Video Friday: Skydio's Car Follow, Telexistence, and Tick-Killing Robot

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

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!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. Skydio's R1 can now follow cars, while not crashing into other stuff, of course: Telexistence thinks that having a telepresence robot that's humanoid on the other end will make it more natural to interact with, I'm guessing. And they've done a reasonable job with the design: I have to wonder what kind of latency you get between Japan and Hawaii, though.


Popcorn-Driven Robotic Actuators

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

It's not that often that I can steal the title of a paper and use it for a blog article that people will actually read, but I think "Popcorn-Driven Robotic Actuators" totally works, so credit for that to Steven Ceron at Cornell University who's the first author on this paper, presented at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in May. Let's see what else I can steal from it: Popcorn kernels are a natural, edible, and inexpensive material that has the potential to rapidly expand with high force upon application of heat. Although this transition is irreversible, it carries potential for several robotic applications. As kernels can change from regular to (larger) irregular shapes, we examine the change in inter-granular friction and propose their use as granular fluids in jamming actuators, without the need for a vacuum pump. Furthermore, as a proof-of-concept, we also demonstrate the use of popcorn-driven actuation in soft, compliant, and rigidlink grippers.


Video Friday: Science Lab Robot, Will Smith's Android Date, and Soft Robotic Gripper

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

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!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. As far as I can tell, biologists spend the vast majority of their time moving tiny amounts of liquid around in order to maybe possibly eventually do a little bit of analysis that could lead to some Real Science. Opentrons has announced their OT-2 lab robot, which will enable biologists to instead spend the vast majority of their time simply worrying about whether those tiny amounts of liquid have interesting stuff going on in them or not.


Robotic Tortoise Helps Kids to Learn That Robot Abuse Is a Bad Thing

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

Kids like to touch things. Kids like to whack things. This is usually fine when the thing is a toy, but it can be a problem when the thing is a robot. We've written about children beating robots up before, and it seems like it's an inevitability when kids (or even some adults) meet a robot for the first time: They want to see what it can do and how it reacts to things, and that can result in some behaviors and interactions that would be pretty upsetting if they were targeted at something alive. That is to say, sometimes kids are abusive towards robots, especially when there aren't any consequences to the things that they do.


Video Friday: Drone Fireworks, Cozmo Rap, and Justin Timberlake

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

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!):