ROBOTICS NEWS: What's Trending in March 2020

Welcome to the eighth installment in our monthly series, What's Trending in Robotics News! We will cover all the breaking news, hot issues, trending stories, and cool stuff that is happening - or has happened - in the robotics industry. There were plenty of amazing things happening in the robotics industry throughout March. Let's see what caught our attention this month!

Rise and Walk: A Robot Teaches Itself to Walk

A truly remarkable story out of Google Robotics this month. Researchers from that outfit got a four-legged robot to learn how to walk backward and forwards - all by itself. You read that right. A robot taught itself to walk. This story earned coverage in Interesting Engineering, Digital Trends, The Next Web, and Engadget.

Where does this lead next for the development of robotics? Is this another frontier crossed in the ever-evolving convergence of humanity and robotics? It's incredible how a simple achievement like this - teaching a robot to learn the basics of human propulsion - can spark all those big questions. One other (more fun) question: when will a robot teach itself how to dance?

Boston Dynamics Update: The Robots in the Warehouse

"The Future of Warehouse Automation" seems to be here, and Boston Dynamics is behind it. As covered in Robotics and Automation News, New Atlas, Digital Trends, Tech Crunch, and IEEE Spectrum, Boston Dynamics partnered with OTTO Motors to deliver robotics solutions to the OTTO warehouse. The productive pairing is called the "Handle" robot alongside the "Pick" computer vision system.

Another fascinating advancement into what's traditionally been a very human endeavor - working in a warehouse. How could this affect YOUR company? Moreover, how would this affect those thousands of manual-labor jobs that could be replaced by robotics? A wide-ranging development to think about for the future.

Robotics and the Coronavirus: An Update

We're going to have a special full article coming out about this later this week, but we'll just touch on some of the big stories in the fight here:

  • As covered in Futurism and, robots are helping to disinfect trains to battle the coronavirus.
  • In Fox News: "Ninja robots" are helping to free up medical staff throughout Thailand in their efforts to stop the disease.
  • From Futurism - the use of robots to help the fight in Chinese hospitals
  • In, a profile on Danish-developed robots helping to destroy harmful microbes.

小編明白喺疫情下,乘客特別關注列車車廂嘅衛生情況。我哋除咗定時以1:99稀釋漂白水清潔車廂外,亦引入咗可以全自動操作嘅「雙氧水霧化消毒機械人」,配合列車深層次消毒工作。 機械人可以噴灑霧化至特定濃度嘅雙氧水,覆蓋車廂內細微縫隙,進行消毒工作。同事可以透過智能手提裝置遙距操作,或者預先設定車廂平面圖,咁機械人就識自動運作! 我地會繼續關注疫情最新發展,保障乘客健康,等大家搭得安心! #高科技 #雙氧水霧化消毒機械人 #齊齊抗疫 #搭得安心 Meet our new colleague who has been deployed to further enhance hygiene and health protection for passengers and staff under the current epidemic. The "Vapourised Hydrogen Peroxide Robot" can spray disinfectants which eliminate viruses and bacteria into the small gaps that are difficult to reach during normal cleaning work.

Posted by MTR on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

There are plenty more stories out there, as the robotics industry mobilizes with its traditional innovation and vigor to battle the spread of this devastating disease. We'll have much more on this topic in a special blog post coming out soon - be on the lookout for it.

The Inflatable Robot!

In lighter news from the robotics industry, we now have an inflatable robot! As reported in IEEE Spectrum, The Robot Report, Yahoo, CNN, and Mashable, researchers at Stanford have now developed a giant, soft robot that "shapeshifts" into new shapes.

We've seen plenty of different shapes and sizes for robots around the world, but never something quite like this. What uses can come out of it? Do you think this might eventually replace those wacky waving inflatable arm-tube men we see outside car dealerships?

What's New in the Industry?

How about some quick hits from around the industry?

  • From Gizmondo and Mashable - there's now a singing robot out there named "Shimon," and it's ... well, you just have to see it to believe it. Next up, American Robot Idol.
  • More than meets the eye, as covered in Mashable, Tech Republic, and elsewhere. A new robot from Stanford has octopus-like tentacles to allow it to change shape quickly, "Transformers" style. Another must-watch video.
  • NASA is still going ahead with future missions, and as covered in Futurism, the "Perseverance" rover is still trekking to other worlds. Elsewhere (as covered in BGR and New Atlas), NASA is looking for help in making a digging robot for the moon, and the A-PUFFER robots are prepping for future deployment (covered in The Robot Report).

What's to Come?

Of course, that's only just a fraction of all the robotics news out there - but these are intriguing stories. One interesting takeaway we picked up this month? In this (frankly) insane month for news, the industry continues to innovate with all sorts of new amazing things - many of them helping to combat the current pandemic across the globe. With the news so bleak out there, this should give us all some hope.

One more thing, readers - if you have anything that we should add-in for the next edition, let us know! What caught your attention in the robotics world throughout March? Comment below, and we might feature it in our next issue!

Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter to stay up to date on the latest news in the field.

Picture Credit: Farrin Abbott/Stanford University / Boston Dynamics, YouTube / NASA/JPL Caltech
LikedLike this to see more

Spread the word

Flag this post

Thanks for helping to keep our community civil!

Notify staff privately
It's Spam
This post is an advertisement, or vandalism. It is not useful or relevant to the current topic.

You flagged this as spam. Undo flag.Flag Post