AI News, Video Friday: Game of Drones, Jamming Grippers, and RoboCop Is Back

Video Friday: Game of Drones, Jamming Grippers, and RoboCop Is Back

We were pleasantly surprised by the number of robotics announcements at CES this year.

It's easy to start flying drones, but unless you start from scratch with a drone that comes with a sophisticated autopilot, you will crash, and it will be catastrophic and probably expensive.

The guys from Game of Drones have a Kickstarter project that might minimize your pain a little bit, with a custom quadcopter airframe that may not be indestructible, but it's pretty darn close:

It uses coffee grounds inside a balloon hooked up to a vacuum pump to reliably pick up just about anything (read lots more about how it works here):

Really, these are an extra pair of arms or something, and as soon as the Robonaut up on the ISS gets outfitted with a pair, we're expecting to see all sorts of new manipulation and locomotion tricks.

'If we find a tunnel, we like to send a robot into clear the tunnel and identify any threats, contraband, potential people with weapons, and let the agent know ahead of time if the tunnel is structurally sound,' said Border Patrol Agent Kevin Hecht, an agency tunnel expert.'

And you'll be happy to know that these robots are bought and paid for through an asset forfeiture fund, meaning that (in some sense) they're actually paying for themselves.

Rethink Robotics' Baxter is getting cleverer thanks to rampant software upgrades, and here's a new montage showing all (or at least, some of) the different ways that it knows how to pack stuff:

Also at the DRC was a big expo area that we didn't spend a lot of time at (since we were busy watching the trials tasks), but you certainly don't want to miss this video of a 'Collaborative Multi-Arm Robot Casualty Evacuation demonstration' from Intelligent Automation.

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