In need of some Christmas cheer? Look no further than this amazing video from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague that has an all-star team of robots stealing the spotlight.
To celebrate the holidays, researchers from CTU brought together agile mobile SPOT robots from Boston Dynamics; mechanical, beetle-like robotic bugs Scarab and Daisy; crawler robot Charlie; wheeled robot Husky; balancing robot SK80 (developed in-house by graduate students at CTU); humanoid robots iCub, Pepper, and Nao; quadcopter drone for indoor flights, X500; and the incredible Ludvík, a keyboard-playing humanoid robot composed of more than 30,000 LEGO pieces (another CTU creation).
While the first half of the video shows the robots getting ready for the celebrations – setting up the nativity scene, carrying the gifts to the Christmas tree, orchestrating the music, swaying to the tunes merrily, et al. – the latter half makes it abundantly clear that the machines aren’t leading a secret life of their own.
When robots celebrate Christmas…
The Faculty of Electrical Engineering at CTU is truly teeming with talent. Recently, a team of more than 30 scientists and students from the Department of Cybernetics and the Department of Computers participated in the virtual DARPA Subterranean Challenge organized by the US Department of Defense, and took home the second prize of $500,000 for getting 3D robots to perform the same rescue tasks as their real-life predecessors in a simulated environment.
Simultaneously with the virtual competition, a competition of real robots took place in the underground MegaCavern complex in Kentucky. A team of wheeled, tracked, flying, and four-legged rescue robots from CTU managed to uncover seven objects in 60 minutes in a giant limestone mine, which earned them the sixth place in the competition of the best eight teams in the world.
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