AI News, Video Friday: The Year in Robots
- On Tuesday, February 13, 2018
- By Read More
Video Friday: The Year in Robots
But one of the downsides of posting as many articles as we do is that we're constantly forced to keep moving on to the latest thing, and it's too easy to forget what happened last month, last week, or even yesterday.
With that in mind, we thought it would be nice to close out the year with a look back at some of our (entirely subjective) favorite stories and videos from 2013.
Thanks to a pile of military money and boundless creativity and technical expertise, Boston Dynamics consistently creates the most amazingly advanced robots that you're likely to see anywhere.
They also have a frustrating habit of posting spectacular videos out of nowhere, like these two, showing a scary modification to BigDog and the world's fastest legged robot.
Building on existing platforms like PETMAN, Boston Dynamics created ATLAS, a massive, hydraulically powered humanoid rugged enough to take part in DARPA's disaster scenarios.
Teaching a robot to fetch a cup of coffee might not seem like a big deal, and indeed, it's an example of a typical sort of robot research demo where the objective seems to be a complex task of limited usefulness.
Dryden has a fleet of UAVs that it uses to conduct a variety of research, ranging from huge Global Hawks studying hurricanes to small model aircraft testing autonomous collision avoidance software.
RHex is one of the more talented and diverse robotic platforms out there, but it's still surprising to see what this hexapod is capable of when serious researchers at the University of Pennsylvania put serious work into making it do serious things.
The FAA still has a year or two before it has to lay down rules allowing for the use of UAVs in public airspace, and the fact that technology has far outpaced policy was illustrated during flooding in Colorado.
We picked up on a story about FEMA preventing a local UAV company from aiding in relief efforts (for free), and followed up with both sides to reveal a frustrating breakdown in communications and jurisdiction that revealed what a mess things are right now.
Meanwhile, Opportunity is approaching its 10 year mark of doing science on Mars, which is a spectacular achievement, considering that the original mission duration was a mere 90 days.
It should be no surprise that the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials made it into our list of top videos for the year: we've been looking forward to the event since 2012, and it featured the most complex humanoid robots all competing against each other in tasks that will ultimately benefit humanity.
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