Weekly Robotics #10

1) Bionic Flying Fox.
INFO: Festo engineers developed a flying fox UAV. With a wingpsan of 228 cm (90 inch) and length of 87 cm (34 inch) the robot weights only 580 g (1.3 lbs). Thanks to integration with external motion capture system the robot can fly semi-autonomously. The flying membrane is made of two airtight films and a knitted elastene fabric, which are welded at approximately 45,000 points.

2) Skiing robots.
INFO: Earlier this year, during 2018 Olympic Games in Korea robots took to the slopes. According to zdnet article 8 teams took part of the competition and the winning robot took 20 seconds to complete the slalom.

3) Soft robotics jellyfish.
INFO: Researchers at Florida Atlantic University created a free-swimming soft robotics jellyfish. The hackaday article is full of technical information about the project and additionally includes a video showing the jellyfish in action.

4) List of 7 online robotics courses.
INFO: The list contains links to 7 robotics related courses available on Coursera, edX and Udemy.

5) Cost of Highly Safety Critical Software.
INFO: This short blog post by Phil Koopan talks about the cost of aircraft safety critical software. Worth noting is the graph discussed in the post. We can learn from it that the life-critical software engineer’s output can vary between 3-12 lines of code per day.

6) Manned amateur space program.
INFO: Copenhagen Suborbitals is a Danish association striving for creating an amateur manned space program. The group consists of around 60 unpaid volunteers creating rockets in their workshop. The rocket launches happen at a military firing practice area on the Baltic sea. The project is fully crowdsourced, if you are interested you can donate to the project by going to the support page.

7) Paper of the week - Dexterous Manipulation with Reinforcement Learning: Efficient, General, and Low-Cost (2018).
INFO: The presented article presents results on using Reinforcement Learning for teaching robot hands to perform dexterous tasks. Depending on methods and the hardware used the learning of valve turning task (rotating a valve by 180 degrees) took between 3 to 9 hours to complete.


0) Would you like to advertise an open position in a robotics related company?
INFO: If you would like us to include your open position in the hiring section please feel free to send us an e-mail.

1) ZOA Robotics (London, UK) - Senior Hardware Engineer.
INFO: ZOA Robotics creates affordable robots inspired by nature.

2) Sunflower Labs (Zurich, Switzerland) - Various Positions.
INFO: Sunflower Labs are building consumer products to design insightful home security.

3) Iris Automation (San Francisco or Reno-Tahoe, US) - Various Positions.
INFO: Iris Automation creates collision avoidance systems for drones.