Sure, Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot appears to be dancing to the 1962 classic “Do You Love Me?” by the Contours, but to some, it appears to be someone in a suit. The reality is that it uses artificial intelligence combined with computer vision to sense their surroundings to perform pre-programmed dance routines. Monica Thomas is a professional choreographer and dancer responsible for some of these dances you see. Read more for a short video and additional information.
The problem with aimbots is that they can easily be detected, but University of Maryland engineers may have come up with a solution in the form of a 3D-printed soft robotic hand. That’s right, they came up with flexible, inflatable robots that are powered by water or air rather than electricity. An integrated fluidic circuit was then installed to allow the hand to operate in response to the strength of a single control pressure. Read more for a video and additional information.
MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) researchers have developed a new algorithm to help a robot find efficient motion plans to ensure physical safety of its human counterpart. Whether it be putting a jacket on a human or another garment, this could potentially prove to be a powerful tool in expanding assistance for those with disabilities or limited mobility. Read more for a video and additional information.
ESA’s European Robotic Arm (ERA) has been loaded onto the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) by Airbus space engineers and it’s now ready for its flight to the International Space Station (ISS). It will take one-week to reach the ISS, where it will service the Russian segment of the space station. Measuring 11.3 meters long, the symmetrical, two-handed intelligent robot arm can ‘walk’ around the exterior of the ISS, hand-over-hand from one fixed base-point to another. Read more for two videos and additional information.
UC Berkeley engineers have developed an insect-sized robot based on the principle of sticky footpads found on some of these creatures, called electrostatic adhesion. This robot is capable of swerving and pivoting with the agility of a cheetah, thus enabling it to traverse complex terrain quickly while avoiding unexpected obstacles. It’s made from a thin, layered material that bends and contracts when an electric voltage is applied. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Hyundai Motor Group has successfully completed the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, Inc. from SoftBank Group Corp. in a deal that values the mobile robot firm at $1.1 billion. To celebrate, Boston Dynamics released a couple of new videos, including one where Spot takes on BTS in a dance showdown. Hyundai aims to transform itself into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider and has invested in the development of future technologies, including autonomous driving, artificial intelligence (AI), Urban Air Mobility (UAM), smart factories as well as robots. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Summer is finally here, and when you want to take a standard cooler to the next level, there’s the Heineken B.O.T. This Beer Outdoor Transporter is essentially a fully autonomous robot that can hold up to 12 cans and can follow you just about anywhere, complete with an AI personality that can actually speak. Unfortunately, this extremely limited-edition robot will not be for sale, but is rather a contest prize. Read more for a video and additional information.
Knightscope is a company that specializes in autonomous security robots that feature an array of technological tools to patrol and monitor properties on a 24/7 basis. To date, these robots have combined for a million hours of service to clients and the K5 recently made an appearance in the second episode of the Disney+ streaming superhero series “Loki”. They provide audio / video data reception, transmission, analysis, and can determine if emergency intervention are present. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: Kevin Yufeng Chen
Researchers, led by MIT Assistant Professor Kevin Yufeng Chen, have developed insect-like robots that could eventually be used as drones. Unlike previous robots, this one utilizes a new class of soft actuator that enables them to withstand the physical travails of real-world flight. Whether it be for pollinating crop, performing machinery inspections in cramped spaces, or even military surveillance missions, this robot is up for the task. Read more for a video and additional information.
When it lands on Mars, SpaceBok will become the first powered four-legged robot to traverse the Red Planet. This quadruped robot was designed and built by a Swiss student team from ETH Zurich and ZHAW Zurich, with testing currently taking place using robotic facilities at ESA’s ESTEC technical center in the Netherlands. Unlike other robots that use at least three legs stay on the ground at all times, dynamic walking allows for gaits with full flight phases during which all legs stay off the ground. Read more for two videos and additional information.