Weekly Robotics #43

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Welcome to the issue #43 of Weekly Robotics Newsletter! We just realized that in May we broke the record of website visits with 3k unique users! Combining that with our 900 e-mail subscribers we are on the edge of creating a community! Mat’s plan for the next couple of weeks is to streamline the process of releasing new issues and improve the Weekly Robotics database that we introduced last week. If you have any comments or ideas then feel free to get in touch, we love hearing from you!

1) Gas Thruster Controlled Drone.
YouTube
INFO: In this video Tom Stanton is showing a ducted fan drone whose pitch and roll are controlled by pressurized air. Similarly to Tom’s video on reaction wheel control of a drone (featured in WR #26) we found the project to be quite informative and we learned a lot, just like the last time!

2) Stanford Doggo.
GitHub
INFO: The above repository contains lots of information on Stanford Doggo, an open source quadruped robot. According to the BOM posted in the repository the robot costs about $3k in parts to make. We especially liked the coaxial mechanism that drives the legs. You can see the robot in action in this YouTube video but we also encourage you to read the paper on Doggo.

3) How To Build a Lithium Battery.
YouTube
INFO: The above video by Adam Bender is a comprehensive guide on creating a lithium battery using 18650 battery cells. The second part of the series focuses on basics of lithium cells and battery design considerations.

4) Why Robotics Needs Amazon: Analysis From re:MARS Conference.
Robotics Business Review
INFO: We think the above article sums up what we’ve learned from re:MARS conference that took place on 4th-7th of June. For more details about particular topics you can look at the following articles: Amazon’s new delivery drone(video), Robert Downey Jr. announcing world clean up with advanced tech, Jeff Bezos testing telerobotic hands.

5) What a Terrific Duo! A Complete List of All the ROS-enabled Cobots.
Cobotics World
INFO: If you are wondering what lightweight robotic arms are supported by ROS packages then the above list is a good start.

6) NASA Invests in Tech Concepts Aimed at Exploring Lunar Craters, Mining Asteroids.
NASA
INFO: NASA has selected two project proposals related to space mining that will be further funded. Robotic Technologies Enabling the Exploration of Lunar Pits focuses on technologies for rapid survey and modelling of lunar craters. Mini Bee is proposing harvesting asteroid resources using optical mining (“Optical mining is an approach for excavating an asteroid and extracting water and other volatiles into an inflatable bag”). For more information about Optical Mining you can check out this webpage by Trans Astronautica Corporation.

7) Publication of the Week - 2D SLAM Quality Evaluation Methods (2017).
arXiv
INFO: This paper by researchers from Saint-Petersburg Electrotechnical University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presents an approach for comparison of 2D SLAM algorithms. In the paper we will find comparison of the following SLAM packages/algorithms: Cartographer, gmapping, hectorSLAM, tinySLAM, vinySLAM.

Careers

1) GreyOrange (Boston, MA, US) - Robotics Software Engineer-Motion Planning and Execution.
INFO: GreyOrange designs, manufactures and deploys advanced robotic systems for automation in warehouses, distribution centers and fulfillment centers.

2) ANYbotics (Zurich, Switzerland) - Various Positions.
INFO: ANYbotics provides solutions for a new level of mobility and interaction capabilities for robots to step out of the factory floors. We develop the market for highly mobile legged robots operating in challenging environments.

Announcements

1) The 9th International Symposium on Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machines (20-23 August 2019).
AMAM 2019
INFO: AMAM 2019 is the 9th international symposium dedicated to stimulate fruitful interactions among biologists and engineers interested in adaptive motion. It aims at bringing together researchers in robotics, biomechanics, neuroscience, sports science, and other fields related to behavior in biological and artificial systems. The symposium will take place at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. The deadline for registration is 1st of July for regular price tickets and 10th of August for late registration.