Video Friday: Agile but Safe

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.

Cybathlon Challenges: 02 February 2024, ZURICH
Eurobot Open 2024: 8–11 May 2024, LA ROCHE-SUR-YON, FRANCE
ICRA 2024: 13–17 May 2024, YOKOHAMA, JAPAN

Enjoy today’s videos!

Is “scamperiest” a word? If not, it should be, because this is the scamperiest robot I’ve ever seen.

[ ABS ]

GITAI is pleased to announce that its 1.5-meter-long autonomous dual robotic arm system (S2) has successfully arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket (NG-20) to conduct an external demonstration of in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing (ISAM) while onboard the ISS. The success of the S2 tech demo will be a major milestone for GITAI, confirming the feasibility of this technology as a fully operational system in space.


This work presents a comprehensive study on using deep reinforcement learning (RL) to create dynamic locomotion controllers for bipedal robots. Going beyond focusing on a single locomotion skill, we develop a general control solution that can be used for a range of dynamic bipedal skills, from periodic walking and running to aperiodic jumping and standing.

And if you want to get exhausted on behalf of a robot, the full 400m dash is below.

[ Hybrid Robotics ]

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter pushed aerodynamic limits during the final months of its mission, setting new records for speed, distance, and altitude. Hear from Ingenuity chief engineer Travis Brown on how the data the team collected could eventually be used in future rotorcraft designs.

[ NASA ]

BigDog: 15 years of solving mobility problems its own way.

[ Boston Dynamics ]

[Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences] researchers are helping develop resilient and autonomous deep space and extraterrestrial habitations by developing technologies to let autonomous robots repair or replace damaged components in a habitat. The research is part of the Resilient ExtraTerrestrial Habitats institute (RETHi) is led by Purdue University, in partnership with [Harvard] SEAS, the University of Connecticut and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Its goal is to “design and operate resilient deep space habitats that can adapt, absorb and rapidly recover from expected and unexpected disruptions.”

[ Harvard SEAS ]

Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in a recent T-RO paper describe and construct a novel variable stiffness spherical joint motor that enables dexterous motion and joint compliance in omni-directions.

[ Paper ]

Thanks Ram!

We are told that this new robot from HEBI is called “Mark Suckerberg” and that they’ve got a pretty cool application in mind for it, to be revealed later this year.

[ HEBI Robotics ]

Thanks Dave!

Dive into the first edition of our new Real-World-Robotics class at ETH Zürich! Our students embarked on an incredible journey, creating their human-like robotic hands from scratch. In just three months, the teams designed, built, and programmed their tendon-driven robotic hands, mastering dexterous manipulation with reinforcement learning! The result? A spectacular display of innovation and skill during our grand final.


Adaptive Mobile Manipulation project from Carnegie Mellon University! Based on AgileX Robotics’s RangerMini2.0 mobile robot, Integrate sensors such as robotic arm and depth camera to complete to be a completed solution, which can realize the functions of intelligent movement and processing.

[ AgileX ]

Picassnake is our custom-made robot that paints pictures from music. Picassnake consists of an arm and a head, embedded in a plush snake doll. The robot is connected to a laptop for control and music processing, which can be fed through a microphone or an MP3 file. To open the media source, an operator can use the graphical user interface or place a text QR code in front of a webcam. Once the media source is opened, Picassnake generates unique strokes based on the music and translates the strokes to physical movement to paint them on canvas.

[ Picassnake ]

In April 2021, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first spacecraft to achieve powered, controlled flight on another world. With 72 successful flights, Ingenuity has far surpassed its originally planned technology demonstration of up to five flights. On Jan. 18, Ingenuity flew for the final time on the Red Planet. Join Tiffany Morgan, NASA’s Mars Exploration Program Deputy Director, and Teddy Tzanetos, Ingenuity Project Manager, as they discuss these historic flights and what they could mean for future extraterrestrial aerial exploration.

[ NASA ]