Weekly Robotics #37


1) ROS Industrial (Melodic) Training Exercises.
INFO: This ReadTheDocs page from ROS Industrial contains what we would classify as intermediate to advanced exercises for ROS. Each set of exercises is accompanied by slides prepared by Southwest Research Institute.

2) The Hundred-Tonne Robots That Help Keep New Zealand Running.
INFO: In this video Tom Scott presents the 70 tonnes autonomous robots for moving ship containers that are being tested in New Zealand. According to the video the robots can stack containers with accuracy of couple of centimeters (which in itself can cause other problems as you can learn from the video). Quite interesting development is the local positioning system used by these robots.

3) Successful Demonstration of Breakthrough Blown-air Flight Technologies to Revolutionise Future Aircraft Design.
BAE Systems
INFO: MAGMA is an UAV designed and developed by researchers at The University of Manchester in collaboration with engineers from BAE Systems. The article presents two falp-free fixed wing aircraft control methods. The demonstrators were: Wing Circulation Control: taking air from the aircraft engine and blowing it supersonically through narrow slots around a specially shaped wing tailing edge in order to control the aircraft and Fluidic Thrust Vectoring: controlling the aircraft by blowing air jets inside the nozzle to deflect the exhaust jet and generate a control force.

4) Seven Dreamers / Anki closes down.
The Robot Report/IEEE
INFO: The past week has been filled with bad news for those waiting for a rise of consumer robots. Seven Dreamers, a company working on the Laundroid laundry-folding robot close down. We were very surprised to learn that Anki (which we mentioned when we showcased vector_ros project one week ago) is also closing down due to failing to secure a new round of financing. The linked IEEE article raises a good point on what happens to customer’s robots if the cloud servers go down. This guest article by Guy Hoffman is an interesting analysis of failed social robot startups.

5) The Best Robots on Four Legs with Marc Raibert (Boston Dynamics).
INFO: In this video from TechCrunch Marc Raibert, CEO of Boston Dynamics, discusses the current state of Boston Dynamics and offers some interesting insights on development of robotics products. At 7:30 you can see how components of Spot Mini and the robots themselves are tested.

6) Hitachi Establishes the Corporate Venture Capital Fund to Support Startups as an Innovation Partner.
INFO: Hitachi is establishing Hitachi Ventures GmbH that will start on 1st of June and will start with $150M fund.

7) Publication of the week - NASA Investigative Summary: TaurusXLT8 and T9 Mission Failures (2019)(PDF).
INFO: Sapa Profiles, Inc. (SPI) provided NASA with faulty materials that ended up being a root cause of 2 launch failures and causing a loss of $700 million. The PDF file linked above is a summary of the investigation carried out by NASA.


1) Sense Photonics (Edinurgh, UK / Research Triangle, San Francisco US) - Various Positions.
INFO: Sense Photonics produces advanced LiDAR and 3D sensor solutions for the autonomous vehicle, UAV and industrial automation markets.

2) Enway (Berlin, Germany / Singapore, Singapore) - Various Positions.
INFO: We are building the technology for high precision autonomous service vehicles. Enabling cleaner and more liveable cities.