Weekly Robotics #38

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0) Anki Addresses Shutdown.
Anki
INFO: Back in the issue 37 we mentioned Anki closing down. The Anki addressed the shutdown in a pop up window on their website linked above. According to the statement Anki has contracted most senior leaders and engineers to provide a long term support for the devices. We will update you on any new information we find about Anki shut down.

1) A Comprehensive List of 3D Sensors Commonly Leveraged in ROS Development.
ROS-Industrial
INFO: This ROS-Industrial page contains a list of affordable ROS-compatible 3D sensors. If you are looking for 3D sensors for your project this page might be a good first step.

2) Microsoft Launches a New Platform for Building Autonomous Robots.
TechCrunch
INFO: At Build developer conference Microsoft announced an Azure-based platform that is said to provide AI solutions for automation tasks. You can find the project website here.

3) Digital Fabrication of Soft Actuated Objects by Machine Knitting 2019.
Morphing Matter Lab
INFO: This work done by Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University explores computationally-controlled machine knitting. By integrating tendons into the design the authors are able to create actuated soft objects. We recommend watching the two videos in the linked page and if you would like to know more - the page also has a link to the publication.

4) Bobble-Bot.
Hackaday
INFO: Bobble-Bot is a self balancing robot built with Raspberry Pi 3B, brushless DC motors and is running ROS (according to the article the authors are eyeing ROS2 implementation too). We enjoyed the comparison of non-real time and real time control that can be found in this log entry. You can find the project repository on GitHub. The project comes with a Gazebo model, allowing you to simulate the robot yourself.

5) The UZH-FPV Drone Racing Dataset.
Robot Perception Group
INFO: The above dataset provides camera images, IMU data, ground truth from a laser tracker, event data from an event camera and high resolution images from the pilot’s FPV camera. The goal of this dataset is to help advance the state of the art in high speed state estimation. At the moment the data is only available as a rosbag (a recording of ROS messages).

6) This Robot Hummingbird Is Almost as Agile as the Real Thing.
IEEE
INFO: Researchers from Purdue University’s Bio-Robotics Lab have developed a robotic hummingbird. The robot weights only 12g and has a size of an actual hummingbird. In the videos you can see the robot being tethered for both control and power but according to the interview with Professor Xinyan Deng the robot should fly untethered in the future.

7) Publication of the Week - Sweeper: A Sweet-pepper Harvesting Robot, a Webinar (2019).
ieeeagra.com
INFO: This 56 minutes webinar talks about a sweet pepper harvesting robot destined for indoor pepper farms and using heat pipes as rails. The first part of the webinar focuses on the project scope and result while the second part covers deep learning for pepper detection. The robot developed for this project is equipped with a 6 DOF robot arm mounted on a scissor lift and uses deep learning ready GPUs and the control system is based on ROS. The end effector used for harvesting is equipped with RGB + 3D ToF camera, an LED flashlight, a cutting tool and a catching device. The vision systems challenges a project like this faces are leaf occlusion, varying light conditions, ripe detection. The best results obtained during testing was 81% success rate (compared to ~100% required) and a cycle time of 24s to harvest a single pepper (compared to 10s required). To learn more about the project visit Sweeper website.

1) One Year of Working as a Robotics Consultant.
msadowski.github.io
INFO: In this blog post Mat, the author of Weekly Robotics, sums up his first year as a robotics consultant. In the post, among other things, Mat describes his experience with UpWork and lists the projects he has worked on. The posts ends with potentially useful tips on helpful tools to use with ROS.

Careers

1) Sevensense (Zurich, Switzerland) - Various Positions.
INFO: Sevensense is committed to helping industries achieve new levels of efficiency by pushing the frontiers of mobile robotics. Our team in Zurich develops and delivers both software and hardware, providing a complete solution to the robot navigation problem.

2) wheel.me (Oslo, Norway) - Computer Vision Engineer.
INFO: wheel.me is a Norwegian IoT company with global ambitions, located in Oslo. We help people improve the way they live and work by enabling everything indoors to move effortlessly on smart wheels.

3) FarmWise (San Francisco, CA, US) - Various Positions.
INFO: At FarmWise, we build autonomous robots for agriculture. We work with and for growers to help them move away from chemical-based processes and face the labor crisis that is transforming the face of agriculture.