Weekly Robotics #28

1) MIT Mini Cheetah Quadruped Robot.
INFO: MIT Biomimetic Robotics Lab showcased a robotic cheetah weighting just 9 kg (20 pounds) capable of running at up to 2.45 m/s speed, doing backflips and performing recovery behaviours. We especially liked the end of the video where the team shows some of the mistakes they made while working on the robot.

2) NASA, SpaceX Launch First Flight Test of Space System Designed for Crew.
INFO: On 2nd of March NASA and SpaceX successfully launched the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. For this demonstration the spacecraft was unmanned and carries 400 pounds (180 kg) of supplies that will be delivered to ISS. For operational missions the spacecraft will be able to carry 4 crew members and 220 pounds of cargo. The spacecraft will depart the ISS on 8th of March.

3) Zephyr Project.
INFO: Zephyr is an open source RTOS (Real Time Operating System) project that has a chance to become safety certified (according to the website it’s an active consideration). At present the project supports multiple boards the supported architectures are x86, ARM, ARC, NIOS II, XTENSA, RISCV32.

4) PlotJuggler.
INFO: PlotJuggler is an open source application to display time series in plots. The project has a very intuitive interface, is available for Windows and Ubuntu and works with ROS. The latest release added support for PX4 autopilot ULog format.

5) BPS.space Falcon Heavy.
INFO: The BPS.space Falcon Heavy is a 1/48 scale model of SpaceX rocket aiming to showcase the advancement possible at the model scale and recreate the functionality of the original. The above page contains quite a lot of technical information about the project, including videos with test results. If you like the project then you can consider supporting the author on Patreon.

6) What Is a Saildrone, and Why Is It Sailing Around Antarctica?
INFO: Saildrone is an 7 meter (23 feet) long unmanned surface vehicle (USV) sailing entirely by wind power at an average speed of 2.5 to 4.5 knots (3-5 mph / 5-8 km/h). In January this year two saildrones departed New Zealand on a mission to complete the first autonomous circumnavigation of Antarctica, aiming to collect information about the amount of CO2 algae in that region are absorbing. You can see the mission updates on the project site.

7) Publication of the week - How I Built the Flying Cart (1960).
INFO: This DIY tutorial from Popular Science issue published in 1960 shows the steps a Hubert Luckett had taken to create a flying cart (hovercraft?) capable of lifting 200 pound (90 kg) load. Author’s design was propelled by a 5 HP chainsaw engine and an airboat propeller. The total weight of the cart was 80 pounds (36 kg).

1) MIT Robo-AI Exchange Conference.
INFO: The MIT Robo-AI Exchange (March 9, 2019) will bring together business leaders from across a number of industries to share specific cases, strategies, and outcomes related to their adoption of Robotics and AI. In doing so, the event attracts business executives, corporate strategists, product and project managers, university students, entrepreneurs, technologists and academics to learn from our world-class keynote speakers and panelists, and of course, one another. Use code BNT982 for 20% off professional tickets!


1) RightHand Robotics (Somerville, MA, US) - Various Positions.
INFO: RightHand Robotics is a robotics solutions provider bringing to market fully integrated picking robots for online order fulfilment.

2) Microdrones (Rome, NY, US) - Software Developer.
INFO: Microdrones develop various multirotor UAV platforms and systems.

3) iRobot (Bedford, MA, US) - Software Manager, Robot Applications.
INFO: iRobot is a global consumer robot company, designing and building robots that empower people to do more, both inside and outside of the home.