AI News, Video Friday: Snakebot Swimming, Robots and Duckies, and Giant Eyeball Blimp

Video Friday: Snakebot Swimming, Robots and Duckies, and Giant Eyeball Blimp

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your venomous Automaton bloggers.

Picassnake is a painting robot dressed up as a snake (!) that can rather violently paint abstract art (!!) based on things that it hears (!!!):

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.

Speaking of robot snakes, I love the purity of form and motion embodied by these bio-inspired creatures, especially in the water:

Unlike most other 3D walking robots, MARLO is walking on very tiny passive feet (i.e., no ankle actuation) and she is not using a camera or anything else to sense the terrain.

The self-balance is based on an advanced feedback control system, a dynamics model, and proprioception (joint encoders and an IMU).

The DARPA Vertical Take-Off/Landing X-plane (VTOL x-plane) Program achieved a critical milestone as Aurora Flight Sciences’ subscale vehicle demonstrator successfully flew at a U.S. military facility.

The flight of the subscale aircraft met an important DARPA risk reduction requirement, focusing on validation of the aerodynamic design and flight control system.

The subscale aircraft weighs 325 pounds and is a 20% scale flight model of the full scale demonstrator Aurora will build for DARPA in the next 24 months.

The wing and canard of the subscale vehicle utilize a hybrid structure of carbon fiber and 3D printed FDM plastics to achieve highly complex structural and aerodynamic surfaces with minimal weight.

Video Friday: Robogami, Flying Snake Robots, and Autonomous Car Eclipse

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers.

“What’s exciting here is that we’ve created a tool that allows a casual user to design their own robot by giving them this expert knowledge.” Casual roboticists?

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute says the combination of a drone and snake robot (that can make a cute little 'C' shape when it wants to be picked up) is ideal for accident monitoring.

That nifty Voliro drone from ETH Zurich is being put to work by the team of undergrads who invented it, because apparently getting that drone to work in the first place wasn't good enough and they had to do more stuff in order to get their degrees.

more in-depth look at the Democratic Robot, which finished 5th in the July 2017 Weaponized Plastic event, despite limited weaponry and defenses consisting primarily of printed pictures of kittens.

While I dislike most drone delivery videos, this is at least one case where 'we have a dumb drone that can dumbly haul stuff from one nearby place to another as long as there are no obstacles in the way' is actually useful, since there's a bunch of water in the way.

The sensors have a 360°-view of the cars’ surroundings, and we utilize our proven algorithms along with real-time data to help the car “see” through low visibility.

It's not every day you see a robot crab with four legs and a humanoid robot with six (!) arms both beating up on a robot that may or may not be made of solid gold:

We rely on state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms, multi-sensor fusion for localization of the robot, detection and motion estimation of the moving platform, and path planning for fully autonomous navigation.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a fully autonomous quadrotor system capable of landing on a moving target, using only onboard sensing and computing, without relying on any external infrastructure.

In this primer on the social dilemmas of driverless cars, Iyad Rahwan explores how the technology will challenge our morality and explains his work collecting data from real people on the ethical trade-offs we're willing (and not willing) to make.

Sidewinder snake helps engineers design a better robot [VIDEO]

The sidewinder, known formally as Crotalus cerastes, has mastered the art of traversing the sandy deserts of the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

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It's a sight most people don't see every day -- a majestic snake wriggling furiously as it glides through the air.

Socha said he's hoping that someday, the same movement will be used to design robots that could climb through rubble or slither into cracks during a search and rescue mission.

The same movement, he said, could also possibly go into creating a robotic device that could soar over bodies of water, such as rivers or lakes, to reach places humans can't.

Flying Snake Robot

Remote, high altitude, small and narrow area accident monitoring system that combines the advantages of drone and snake robot This system is expected to be able to respond quickly to accidents...

10 Amazing Robots That Really Exist

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Flying Snakes? Snake Robots for the Military?

Dr. Jake Socha studies gliding snakes for application in manmade vehicles.

Snake Bot

It swims, it slithers, it's a snakebot! More robots:

Carnegie Mellon's ‘Snake Monster’ hexapod robot moves like an insect

More Info - Feast your eyes upon the autonomous walking “Snake Monster,” a hexapod robot whose insect-like gait permits it to deftly climb over obstacles and move..

Snake Robot "Kaa" Exhibition Video

"Kaa" is a snake robot created by Dan Dorsch, Josh Nation ( and Josh Wiens for the "Biomimetics, Biomechanics, and Bio-Inspired Design" class at MIT (Fall 2013,..

Snake-like robot laser

LaserSnake2 is an extendable robot that uses a high-powered laser to dismantle radioactive structures in nuclear facilities. READ MORE: FACEBOOK:

Active Light Visual Odometry for Snake Robot

This video shows our implementation of active light visual odometry for snake robot. Some details are presented using sides and resutls are shown in an animation. The speaker is Xuesu Xiao....

World's Largest Robot Snake - Titanoboa - Slithering at Seattle Mini Maker Faire

Titanoboa, the massive creepy snake robot made an appearance at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire at the EMP Museum near the Seattle Space Needle. Modeled after an actual prehistoric monster-sized...

Snake Robot Climbs a Tree

From the Biorobotics Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, a snake robot (Snakebot) demonstrates how it can climb a tree and look around. Please keep in mind that this robot climbed a specific...