Weekly Robotics #11

0) DJI plane wing collision video called out as misleading.
INFO: Back in issue 8 we included a video of a DJI Phantom 2 hitting an aircraft wing. The linked article contains an open letter from DJI who accuse researchers of, among other things, making unrealistic assumptions and including very little description of testing methodology.

1) What Comes After the Roomba?
INFO: This piece by the New York Times discusses the future of home robotics. 16 years after iRobot Roomba was introduced to the market it seems that we didn’t move to anything past a vacuum cleaner when it comes to home robotics (at least when high adoption is concerned).

2) Robomaster Robotics Competition 2019.
INFO: The registration for Robomaster Robotics Competition is open with a registration deadline 31/10/2018 for Chinese teams and 16/11/2018 for teams from other regions. In this edition the teams will build various kinds of robots (mobile robots, drones and sentry bots) capable of shooting projectiles. The total prize pool is said to be 600,000$.

3) Nyble - Open Source Quadruped Cat Robot.
INFO: The cat is based on an laser cut frame and according to the description in the link it’s powered by an Atmega328P. In total there are 11 servos on the frame (4 for each leg, and 3 for head assembly). When it comes to sensing the main board contains a 6-axis IMU and there is an ultrasonic distance sensor embedded in the head assembly.

4) Ubiquity Robotics ROS Raspberry Pi Images.
INFO: Ubiquity Robotics shares a set of SD card images for Raspberry Pi 3 that are pre-loaded with ROS, saving you time needed for setting up a system from scratch.

5) Single Board Computer Database.
INFO: This searchable database contains information on 270 single board computers. There are multiple filters you can apply to search criteria such as CPU speed, RAM, physical dimensions, network interfaces, price, hardware interfaces etc.

6) NASA’s Hubble Telescope Recovers after gyro failure.
INFO: Earlier this month NASA’s Hubble telescope experienced a gyro failure that resulted in gyro indicating rotation rates higher than expected by orders of magnitude. The gyros on Hubble rotate at constant speed of 19,200 RPM. The gyro wheel is suspended in a sealed cylinder filled with thick fluid and the electronics within the gyro detect small changes of the axis of the wheel. Our recommendation is to read the reports starting with the oldest one at the bottom of the page.

7) Paper of the week - Probabilistic Kinematic State Estimation for Motion Planning of Planetary Rovers (2018).
INFO: This paper introduces p-ACE, a probabilistic variant of ACE (Approximate Clearance Evaluation) algorithm used for kinematic collision detection used for path-planners for planetary rovers. ACE allows estimating the worst case configuration associated with wheel heights that could make the rover stuck, while p-ACE is calculating probability distribution in real time and, according to authors, assuming less pessimistic worst-case configurations that are still safe for the rover.


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.