Image Credit: The Verge
This week we are doing the WR community meeting again! If you are interested in joining then scroll down to the announcement section for more details! Looking forward to talking robotics with you! Last week’s Perseverance ladning video was one of the most exciting things I’ve witnessed in a long time. No wonder it was the most clicked link last week with 22.0% opens. As usual in the past couple of weeks, the publication of the week section is manned by Rodrigo.
MSCHF’s Latest Drop Lets You Control a Boston Dynamics Robot with a Paintball Gun on Its Back
An art/marketing collective MSCHF equipped a Boston Dynamics’s Spot robot with a paintball gun, allowing people on the Internet to control it. According to the manifesto, you can find on the project page, the goal of this ‘installation’ was to raise awareness on equipping robots with weapons. In the process Spot took quite a beating: it seems that the obstacle tolerance was set to low settings, making it possible for the robot to collide with the environment on a couple of occasions. The robot also fell multiple times as it slipped on the floor or tried stepping on empty cardboard boxes.
Around two weeks ago there was news on Locus Robotics securing $150M series E funding and bringing its valuation to $1B. Just yesterday we’ve heard that Skydio secured $170M in round D, also surpassing $1B valuation and becoming a unicorn.
Silicon Valley and Agile are Ruining Engineering
Interesting thoughts from Michael DeKort on how Agile might not be the best workflow for engineering projects. I highly recommend giving this piece a read, especially if you are working on safety-critical projects!
Should I Use Wheels Or Tracks?
Should your ground mobile robot be equipped with wheels or tracks? This short post by Lewin Day will give you something to think about when making this choice.
“ROS-Mobile is an Android application designed for dynamic control and visualization of mobile robotic system operated by the Robot Operating System (ROS). The application uses ROS nodes initializing publisher and subscriber with standard ROS messages. The overall code architecture pattern is Model View ViewModel (MVVM), which stabilizes the application and makes it highly customizable. For a detailed overview of the functionality, we refer to our wiki.”
Soft Legged Robot Uses Pneumatic Circuitry to Walk Like a Turtle
A cool soft robot developed by researchers from UC San Diego that doesn’t need any electronics to walk thanks to clever pneumatics. Being able to run the robot on a single CO2 cartridge is clever! Thanks to ‘pneumatic circuitry’, the team was able to ‘program’ the robot to back off after walking into an obstacle.
Publication of the Week - Legged Robot Factors Part I (2019)
Legged robots such as Atlas from Boston Dynamics are impressive and dexterous. This article describes what are the challenges when it comes to legged robots and explains some methods used to overcome them. For this type of robot, the contact factor with the ground plays a major role and can be used with a factor graph to estimate the trajectory. The author makes use of images, simple language, and real examples, which can be a good start point for those entering the legged robots world.
The Prepared is one of my favorite weekly newsletters, covering topics from engineering to manufacturing and logistics. In this week's issue, there are links on chalk manufacturing, longshoreman's unions, and the taxable value of forestry land. Subscribe here - it's great!
Weekly Robotics Meetup #2 - Robocars
The 2nd Weekly Robotics meeting is next Thursday at 7 PM CET. You can sign up for the event on the Eventbrite page above or just drop into this wonder.me room at the time of the meeting. This time we will be discussing Robocars! The full agenda is still in the works and will be updated on the event page.
World MoveIt Day 2021
World MoveIt Day is an international hackathon to improve the MoveIt code base, documentation, and community. We hope to close as many pull requests and issues as possible and explore new areas of features and improvements for the now ten(!) year old framework. Beginners are welcome to join us to review the tutorials and get immediate help when needed. This year, the focus will be on improvements to MoveIt 2. The event is taking place on March 10th 2021
HayBeeSee (Katowice, Poland / Remote) - Lead GNC Robotics Engineer - Jumping Locomotion
HayBeeSee is AgTech robotics scale-up based in London & Katowice introducing fundamental change to “agronomy” and farming best-practice utilising state-of-the-art robotics and AI. Meet the CropHopper®, world’s first robot designed for fast and efficient jumping across fields to scan crops, identify weeds (single leaf), aphids & other bugs, early signs of disease, tiller-count, plant count, grain-counts per head as well as to carry out mechanical weeding and spot spraying.