Video Friday: humans helping robots

Video Friday is your weekly selection of great robotics videos, collected by your friends on IEEE spectrum robotics. We also publish a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the coming months. Send us your events for inclusion.

IROS 2022: October 23-27, 2022, KYOTO, JAPAN
ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals: November 4-5, 2022, LOS ANGELES
CoRL 2022: December 14-18, 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today’s videos!

Until robots reach 100% autonomy (HA), humans will need to intervene from time to time and Contoro is developing a system for intuitive and remote human intervention.

[ Contoro ]

Thanks, Youngmok!

A one-year update of our ongoing project with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and RMUS Canada to study the capabilities of the Boston Dynamics Spot robot for autonomous inspection and first response in the energy sector. Highlights of the first year of the project, featuring the work of Ph.D. Student Christopher Baird, include autonomous elevator driving and autonomous door opening (including proxy card access doors) as part of Autowalks , as well as autonomous fire fighting.

[ MARS Lab ]

The teams involved in the DARPA Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency (RACER) program have an experiment behind them and will focus on even more challenging off-road landscapes in Camp Roberts, California, September 15-27. The program aims to provide driverless combat vehicles with off-road autonomy as they travel at speeds that keep pace with those driven by people in realistic situations.


The use of tools has long been a hallmark of human intelligence, as well as a practical problem to be solved for a wide range of robotic applications. But the machines are still wobbly at exerting just the right amount of force to control tools that aren’t rigidly attached to their hands. To manipulate these tools more robustly, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), in collaboration with the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), designed a system that could grasp the tools and apply the amount of force appropriate for a given task, such as wiping up liquids or writing a word with a pen.

[ MIT ]

Cornell researchers have installed electronic “brains” on solar-powered robots ranging in size from 100 to 250 micrometers, so that the small robots can walk autonomously without being controlled from the outside.

[ Cornell ]

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed soft devices containing algae that glow in the dark when subjected to mechanical stress, such as squashed, stretched, twisted or bent. The devices require no electronics to turn on, making them an ideal choice for building soft robots that explore the deep sea and other dark environments, the researchers said.

[ UCSD ]

Thanks Lizel!

Our robotaxi is built to withstand a range of temperatures to ensure the vehicle and, most importantly, its riders are never too hot or too cold … regardless of the weather. Find out more about our thermal tests in the latest episode of Put Zoox to the test.

[ Zoox ]

Thanks Whitney!

Skydio drones will do a great job of keeping you in frame no matter what happens.

[ Skydio ]

With accelerated urbanization in the world, the development and utilization of underground space are important for economic and social development, and the survival of people’s lives is important for all of us. The Huzhou Research Institute of Zhejiang University has summoned a team of robots to lead an exploratory adventure in an unknown environment in the underground space in the Yellow Dragon Cave. DEEP Robotics takes part in this fascinated robotic party and tries underground challenges, also collaborates with the team of drones (air-to-ground robots) to look for a new collaboration.

[ Deep Robotics ]

The title of this video is “Ion Propulsion Drone Proves Its Commercial Feasibility”, but it looks like a nice leap from a 4.5 minute flight to a 15 minute flight with a significant payload that would be required for delivery of the last mile.

[ Undefined Technologies ]

Welcome to this week’s edition of “How Much Stuff Can You Pack on a Husky?”

[ Clearpath ]

In the Nanocopter AI challenge, the teams demonstrated the AI ​​they developed for Bitcraze AB’s Crazyflie nanocopters to perform vision-based obstacle avoidance at increasing speeds. The drones flew into our “Cyberzoo”, avoiding a series of obstacles, from walls to poles and artificial plants. Drones were rated primarily on distance traveled in limited time, but could earn extra points by flying through gates as well.

[ IMAV ]

Watch this drone deliver six eggs to an empty field!

Sorry, I shouldn’t be so sarcastic, but I’m still not convinced about the whole business of urban drone food delivery.

[ Wing ]

Flexiv is pleased to announce the launch of its ROS 2 driver to offer customers a better robot development experience.

[ Flexiv ]

Northrop Grumman has been pioneering new capabilities in undersea dominance for over 50 years. Manta Ray, a new unmanned underwater vehicle, named after the huge “winged” fish, will have to be able to operate long-range and long-range missions in ocean environments without the need for human logistical support on site: one mission unique but important necessary to address the complex nature of submarine warfare.

[ Northrop Grumman ]

Some unique footage of drones that aren’t afraid to get a little wet.

[ Blastr ]

People tend to trust sophisticated computing devices too much, especially those powered by artificial intelligence. As these systems become more fully interactive with humans in the course of daily activities, the ethical considerations in implementing these systems need to be studied more carefully. In this talk, we will discuss various forms of human overconfidence in these intelligent machines and possible ways to mitigate the impact of bias in our interactions with them.

[ Columbia ]

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s success in landing the low-cost Mars Pathfinder mission in 1997 was seen as proof that spacecraft could be built more often and for far less money, a radical cultural shift that NASA called “More faster, better, cheaper “. JPL’s next challenge was to bring two missions to Mars for the price of a single Pathfinder mission. Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander both arrived at the springboard, on time and within budget, but were lost upon arrival on Mars, resulting in one of the most difficult times in JPL history. “The breaking point”Tells the story of the end of these two missions and the sudden end of NASA’s“ Faster, Better, Cheaper ”era.

[ JPL ]