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April 19, 2018

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 […]
April 17, 2018

Robots Continue Attempting to Master Ikea Furniture Assembly

These robots are slow, careful, and successful, making them way better than humans at assembling an Ikea chair Image: NTU Apparently, one of the standards by which we should be measuring the progress of useful robotic manipulation is through the assembly of Ikea furniture. With its minimalistic and affordable Baltoscandian design coupled with questionably creditable promises of effortless assembly, Ikea has managed to convince generations of inexperienced and desperate young adults (myself included) that we can pretend to be grownups by […]
April 17, 2018

“Dog Cam” Trains Computer Vision Software for Robot Dogs

Strapping some gear to an Alaskan Malamute produces data that can train deep learning algorithms to navigate the world like a dog Image: DECADE A dog’s purpose can take on new meaning when humans strap a GoPro camera to her head. Such “dog cam” video clips have helped train computer vision software that could someday give rise to robotic canine companions. The idea behind DECADE, described as “a dataset of ego-centric videos from a dog’s perspective,” is to directly model the behavior of intelligent beings […]
April 16, 2018

FlyJacket Lets You Control a Drone With Your Body

EPFL’s FlyJacket exosuit allows you to embody a fixed-wing drone, making it feel like you’re flying Photo: EPFL LIS It takes a lot of practice to fly a drone with confidence. Whether it’s a multirotor or a fixed-wing drone, there are a lot of complicated things going on all at once, and most of the control systems are not even a little bit intuitive. The first-person viewpoint afforded by drone-mounted cameras and VR headsets helps, but you’re still stuck with […]
April 12, 2018

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 […]
April 11, 2018

See Straight Through Walls by Augmenting Your Eyeballs With Drones

A drone combined with a HoloLens can simulate X-ray vision while offering easy and intuitive control Image: Graz University of Technology Robots make fantastic remote-sensing systems, ideal for sending in to disaster areas or for search-and-rescue. Drones in particular can move rapidly over large areas or through structures, identifying damage or looking for survivors by sending a video feed from their on-board cameras to a remote operator. While the data that drones provide can be invaluable, managing them can be […]
April 5, 2018

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 […]
April 3, 2018

Fribo: A Robot for People Who Live Alone

This little robot listens to what goes on in your life and helps to keep you connected with your friends Image: Yonsei University & KAIST In the United States, there are over 5 million young adults between the ages of 18-35 living alone, and that number is growing. While many of them may be living alone by choice, it can also be socially isolating, if you’re into that whole being social thing. The situation is similar in many other countries, […]
April 2, 2018

What People See in 157 Robot Faces

The largest study of robot faces we’ve ever seen shows the right way to design an expressive robot Image: University of Washington In recent years, an increasing number of robots have relied on screens rather than physical mechanisms to generate expressive faces. Screens are cheap, they’re easy to work with, and they allow for nearly unlimited creativity. Consequently, there’s an enormous variety of robot faces, with a spectrum of similarities and differences both obvious and subtle. However, there hasn’t been a comprehensive […]
April 2, 2018

Zipline’s Bigger, Faster Drones Will Deliver Blood in the United States This Year

After taking over deliveries for 20 percent of rural Rwanda’s blood supply, Zipline is introducing its drone fleet to the rural United States Photo: Zipline We’ve been following Zipline very closely for the last few years. The delivery drone startup has been operating in Rwanda since October of 2016, using small autonomous fixed-wing aircraft to paradrop critical blood products to rural medical clinics. T he system is able to get blood from a centralized distribution center to where it’s needed […]