Weekly Robotics #27

1) In Search of Life’s Origins, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 Spacecraft Lands on an Asteroid.
Scientific American
INFO: Hayabusa 2 spacecraft successfully landed on Ryugu asteroid, where it joins a MASCOT hopping rover (described in WR #7) or what’s left of it. The spacecraft will take rock samples from the asteroid and will bring them back to earth in 2020. Here is an interesting article from JAXA describing how the touchdown site has been chosen.

2) The World’s Most Innovative Robotics Companies.
Fast Company
INFO: According to Fast Company the most innovative robotics company in 2019 is Anki. You will find the full list of companies in the article above.

3) University of South Florida’s Brain-Drone Race.
INFO: University of South Florida organized a drone race where pilots were using EEG bands capable of picking brain signals to fly the drone forward.

4) Robots Track Moving Objects with Unprecedented Precision.
INFO: MIT Researchers are working on a RFID based system that can be used for applications in which traditionally vision systems were used. In the current state the system takes 7.5 seconds on average to locate tagged objects.

5) Farmworker vs Robot.
Washington Post
INFO: Harvest Croo Robotics are testing a strawberry picking robot. While human workers have about 80% success rate the Harv had a 20% success in the trials last year. The goal for this year’s trial was to be able to achieve 50% success ratio. In one of the phots featured the article you can see the team using Robot Operating System (ROS). The article raises some interesting points about automating human labour.

6) Researchers Publish a Tool to Hunt for Hackable Robots Connected to the Internet.
Alias Robotics
INFO: “Last summer, the University of Brown published a research on robot visibility on the internet. They scanned the internet and found over 100 ROS-running internet-connected robots that were potential targets for cybercrime and mischief”. Alias Robotics developers created an aztarna, an open source tool (GitHub link) that can be used for finding the robots that are exposed to the outside world.

7) Publication of the week - A Fleet of Miniature Cars for Experiments in Cooperative Driving (2019).
INFO: This paper by Researchers from University of Cambridge covers multiple aspects of miniature cars for cooperative driving. The first part introduces Cambridge Minicar, a 1:24 R/C car with Raspberry Pi Zero W as a computational unit. The total cost of the car is 76.5$, the weight with batteries is about 450g (1 lbs). The second part focuses on the testbed (a motion capture system is used for precise localization). The third part focuses on design of mult-car traffic system and testing different driver behaviours. There are some project files and instructions on GitHub, you can also see the video showing the system in action.

1) Humble Book Bundle: Microcontrollers Raspberry Pi & Arduino by Make.
INFO: In this Humble Book Bundle by Make you can find robotics related books such as: “Drones”, “Make an Arduino Controlled Robot”, “Make a Mind-Controlled Arduino Robot”, “Sensors”, “ Jumpstarting Raspberry Pi Vision: Machine Learning and Facial Recognition”. By purchasing this bundle using the above link you can choose to support charities of your choice and Weekly Robotics.


1) Bosch (Renningen, Germany) - Task and Motion Planning Expert.
INFO: Bosch is an engineering and electronics company. This particular position is about mobile robots in the areas of task allocation, team formation, multi-robot path planning and motion planning.

2) Animal Dynamics (Oxford, UK) - Various Positions.
INFO: Animal Dynamics develops efficient and useful vehicles and systems that perform beyond anything currently found in nature or engineering.

3) Botsandus (Hayes , UK) - Robotics Engineer / Senior Software Engineer.
INFO: Botsandus are building a social robotics platform to help organisations interact with and learn about their customers and guests.