Friday, February 26, 2016

Israel First Stronghold Competitor "SKYZER". FRC team 1690 Orbit 2016

FRC team, Orbit 1690, from Binyamina, Israel, presents it's 2016 robot for the game STRONGHOLD!

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Children of the Swamp 2016 FRC Team 179 Robot for First Stronghold 2016

This team from Riviera Beach, Florida looks to have a very formidable robot.  We are very impressed with it's capability to make itself "shorter" to go under some of the obstacles.

Meet Arsenal. The 2016 FRC Robot from Team 118. Robonauts.

This FRC team out of Houston is sponsored by NASA and looks to have an incredible robot for the 2016 First Robotics season.   

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

New Boston Dynamics Robot opens doors, walks on snow, and can lift itself up after it's pushed down.

Published on Feb 23, 2016
A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5' 9" tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Robots Can Now Flawlessly Iron Clothes

 Multi-Sensor Surface Analysis for Robotic Ironing

Published on Jan 20, 2016
The paper will be presented in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Stockholm, May 2016.
Author: Yinxiao Li, Xiuhan Hu, Danfei Xu, Yonghao Yue, Eitan Grinspun, Peter Allen (Columbia University)
Paper link:

Related work can be found here.

Robotic manipulation of deformable objects remains a challenging task. One such task is to iron a piece of cloth autonomously. Given a roughly flattened cloth, the goal is to have an ironing plan that can iteratively apply a regular iron to remove all the major wrinkles by a robot. We present a novel solution to analyze the cloth surface by fusing two surface scan techniques: a curvature scan and a discontinuity scan. The curvature scan can estimate the height deviation of the cloth surface, while the discontinuity scan can effectively detect sharp surface features, such as wrinkles. We use this information to detect the regions that need to be pulled and extended before ironing, and the other regions where we want to detect wrinkles and apply ironing to remove the wrinkles. We demonstrate that our hybrid scan technique is able to capture and classify wrinkles over the surface robustly. Given detected wrinkles, we enable a robot to iron them using shape features. Experimental results show that using our wrinkle analysis algorithm, our robot is able to iron the cloth surface and effectively remove the wrinkles.
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Ted Talk: A robot that runs and swims like a salamander | Auke Ijspeert

Published on Feb 18, 2016
Roboticist Auke Ijspeert designs biorobots, machines modeled after real animals that are capable of handling complex terrain and would appear at home in the pages of a sci-fi novel. The process of creating these robots leads to better automata that can be used for fieldwork, service, and search and rescue. But these robots don't just mimic the natural world — they help us understand our own biology better, unlocking previously unknown secrets of the spinal cord.

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