Weekly Robotics #32

0) Weekly Robotics Survey.
INFO: If you have 5 minutes to spare we would greatly appreciate your input in the above survey. Your input is valuable to us and will help us create a better experience for you. Thanks for being with us!

1) rosshow.
INFO: rosshow is a tool for visualizing ROS (Robot Operating System) topics in a terminal. Among other things it supports point clouds, images, laser scans, imu and nav sat messages.

2) NASA-funded Inflatable Robots are Safe in Space, and in Homes.
INFO: Brigham Young University engineers are working on programmable inflatable robots. The advantages of inflatable robots mentioned in the video are: robots taking less space (and weight) while not in use, safety, ability to absorb impacts.

3) Airbus Begins Shore-to-ship Port Drone Deliveries.
AIN online
INFO: Airbus has launched shore to ship trials in Singapore. During trials Skyways, a delivery drone capable of lifting up to 4 kg (8.8 pounds) delivering cargo to vessels as far as 1.6 nautical miles (3 km) from the coast, was used. During trials the drone delivered 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) of 3D printed parts to a ship 0.8 nautical miles away from the shore.

4) Optimal Actuator Design.
INFO: In this post biomimetics lab (the lab that created MIT Cheetah robot presented in Weekly Robotics #28) presents their requirements for an optimal actuator. The team ended up designing their own actuator based on Emoteq HT-5001 motor and an 5.8:1 planetary gear.

5) GITAI Partners With JAXA to Send Telepresence Robots to Space.
INFO: GITAI and JAXA are looking into creating telepresence robots for space activities. The robots would be working on space stations on low earth orbit, while being teleoperated from Earth. In the article you can find a video with the GITAI robot being teleoperated through a VR system.

6) Handle Robot Reimagined for Logistics.
INFO: In this YouTube video Boston Dynamics showcases it’s mobile robot designed for logistics applications. The robot is designed to handle boxes as heavy as 15 kg (33 pounds).

7) Publication of the week - TossingBot: Learning to Throw Arbitrary Objects with Residual Physics (2019).
INFO: This paper by researchers affiliated with Princeton University, Google, Columbia University and MIT showcases TossingBot, an UR5 robot capable of grasping arbitrary objects from unstructured bin and throwing them into target bins outside of manipulator’s workspace at 500+ mean picks an hour. The neural network developed in this project consists of perception, grasping and throwing modules. The system uses an RGB-D camera for creating a height map (later used by grasping and throwing modules) and an overhead RGB-D camera that is used to detect changes in the landing zone before and after the throw. The system achieves 84.7% accuracy in real world conditions for the objects seen during training. You can find more information on the project, including videos on the project website.


1) Rovco (Bristol, UK) - Robotics Engineer.
INFO: Rovco is a fast-growing subsea robotics company focused in the renewables and offshore decommissioning sectors. We are advancing the state of the art in subsea robotics by developing the technology for live 3D vision and machine learning based data analysis.

2) Neobotix (Heilbronn, Germany) - Software developer – ROS.
INFO: Neobotix develops and manufactures mobile autonomous robots for professional service robotics research. Our portfolio ranges from intelligent autonomous vehicles to mobile manipulators to tailor-made robots forhighly specialised applications.


0) Introducing Announcement section.
Weekly Robotics
INFO: We are introducing an announcement section dedicated to robotics related announcements such as workshops, events, grants and more! If you would like your organization to be featured in this section then please get in touch with us.

1) ROS-I EU Spring ’19 Workshop.
INFO: ROS-Industrial EU Tech Workshop will take place from May 6th to May 7th 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. The workshop will focus on ROS 2, specificaly DDS/RTPS implementation, microROS and poriting of ur_modern_driver to ROS 2. The workshop is free for members of any ROS-Industrial Consortium or 500 Euro for individuals from other organizations.