Build your own best friend! Students design $3,000 kit robo-dog that can jump, flip and dance

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A robotic dog that can dance, do flips and jump has been created by a team of students - and they are encouraging people to build their own. The robo-dog senses when it is out of position and uses'virtual springs' to pop upright with precision. It has been created with the goal of being reproduced by anyone and the team has published their designs and blueprints online to encourage people to make their own robots. Doggo's creators wanted to share their joy so much they have made the plans, code and a supply list all freely available on GitHub, a specialist platform for developers to share computer code. On the Stanford Doggo Project Github blog, the students describe themselves as undergraduate and graduate students in the Stanford Student Robotics club and part of the club's'Extreme Mobility team'.


South Korea is developing nature-inspired military surveillance robots

Daily Mail - Science & tech

South Korea is developing robots that mimic wildlife adapted for all environments on Earth for military warfare. The nature inspired technology, known as biomimetics, will form part of the country's future weapons systems and help its soldiers in battles. Robot designs inspired by birds, snakes and marine species aim to cover both surveillance and combat via sea, land and sky. It is an attempt to catch up with neighbouring countries such as China and Russia who have made huge advances in the application of the technology, said a defence agency personnel. South Korea is developing a range of robots that mimic wildlife adapted for all environments on Earth for military warfare.


How MIT's Mini Cheetah Can Help Accelerate Robotics Research

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

Earlier this month, MIT posted a video of Mini Cheetah, a small quadruped robot from the lab of Sangbae Kim. We wanted to make sure you saw the video as soon as possible, which is why we featured it in Video Friday, but of course we wanted to know more about the robot. For some context about this robot, MIT notes that Mini Cheetah weighs about 20 pounds, with 12 modular motors that give each leg a powered hip joint (with 2 degrees of freedom) plus a knee joint. The backflip you see in the video was, somehow, accomplished on the first attempt, and for its next trick, Mini Cheetah is being taught to perform the very cat-like maneuver of landing on its feet after being thrown into the air. IEEE Spectrum: Why make a smaller version of Cheetah?


GOAT Robot Leg Demonstrates Explosive Jumping

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

Most legged robots are easily identifiable as such, because we all know what legs look like: they look like legs. Maybe human legs, maybe mammal legs, maybe bird legs, but legs are legs. Where things start to get interesting is when legged robots manifest designs that aren't (usually) found in nature, like with RHex, which has six springy wheely leggy things that allow it to do some incredible acrobatics. At Carnegie Mellon University, Simon Kalouche just wrapped up his Ph.D. thesis in which he describes the development of a brand new design for "legs capable of dexterous walking, running, and most significantly, explosive omni-directional jumping and actively compliant landing." That's the kind of thing we like to hear.


Humanoid robots won't just imitate humans, but learn problem-solving with help from AI

#artificialintelligence

MADRID: Sporting a trendy brown bob, a humanoid robot named Erica chats to a man in front of stunned audience members in Madrid. She and others like her are a prime focus of robotic research, as their uncanny human form could be key to integrating such machines into our lives, said researchers gathered this week at the annual International Conference on Intelligent Robots. Can you please tell me more?" Erica, who is playing the role of an employer, asks the man. She may not understand the conversation, but she's been trained to detect key words and respond to them. A source of controversy due in part to fears for human employment, the presence of robots in our daily lives is nevertheless inevitable, engineers at the conference said.