ROBOTICS NEWS: What’s Trending in October 2020

Welcome to the thirteenth 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 October. Let's see what caught our attention this month!

Robot Gantry: Upside-Down Robot Makes Advancements

Here's a very bat-like development in robotics: covered in The VergeDesign BoomVenture Beat, and Tech Republic, Toyota's newest robots hang from the ceiling to do their jobs. These robots avoid getting in the way of any activity on the ground floor and still perform tons of critical duties (cleaning counters, washing dishes, etc.).

It's incredible to think about just how simple an innovation this is - just by thinking vertically, robots can get that much more efficient. What sort of uses would you have for these ceiling-hanging bat robots?

Rise of the Robot Squid

Think about this the next time you order calamari at a restaurant: there's a robot squid out there! From EngadgetFuturismNew Atlas, and Mashable - there's a new robotic squid from the University of California-San Diego. Based on the real thing, this swimming robotic squid moves just like its inspiration for exploring some of the mysteries of the deep.

Intrigued? We are too. The deepest, darkest depths of the ocean are one of the only truly mysterious locations left in the world; what do you think our friendly robot squid friends could find down there?

One Kind of Fantastic Voyage

Here's one you don't read every day - a robot going into a live animal's colon. All jokes aside, this achievement - covered in FuturismScience AlertFuturityInteresting Engineering, and New Atlas - is another remarkable one: miniature robots from Purdue University that can enter through the colon and deliver drugs to exactly where they need to go on the human body.

This news is something that your five-year-olds might snicker at, but in a practical sense, it's pretty amazing. How long do you think it will be before the "robots in the colon" become more than just a punchline and a part of everyday medical practice?

Who Needs Skin, Anyways

It is the spooky season - so a creepy skinless robot sure fits the bill. The crazed new animatronic robot from Disney earned coverage in Inside the MagicFuturismGizmodo, and more. Go ahead and look if you'd like a fright - it's quite "Westworld"-esque.

We can appreciate the technological innovation here - but is there a time where robots can get to be too lifelike? It's something to think about as we continue to get to that kind of advancement point.

Spot Updates

Here's a blast from the past - according to the Defence Blog and Interesting Engineering, Spot the Boston Dynamics robot is exploring at the Chernobyl site. Another example of how our newest technologies are helping to solve some of the problems of the past.

One more story about Spot - everyone's favorite robot. Per Tech Crunch and Engadget, it's getting an optional arm and self-charging dock for next year. What more can Boston Dynamics add to their standout product?

What's New in the Industry?

How about some quick hits from around the industry: 

What's to Come?

Of course, there is a lot of other news out there - but these are the stories that caught our eyes this month. The theme for October 2020? How about creativity. We see this month just how creative robotics have to get in order to solve problems. Hang robots from the ceiling? Check. Design robots to go through the colon to deliver drugs? Double check. Use the best features of one of the deep's most remarkable animals to explore new worlds? Triple check. It's great to step back sometimes and recognize just how big the minds and imaginations of robotics designers have to be to solve for problems that are just as massive. 

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 October? 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: TRI / Disney Research Hub / University of California San Diego
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