Video Friday: 1X Robots Tidy Up

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

RoboCup 2024: 17–22 July 2024, EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS
ICRA@40: 23–26 September 2024, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
IROS 2024: 14–18 October 2024, ABU DHABI, UAE
ICSR 2024: 23–26 October 2024, ODENSE, DENMARK
Cybathlon 2024: 25–27 October 2024, ZURICH

Enjoy today’s videos!

In this video, you see the start of 1X’s development of an advanced AI system that chains simple tasks into complex actions using voice commands, allowing seamless multi-robot control and remote operation. By starting with single-task models, we ensure smooth transitions to more powerful unified models, ultimately aiming to automate high-level actions using AI.

This video does not contain teleoperation, computer graphics, cuts, video speedups, or scripted trajectory playback. It’s all controlled via neural networks.

[ 1X ]

As the old adage goes, one cannot claim to be a true man without a visit to the Great Wall of China. XBot-L, a full-sized humanoid robot developed by Robot Era, recently acquitted itself well in a walk along sections of the Great Wall.

[ Robot Era ]

The paper presents a novel rotary wing platform, that is capable of folding and expanding its wings during flight. Our source of inspiration came from birds’ ability to fold their wings to navigate through small spaces and dive. The design of the rotorcraft is based on the monocopter platform, which is inspired by the flight of Samara seeds.

[ AirLab ]

We present a variable stiffness robotic skin (VSRS), a concept that integrates stiffness-changing capabilities, sensing, and actuation into a single, thin modular robot design. Reconfiguring, reconnecting, and reshaping VSRSs allows them to achieve new functions both on and in the absence of a host body.

[ Yale Faboratory ]

Heimdall is a new rover design for the 2024 University Rover Challenge (URC). This video shows highlights of Heimdall’s trip during the four missions at URC 2024.

Heimdall features a split body design with whegs (wheel legs), and a drill for sub-surface sample collection. It also has the ability to manipulate a variety of objects, collect surface samples, and perform onboard spectrometry and chemical tests.

[ WVU ]

I think this may be the first time I’ve seen an autonomous robot using a train? This one is delivering lunch boxes!

[ JSME ]

The AI system used identifies and separates red apples from green apples, after which a robotic arm picks up the red apples identified with a qb SoftHand Indystry and gently places them in a basket.

My favorite part is the magnetic apple stem system.

[ QB Robotics ]

DexNex (v0, June 2024) is an anthropomorphic teleoperation testbed for dexterous manipulation at the Center for Robotics and Biosystems at Northwestern University. DexNex recreates human upper-limb functionality through a near 1-to-1 mapping between Operator movements and Avatar actions.

Motion of the Operator’s arms, hands, fingers, and head are fed forward to the Avatar, while fingertip pressures, finger forces, and camera images are fed back to the Operator. DexNex aims to minimize the latency of each subsystem to provide a seamless, immersive, and responsive user experience. Future research includes gaining a better understanding of the criticality of haptic and vision feedback for different manipulation tasks; providing arm-level grounded force feedback; and using machine learning to transfer dexterous skills from the human to the robot.

[ Northwestern ]

Sometimes the best path isn’t the smoothest or straightest surface, it’s the path that’s actually meant to be a path.

[ RaiLab ]

Fulfilling a school requirement by working in a Romanian locomotive factory one week each month, Daniela Rus learned to operate “machines that help us make things.” Appreciation for the practical side of math and science stuck with Daniela, who is now Director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

[ MIT ]

For AI to achieve its full potential, non-experts need to be let into the development process, says Rumman Chowdhury, CEO and cofounder of Humane Intelligence. She tells the story of farmers fighting for the right to repair their own AI-powered tractors (which some manufacturers actually made illegal), proposing everyone should have the ability to report issues, patch updates or even retrain AI technologies for their specific uses.

[ TED ]