Tag Archives: artificial
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!):
IROS 2020 – October 25-25, 2020 – [Online]
ICSR 2020 – November 14-16, 2020 – Golden, Colo., USA
Bay Area Robotics Symposium – November 20, 2020 – [Online]
ACRA 2020 – December 8-10, 2020 – [Online]
Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos.
To prepare the Perseverance rover for its date with Mars, NASA’s Mars 2020 mission team conducted a wide array of tests to help ensure a successful entry, descent and landing at the Red Planet. From parachute verification in the world’s largest wind tunnel, to hazard avoidance practice in Death Valley, California, to wheel drop testing at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and much more, every system was put through its paces to get ready for the big day. The Perseverance rover is scheduled to land on Mars on February 18, 2021.
[ JPL ]
Awesome to see Aquanaut—the “underwater transformer” we wrote about last year—take to the ocean!
Also their new website has SHARKS on it.
[ HMI ]
Nature has inspired engineers at UNSW Sydney to develop a soft fabric robotic gripper which behaves like an elephant's trunk to grasp, pick up and release objects without breaking them.
[ UNSW ]
Collaborative robots offer increased interaction capabilities at relatively low cost but, in contrast to their industrial counterparts, they inevitably lack precision. We address this problem by relying on a dual-arm system with laser-based sensing to measure relative poses between objects of interest and compensate for pose errors coming from robot proprioception.
[ Paper ]
Developed by NAVER LABS, with Korea University of Technology & Education (Koreatech), the robot arm now features an added waist, extending the available workspace, as well as a sensor head that can perceive objects. It has also been equipped with a robot hand “BLT Gripper” that can change to various grasping methods.
[ NAVER Labs ]
In case you were still wondering why SoftBank acquired Aldebaran and Boston Dynamics:
[ RobotStart ]
DJI's new Mini 2 drone is here with a commercial so hip it makes my teeth scream.
[ DJI ]
Using simple materials, such as plastic struts and cardboard rolls, the first prototype of the RBO Hand 3 is already capable of grasping a large range of different objects thanks to its opposable thumb.
The RBO Hand 3 performs an edge grasp before handing-over the object to a person. The hand actively exploits constraints in the environment (the tabletop) for grasping the object. Thanks to its compliance, this interaction is safe and robust.
[ TU Berlin ]
Flyability's Elios 2 helped researchers inspect Reactor Five at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site in order to determine whether any uranium was present. Prior to this mission, Reactor Five had not been investigated since the disaster in April of 1986.
[ Flyability ]
SOTO 2 is here! Together with our development partners from the industry, we have greatly enhanced the SOTO prototype over the last two years. With the new version of the robot, Industry 4.0 will become a great deal more real: SOTO brings materials to the assembly line, just-in-time and completely autonomously.
[ Magazino ]
A drone that can fly sustainably for long distances over land and water, and can land almost anywhere, will be able to serve a wide range of applications. There are already drones that fly using ‘green’ hydrogen, but they either fly very slowly or cannot land vertically. That’s why researchers at TU Delft, together with the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Netherlands Coastguard, developed a hydrogen-powered drone that is capable of vertical take-off and landing whilst also being able to fly horizontally efficiently for several hours, much like regular aircraft. The drone uses a combination of hydrogen and batteries as its power source.
[ MAVLab ]
The National Nuclear User Facility for Hot Robotics (NNUF-HR) is an EPSRC funded facility to support UK academia and industry to deliver ground-breaking, impactful research in robotics and artificial intelligence for application in extreme and challenging nuclear environments.
[ NNUF ]
At the Karolinska University Laboratory in Sweden, an innovation project based around an ABB collaborative robot has increased efficiency and created a better working environment for lab staff.
[ ABB ]
What I find interesting about DJI's enormous new agricultural drone is that it's got a spinning obstacle detecting sensor that's a radar, not a lidar.
Also worth noting is that it seems to detect the telephone pole, but not the support wire that you can see in the video feed, although the visualization does make it seem like it can spot the power lines above.
[ DJI ]
Josh Pieper has spend the last year building his own quadruped, and you can see what he's been up to in just 12 minutes.
[ mjbots ]
Dr. Ryan Eustice, TRI Senior Vice President of Automated Driving, delivers a keynote speech — “The Road to Vehicle Automation, a Toyota Guardian Approach” — to SPIE's Future Sensing Technologies 2020. During the presentation, Eustice provides his perspective on the current state of automated driving, summarizes TRI's Guardian approach — which amplifies human drivers, rather than replacing them — and summarizes TRI's recent developments in core AD capabilities.
[ TRI ]
Two excellent talks this week from UPenn GRASP Lab, from Ruzena Bajcsy and Vijay Kumar.
A panel discussion on the future of robotics and societal challenges with Dr. Ruzena Bajcsy as a Roboticist and Founder of the GRASP Lab.
In this talk I will describe the role of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in supporting science and technology research and education, and the lessons I learned while serving in the office. I will also identify a few opportunities at the intersection of technology and policy and broad societal challenges.
[ UPenn ]
The IROS 2020 “Perception, Learning, and Control for Autonomous Agile Vehicles” workshop is all online—here's the intro, but you can click through for a playlist that includes videos of the entire program, and slides are available as well.
[ NYU ] Continue reading
Fast-food chains have been doing what they can in recent years to health-ify their menus. For better or worse, burgers, fries, fried chicken, roast beef sandwiches, and the like will never go out of style—this is America, after all—but consumers are increasingly gravitating towards healthier options.
One of those options is plant-based foods, and not just salads and veggie burgers, but “meat” made from plants. Burger King was one of the first big fast-food chains to jump on the plant-based meat bandwagon, introducing its Impossible Whopper in restaurants across the country last year after a successful pilot program. Dunkin’ (formerly Dunkin’ Donuts) uses plant-based patties in its Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwiches.
But there’s one big player in the fast food market that’s been oddly missing from the plant-based trend—until now. McDonald’s announced last week that it will debut a sandwich called the McPlant in key US markets next year. Unlike Dunkin’ and Burger King, who both worked with Impossible Foods to make their plant-based products, McDonald’s worked with Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat, which makes chicken, beef, and pork-like products from plants.
According to Bloomberg, though, McDonald’s decided to forego a partnership with Beyond Meat in favor of creating its own plant-based products. Imitation chicken nuggets and plant-based breakfast sandwiches are in its plans as well.
McDonald’s has bounced back impressively from its March low (when the coronavirus lockdowns first happened in the US). Last month the company’s stock reached a 52-week high of $231 per share (as compared to its low in March of $124 per share).
To keep those numbers high and make it as easy as possible for customers to get their hands on plant-based burgers and all the traditional menu items too, the fast food chain is investing in tech and integrating more digital offerings into its restaurants.
McDonald’s has acquired a couple artificial intelligence companies in the last year and a half; Dynamic Yield is an Israeli company that uses AI to personalize customers’ experiences, and McDonald’s is using Dynamic Yield’s tech on its smart menu boards, for example by customizing the items displayed on the drive-thru menu based on the weather and the time of day, and recommending additional items based on what a customer asks for first (i.e. “You know what would go great with that coffee? Some pancakes!”).
The fast food giant also bought Apprente, a startup that uses AI in voice-based ordering platforms. McDonald’s is using the tech to help automate its drive-throughs.
In addition to these investments, the company plans to launch a digital hub called MyMcDonald’s that will include a loyalty program, start doing deliveries of its food through its mobile app, and test different ways of streamlining the food order and pickup process—with many of the new ideas geared towards pandemic times, like express pickup lanes for people who placed digital orders and restaurants with drive-throughs for delivery and pickup orders only.
Plant-based meat patties appear to be just one small piece of McDonald’s modernization plans. Those of us who were wondering what they were waiting for should have known—one of the most-recognized fast food chains in the world wasn’t about to let itself get phased out. It seems it will only be a matter of time until you can pull out your phone, make a few selections, and have a burger made from plants—with a side of fries made from more plants—show up at your door a little while later. Drive-throughs, shouting your order into a fuzzy speaker with a confused teen on the other end, and burgers made from beef? So 2019.
Image Credit: McDonald’s Continue reading