Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Many thanks for the feedback on the website redesign that I’ve received in the past week! As time permits I’m slowly adding the changes to the website layout. The most clicked last week was the beginner’s guide to lithium rechargeable batteries with 15.1% opens.
NASA Launches Mars Rover Perseverance to Seek Signs of Ancient Life
Perseverance, a car sized rover, had departed, aiming to land on Mars on the 18th of February 2021. From the above article you can learn more about what answers will Perseverance try to answer and the tools it will use for that. I am mostly looking forward to seeing how Ingenuity, the famous martian drone, will perform its job in the thin atmosphere. If you want to stay up to date on Perseverance and other Mars mission like Tianwen-1 then I recommend following the Orbital Index - it’s my main source of Space news and projects!
Mars-Rover Open Source Project
Since we are on the topic of Mars Rovers check out this Open Source Rover (already added to Awesome Weekly Robotics list) by Jakob Krantz. The rover comes with an arm assembly and handles sand really good.
Robotic Leg Uses Space-Station-Inspired Motor Design for More Efficient, Natural Gait
This video shows efforts of the University of Michigan Researchers in developing prosthetics using, what looks like, brushless DC motors with planetary gearing. For more information about this project, you can check this article. I also found Professor’s Robert Gregg’s website to contain lots of technical details and papers on his research related to actuated prosthetics.
Remotely Operated Robot Takes Straight Razor to Face of Brave Roboticist
“You should really probably definitely not ever try this at home or anywhere else” <- I couldn’t put it any better than that. John Peter Whitney is working on fluidic actuators that use tubes containing fluids to transmit forces from the primary to the secondary robot, allowing either compliance or force feedback depending on the compressibility of the fluid. In the article, you will find the video of John being shaved by the robot operated by a professional barber. The shaving starts at 27:30.
5 Things ROS2 Needs in 2020
Here is yet another very useful post from Michael Ferguson (at least for those of you interested in ROS(2)) that describes what ROS2 still needs to be ready for “prime time”. I highly recommend this read, especially if you are considering switching to ROS2 in the near future.
NUS Researchers Improve Robot Sensing Abilities with Intel Loihi Neuromorphic Chip
“A team of computer scientists and materials engineers at NUS recently demonstrated a new approach to make robots smarter. They said last week that they have developed an artificial sensory system that mimics biological neural networks that can run on a power-efficient neuromorphic processor such as Intel’s Loihi chip. This novel system integrates artificial skin and vision sensors, enabling robots to draw accurate conclusions about the objects they are grasping based on the data captured by the vision and touch sensors in real time”.
Publication of the Week - Canopy Density Estimation in Perennial Horticulture Crops Using 3D Spinning LiDAR SLAM (2020)
In this work Engineers from CSIRO, an Australian federal research agency, present AgScan3D, a LiDAR based platform for estimating canopy density (in this paper the system is demoed in vineyards). The system consists of an onboard computer, 2D SICK LMS511-20100 LiDAR mounted on a platform spinning at 0.5 Hz, a Microstrain 3DM-GX3 IMU, and a GPS unit. To reference scanned points Researchers use their own SLAM implementation that also fuses information from GPS. The data collected during the experiment phase was captured over 2 growing seasons (23 months) and resulted in a traversal of 160 km and scanning 42.4 hectares and 93000 vines. I will be looking forward to the team releasing their dataset and some of their algorithms as open source software!
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Bristol Robotics Laboratory (Bristol, UK)
Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) is the most comprehensive academic centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research in the UK. It is a collaborative partnership between the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the University of Bristol, and home to a vibrant community of over 300 academics, researchers and industry practitioners.
NVIDIA (Reading, UK)
NVIDIA, the leader in AI and visual computing, is searching for an evangelist to drive awareness and take up of NVIDIA’s Jetson® Embedded solutions for ‘AI at the Edge’. The role would suit a recent graduate, looking to take a 1st step in the exciting world of AI and embedded systems, with NVIDIA the market leader in Deep Learning & AI Solutions.
Kobi (Leuven, Belgium)
With our scalable AI robotics platform, we can convert almost any machine into an autonomous device!
European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency had kicked off a competition to design, develop, test, and prepare for commercial launch a drone-based application and/or service able to provide a position and/or time fix by using Galileo-enabled receiver. You have until 31st of August to submit your project idea in one of the development areas and the winning idea will receive 100k Euro.