Weekly Robotics #33

1) Project MORPH.
INFO: This build log by Roald Lemmens provides insights into development of MORPH (Modular Open Robotics Platform for Hackers) - a mobile robot driven by two hoverboard motors. The robot frame was built using aluminium profiles and the motors are driven by VESC motor controllers and use AS5047 magnetic encoders for reading wheel position. The robot control code is executed on Intel UP Board and is utilizing ROS. The source code is available on GitHub.

2) micro-ROS.
INFO: micro-ROS is a project aiming to support ROS2 implementation on microcontrollers. The project targets boards capable of supporting Nuttx Real-Time Operating System. micro-ROS is being developed as a part of the Ofera project.

3) 3D Printing and Milling Athena Optic Bench.
INFO: ESA together with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology started an exploratory activity on the optic bench. The system uses two industrial robots - one is melting the titanium powder to create 3D structures, while the second one is milling away any imperfections, all while the bench is slowly turning. The role of the optic bench is to align and secure 750 mirror modules used to capture and focus high energy X-rays. The required precision of the overall shape is in few tens of micrometers. The article features this video showing the 3D printing in titanium.

4) NASA’s Mars Helicopter Completes Flight Tests.
INFO: Earlier this year NASA completed a flight test of it’s helicopter destined for Mars. The helicopter weights 1.8 kg (4 pounds) and was designed to function in temperatures as low as -90°C (-130°F). The flight test were performed in a vacuum chamber prepared to imitate Mars atmosphere. During the trials the vehicle was tested at 5 cm (2 in) hover. The video of the test can be found on Vimeo.

5) The Evolution of an Arduino Project.
INFO: This YouTube video shows almost 4 years progress on a DIY ping-pong ball juggling robot. The author considered several approaches for bounce position estimation such as microphones, phototransistors and vision systems.

6) RE2 Robotics Performs Robotic Disaster Clean-up at Tyndall Air Force Base in the Aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
INFO: RE2 Robotics helped clean up an Airforce Base using RADR robotic retrofit kit technology implemented on Genie GTH-1256 telehandler. The setup allowed workers to teloperate the GTH-1256 to perform sweeping and debris removal, while maintaining a safe distance.

7) Publication of the week - Keep Rollin’ - Whole-Body Motion Control and Planning for Wheeled Quadrupedal Robots (2019).
INFO: ETH University Researchers equipped an ANYmal quadruped robot with wheels. This paper shows dynamic locomotion for wheeled quadrupedal robots which combine the mobility of legs with the efficiency of driving. You can see the results of the paper in this YouTube video.


1) Kaarta (Pittsburgh, PA ,US) - Robotics SLAM Engineer.
INFO: Kaarta is developing award-winning algorithms and systems for real-time generation of 3D models of the environment and localization relative to those models with no infrastructure (such as GPS).

2) Open Robotics (Mountain View, CA, US / Singapore, Singapore) - Various Positions.
INFO: At Open Robotics, we work with industry, academia, and government to create and support open software and hardware for use in robotics, from research and education to product development. We develop and maintain the core of the Robot Operating System (ROS), and Gazebo, a 3D multi-robot simulator.

3) DFKI Robotics Innovation Center (Bremen, Germany) - Early Stage Researcher.
INFO: The Robotics Innovation Center (RIC) belongs to the Bremen location of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH). Headed by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Frank Kirchner, here scientists develop robot systems to be used for complex tasks on land, under water, in the air, and in space. The RIC closely cooperates with the Robotics Group at the University of Bremen.


1) Open Call for Robot Operating System (ROS) The Complete Reference (Volume 5) chapters.
INFO: The call for the Springer book on ROS is open until 15th of May. The book will be published by January 2020 and will mostly focus on ROS2.

2) Odense Investor Summit 2019 - Bridging the Gap Between Startups/SMEs & Investors Within Robotics, Drones & Health-tech.
INFO: Odense Investor Summit is an annual, Danish-based event hosted by Odense Seed and Ventures. We gather startups/SMEs and Investors within robotics, drones & health-tech in the heart of Europe’s most dynamic robotics cluster, Odense Robotics. Carefully selected 20 companies will be pitching in front of an exclusive crowd of 120 investors. The event will also contain facilitated matchmaking, which will focus on investors and capital-seeking companies. If you would like to be one of the lucky participants, apply today via investorsummit.dk! See you in Odense, Denmark!

3) RobMoSys Demo and Info Day in Barcelona on April 11 & 12.
INFO: RobMoSys is an EU based project aiming to develop a European ecosystem for open and sustainable industry-grade software development in Robotics. To reach this goal, the RobMoSys project offers coaching and funding to external partners over the runtime of 6 to 12 months. Visit the RobMoSys Demo Day on April 11th to see demonstrations of concrete examples of RobMoSys developments [more]. The Information Day on April 12th will outline the funding opportunities within the RobMoSys project for industry research organisations, universities, SMEs and individual experts [more].