What's the trending news in the robotics field for October 2021? Welcome to the 25th installment in our monthly series, What's Trending in Robotics News! We cover all the breaking news, hot issues, trending stories, and cool stuff that's 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 with the trending news in the robotics field for October 2021:
Skater Bot: The Remarkable New Bipedal Robot
Check out this cool 'bot. As covered in The Verge
, and IEEE Spectrum
, there's a new bipedal robot with propeller arms that can both slackline and skateboard. LEONARDO is the byproduct of CalTech and is one of the coolest robots out there. In the future, LEONARDO could potentially inspect high voltage lines, bridges, or other places inaccessible to normal robots. Oh, and it can really crush on the 'board, too. How could you see LEONARDO getting used? And, could it defeat Tony Hawk at the X Games?
More Water, Sir? The Rise of the Robot Waiter
Here's one solution to the worldwide employee shortage as the COVID epidemic draws down: unleash the robots. As covered in Futurism
, Fox Business
, KLKN TV
, The Drinks Business
, and Business Insider
, robot waiters are really starting to help out the industry. They're helping to alleviate some of the staffing shortages and allowing servers to make more money (as evidenced by the experience at Sergio's Restaurant); in Japan, 2,000 robot "cats" are helping to do the work of human servers at a fabled restaurant chain. Given the uncertain state of the restaurant industry post-COVID, how long do you think it will be before this is the norm at your everyday restaurant?
Going Social With Robots
Here's a very special, very cool robotics story from the West Coast. As covered in Science Daily, Cn2.com, and news-medical.net, there's a new robot (named "Robin") that's doing some very good deeds in a children's hospital. Robin can move, talk, and play with kids while under remote control, and the program's initial rollout shows that it can have highly beneficial results for the kids in the hospital. Would you want one of these patrolling the halls of your hospital? Do you think it would benefit all patients beyond just kids?
That's Where the Remote is! The Robot That Finds Lost Items
Attention lost keys, lost remotes, and everything else that you commonly misplace: the robotics world is coming for you! As covered in the MIT news
and Science Daily
, there's a new robot out there specifically designed to find all of those lost items in the clutter of an everyday household. This robotic arm features a camera and RF antenna to go through and search out those commonly-lost items that might get buried in a pile of stuff. What are your thoughts on this latest invention? What kind of items would you use this special robot for?
What's New in the Industry?
How about some quick hits from around the industry?
- First, one "giant leap" for robotkind: from Futurism and Interesting Engineering, here's a story about MIT's robotic cheetahs and their incredible jumping abilities.
- Second, it wouldn't be one of these updates without an appearance from Spot the robot! As reported in The Straits Times, the famous robotic dog is earning its keep by laser-scanning structures built on worksites. A very cool development.
What's to Come?
There is a lot of news out there — but these are the stories that caught our eyes this month. If we could give one big theme for the month, it would be "assistance." What do we mean by that? Well, it looks as though the trending news in the robotics field for October 2021 focuses on one big thing: helping out in our daily lives. The robot that helps to find lost items. Robot waiters to help with the labor shortages. Bipedal robots that can walk and move. Even robots that can help sick children get better. These are extraordinary things that robots can do, and they're getting closer and closer to helping everyone in the world out in one way or another.
The bottom line: Robotics, as a whole, are on a roll. They're adapting to every aspect of our lives and touching every element of what we do, from how we eat to where we will go as a species. Our best advice? Sit back, enjoy the ride, and enjoy every second of it. One more thing, readers — if you have anything we should add 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!