Weekly Robotics #19

1) Drone X Challenge 2020.
INFO: Kryptolabs is organizing a $1.5M drone challenge aimed at boosting drone related R&D and innovation. The challenge two main categories are Fixed Wing Drones and Multirotors. The application deadline is 10th of January 2019.

2) Webots goes open source.
INFO: Webots, a robot development environment for modeling, programming and simulating robots goes open source. The project is released under Apache 2.0 licence. For more information please see the Webots project repository.

3) HAMR-E quadruped sticky feet robot.
Wyss Institute
INFO: Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created a micro robot capable of climbing on vertical and upside-down conductive surfaces. The robot weights 1.68 grams, while the electroadhesive footpads can generate shear forces of 5.56 grams and normal forces of 6.20 grams.

4) Robot makes world-first baby coral delivery to Great Barrier Reef.
INFO: Southern Cross University’s Professor Peter Harrison and QUT’s Professor Matthew Dunbabin performed a trial of delivery of coral larvae in efforts of repopulating parts of the Great Bareer Reef. The researchers are using an Underwater Vehicle capable of delivering up to 100,000 larvae in a single mission.

5) Open Mission Control Technologies.
INFO: Via Github: Open MCT (Open Mission Control Technologies) is a next-generation mission control framework for visualization of data on desktop and mobile devices. It is developed at NASA’s Ames Research Center, and is being used by NASA for data analysis of spacecraft missions, as well as planning and operation of experimental rover systems.

6) ESA’s winning ideas for new space transport services.
INFO: Back in the Weekly Robotics issue 2 we mentioned European Space Agency’s competition for new space transport ideas. The results are in! The linked article describes the three winning ideas/projects. The authors of the ideas will travel to French Guiana to experience a space launch.

7) Publication of the week - The Foldable Drone: A Morphing Quadrotor that can Squeeze and Fly (2018).
Robotics and Perception Group
INFO: This project by researchers from Robotics and Perception Group from University of Zurich gathered quite some attention lately (1 2). The quadrocopter described in the paper is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight flight controller. The motor frame described in this paper has each of the arms mounted on a servo motor (HiTech HS-5070MH) and offset vertically so that adjacent propellers do not collide. Folding the arms on the quadrotor impacts CoG (Center of Gravity) location, inertial tensor of the platform and thrust mapping. The multirotor can sustain a stable flight thanks to real-time adaptive control scheme. We highly recommend watching the videos linked in the paper and a radar diagram showing how different configurations affect pitch/roll acceleration, flight time and robot’s dimensions.


0) Would you like to advertise an open position in a robotics related company?
Weekly Robotics
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) Fraunhofer IPA (Stuttgart, Germany) - Research Associate.
INFO: The department “Robot and Assistive Systems” at Fraunhofer IPA develops mobile service robots for the numerous applications: from small robots for the home and garden to transport assistants, inspection, and cleaning robots for the industry, or personal robots that attend and support people in their everyday lives.

2) Teqram (Zwolle, Netherlands) - Various Positions.
INFO: Teqram creates solutions for vision guided robotics.

3) Space Applications Services (Sint-Stevens-Woluwe, Belgium) - Robotics Software Engineer.
Space Applications Services
INFO: Space Applications Services aim is to research and develop innovative systems, solutions and products and provide services to the aerospace, security markets & related industries.

4) Wingtra (Zurich, Switzerland) - Robotics Software Developer.
INFO: Wingtra is creating VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) drones.