europe ICSR 2018 – November 28-30, 2018 – Qingdao, China RoboDEX – January 16-18, 2019 – Tokyo, Japan Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

This Robot Transforms Itself to Navigate an Obstacle Course

A central perception system allows a robot to change its own configurations for each new challenge When you’ve got a hammer, everything looks like a nail, but the world starts to look more interesting if your hammer can change shape. For the builders of a class of robots called modular self-reconfigurable robots (MSRR), shape-shifting is the first step toward endowing robots with an animal-like adaptability to unknown situations. “The question of autonomy becomes more complicated, more interesting,” when robots can change themselves to meet changing circumstances, said roboticist Hadas Kress-Gazit of Cornell University. The key to achieving adaptability for robots rests in centralized sensory processing, environmental perception, and decision-making software, Kress-Gazit and colleagues report this week in a new paper in Science Robotics. The authors claim their new work represents the first time a modular robot has autonomously solved problems by reconfiguring in response to a changing environment. To achieve that, they built strict limitations into both the environment and Continue reading This Robot Transforms Itself to Navigate an Obstacle Course

Video Friday: Open Source Robotic Kitten, 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!): ICSR 2018 – November 28-30, 2018 – Qingdao, China RoboDEX – January 16-18, 2019 – Tokyo, Japan Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

Robotic Raven Gains Altitude

Maryland student’s research advances pioneering micro air vehicle Inspired by the beauty and flying ability of birds, Leonardo da Vinci strived centuries ago to create a human-powered flapping-wing flying machine. But his designs, which da Vinci explored in his Codex on the Flight of Birds, were never developed in any practical way. Even today, mimicking bird flight still presents challenges due to the physiological complexity of a bird’s flapping wings. For years, researchers at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering have been moving ever closer to faithfully imitating bird flight with Robo Raven, the first bird-inspired unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that has successfully flown with independent wing control. Robo Raven can also be programmed to perform any desired motion, enabling the UAV to perform aerobatic maneuvers. Lena Johnson, who is pursuing her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the Clark School, is working on the current iteration Continue reading Robotic Raven Gains Altitude

Video Friday: TALOS Humanoid 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!): The Promise and the Peril of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics – October 23, 2018 – Corvallis, Oregon, USA Collaborative Robots, Advanced Vision & AI Conference – October 24-25, 2018 – Santa Clara, Calif., USA ICSR 2018 – November 28-30, 2018 – Qingdao, China RoboDEX – January 16-18, 2019 – Tokyo, Japan Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini Can Dance Now

A quadruped robot dance-off is inevitable At IROS in Madrid a few weeks ago, Marc Raibert showed a few new videos during his keynote presentation. One was of Atlas doing parkour, which showed up on YouTube last week, and the other was just a brief clip of SpotMini dancing, which Raibert said was a work in progress. Today, Boston Dynamics posted a new video of SpotMini (which they’re increasingly referring to as simply “Spot”) dancing to Uptown Funk, and frankly displaying more talent than the original human performance. 

Video Friday: Boston Dynamics’ Spot Goes to Work, 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!): Japan Robot Week – October 17-19, 2018 – Tokyo, Japan The Promise and the Peril of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics – October 23, 2018 – Corvallis, Oregon, USA Collaborative Robots, Advanced Vision & AI Conference – October 24-25, 2018 – Santa Clara, Calif., USA ICSR 2018 – November 28-30, 2018 – Qingdao, China Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.

32-Legged Spherical Robot Moves Like an Amoeba

Mochibot is out to prove that there’s no such thing as too many legs Making a one-legged robot that moves is very hard. Two-legged robots are a little bit more straightforward in some ways, and four-legged robots are statically stable much of the time. You can see where this is going—there’s a general trend toward more legs being more stable and potentially easier to control, especially as terrain complexity increases. So what happens if you take that logic to an extreme? As it turns out, you end up with a spherical robot made of 32 individually actuated telescoping legs, named Mochibot.