2021-07-28 23:11:06| Engadget
A new robot known as the Dominator has set a Guinness World Record for placing 100,000 dominos in just over 24 hours. Created by YouTuber and former NASA engineer Mark Rober, the Dominator is the result of more than five years of work. Rober had help from two freshmen from Stanford University and a Bay Area software engineer in creating the googly-eyed robot. The group programmed more than 14,000 lines of code, and outfitted it with components like omnidirectional wheels and 3D-printed funnels to create what Rober says is a friendly robot thats super good at only one thing: setting up a butt-ton of dominos really, really fast.Up against professional domino artist Lily Hevesh, the Dominator used its ability to lay down 300 tiles all at once to work about 10 times faster than a human. It took the robot about two hours to put down over 9,000 dominos.While the Dominator is the face of the project, a lot of its efficiency comes from a separate sorting mechanism that consists of a Kuka robotic arm and almost three miles of Hot Wheels tracks. A series of conveyor belts ferry the dominions by color before the Kuka arm deposits them in the appropriate chute. When the Dominator visits the station for a refill, the lower platform slides away, instantly loading its 3D-printed funnels with all the dominos it needs to lay down 300 at once. In this way, downtime is kept at a minimum.To put its final achievement in context, it would take a team of seven skilled domino builders about a full week to make the Super Mario Bros.-like mural the Dominator needed a little more than a day to complete.
2021-07-28 17:10:00| Gizmodo
In a first, Oregon State University says its bipedal robot Cassie managed to go from the couch to a 5K in 53 minutes. Its an impressive feat of machine learning and robotics engineering, but as far as 5Ks go, I wouldnt worry about having to outrun killer humanoid robots just yet.Read more...
2021-07-28 11:30:45| Engadget
Cassie, a bipedal robot that's all legs, has successfully ran five kilometers without having a tether and on a single charge. The machine serves as the basis for Agility Robotics' delivery robot Digit, as TechCrunch notes, though you may also remember it for "blindly" navigating a set of stairs. Oregon State University engineers were able to train Cassie in a simulator to give it the capability to go up and down a flight of stairs without the use of cameras or LIDAR. Now, engineers from the same team were able to train Cassie to run using a deep reinforcement learning algorithm.According to the team, Cassie teaching itself using the technique gave it the capability to stay upright without a tether by shifting its balance while running. The robot had to learn to make infinite subtle adjustments to be able to accomplish the feat. Yesh Godse, an undergrad from the OSU Dynamic Robotics Laboratory, explained: "Deep reinforcement learning is a powerful method in AI that opens up skills like running, skipping and walking up and down stairs."The team first tested Cassie's capability by having it run on turn for five kilometers, which it finished with a time of 43 minutes and 49 seconds. Cassie finished its run across the OSU campus in 53 minutes, 3 seconds it took a bit longer, because it included six-and-a-half minutes of dealing with technical issues. The robot fell once due to a computer overheating and then again after it executed a turn too quickly. Jeremy Dao, another team member from the lab, though, said they were able to "reach the limits of the hardware and show what it can do." The work the team does will help expand the understanding of legged locomotion and could help make bipedal robots become more common in the future.
2021-07-28 08:00:24| Fast Company
It’s hard to pick up all the plastic trash on beaches by hand. BeBot, a solar-powered robot, speeds up the process. At a beach cleanup, volunteers or workers usually focus on picking up pieces of trash like plastic water bottles or food packaging. But the sand is often filled with the tinier scraps of plastic that are left behind as those items break down. And while it’s possible to begin to collect them—using a mesh screen to sift pieces of plastic from the sand—it’s a gargantuan task.Read Full Story
2021-07-26 23:08:07| digg
Mark Rober and his team built an autonomous robot with a high-speed arm and laid out half-a-mile of Hot Wheels tracks to make the ultimate domino stacking machine.