ANYmal Robot | Neato's Robotic Vacuum | Google's Atlas

Hi there, and welcome to my weekly Robot Update. This is wear I do a round up of what is going on in the Robot news around the world, so please stay tuned.

 

 

Hi Guys, I’m Philip English from robophil.com, and welcome to the Robot Weekly update number 29.

ANYmal Robot

Robotic Systems Lab, based in Zürich Switzerland has recently released a new video of ANYmal, with Marco Hutter, of Robotic Systems Lab explaining the new designs.

ANYmal is a quadrupedal robot designed for autonomous operation in challenging environments. Driven by special compliant and precisely torque controllable actuators, the system is capable of dynamic running and high-mobile climbing.

Thanks to incorporated laser sensors and cameras, the robot can perceive its environment to continuously create maps and accurately localize.

Based on this information, it can autonomously plan its navigation path and carefully select footholds while walking. Driven by real-world application, namely industrial inspection of oil and gas sites, ANYmal carries batteries for more than 2h autonomy and different sensory equipment such as optical and thermal cameras, microphones, gas-detection sensors and active lighting.

With this payload, the machine weighs less than 30kg and can hence be easily transported and deployed by a single operator.

Neato smart watch

Neato's robotic vacuum can now be controlled with a smartwatch, thanks to an app update announced this week. The automatic update allows smartwatch users to start, stop, and receive notifications from Neato's Botvac Connected vacuum, a Wi-Fi-connected Roomba competitor that uses laser scanning to map and clean spaces.

The Botvac Connected could already be controlled from iOS and Android smartphone apps; today's update brings the same functionality to Apple and Android smartwatches.

According to Neato, today's update makes the Botvac Connected the first robot vacuum to offer smartwatch functionality. In addition to starting and stopping the vacuum, Botvac Connected owners can monitor the progress of its cleaning on their smartwatches, and receive a notification once it's finished.

Google's Atlas Robot takes a beating!

The company’s robotics subsidiary, Boston Dynamics, has revealed the latest iteration of its Atlas robot, most recently seen doing the hoovering last month.

The old version of Atlas was clunky, tethered to its control apparatus through a tangle of wires, and not a particularly good housekeeper either. But just a month later, and the newest iteration of the hardware is much more agile.

The next generation of Atlas is smaller than its predecessor, and able to run without wires entirely. The demonstration video shows it opening the door of Boston Dynamics offices, in Massachusetts, before trampling through the snow-filled woodland outside their building. It stumbles once, but stays upright throughout.

The video also shows the robot stacking 10lb weights, and, in a classic of the Boston Dynamics “robot torture” genre, being prodded with a hockey stick before eventually being forcefully shoved over entirely with a tube. But even when it’s down, Atlas isn’t out, and the robot manages to quickly get up on two legs.

That’s it guys, for a weekly world Robot News, I am your host Philip English.

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