Weekly Robotics #45


We are working on delivering some data for you. Next week we plan to share a Q2 2019 report! The numbers are already quite interesting, hope you are looking towards them as much as Mat is! In the meantime we are starting a call for header images, go to Announcements section for more information.

1) PyRobot - an Open Source Robotics Research Platform.
INFO: PyRobot is an open source package for benchmarking and running experiments in robot learning that is developed by Facebook. According to the documentation the goal of this project is to abstract away the low-level controls of robots from high-level motion generation. Currently the package supports two robot platforms: LoCoBot and Sawyer. If you would like a longer read about PyRobot then you should check out this publication on arXiv.

2) GSoC 2019: Integration of ArduPilot and VIO Tracking Camera for GPS-less Localization and Navigation.
ArduPilot Forum
INFO: As part of Google Summer of Code 2019 Thien Nguyen has developed multiple tutorials on interfacing Intel Realsense T265 tracking camera with ArduPilot. Currently there are 5 Labs available. You will find links to them in the above post.

3) HoverBot.
INFO: HoverBot is a self-balancing robot platform built with ODrive, hoverboard hub motors, Bosch BNO055 IMU and Arduino Mega. The project repository contains high quality information about the project, build instructions and some videos. If you like the self balancing robots then you might find this smaller robot that we covered in issue #39 interesting.

4) Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System.
INFO: The above video shows a roadwork and excavation system developed by ULC Robotics with collaboration from SGN. The robot is tracked and is carrying what seems to be an ABB IRB series robot manipulator. According to the information in the video the system is capable of performing below-ground sensing, road surface cutting and excavation.

5) Inside Anki Shutdown: Who Owns IP, Assets Auction, Failed Partnership.
The Robot Report
INFO: This article from The Robot Report tells you why you shouldn’t get your hopes up about Anki coming up. We were quite sad looking through the pictures in the auctioned office listing and also surprised to find a Jibo robot being part of the auction.

6) T-RHex Is a Hexapod Robot With Microspines on Its Feet.
INFO: A student’s team called Team ScienceParrot from Carnegie Mellon University made an upgrade to RHex robot by fitting it with a tail and microspines. The microspines allow the robot to get a strong grip on surfaces such as bricks, wood and concrete. According to the article the highest angle of the wall the robot can climb is 55 degrees (but it can hang onto a wall with an angle of 135 degrees!).

7) Publication of the Week - How Robots Change the World (2019).
Oxford Economics
INFO: We’ve read this publication (to get a full access to it you will need to request it via e-mail form on the website). The report talks about the growth of robotics (especially between 2010 and 2019) and how the increased adoption of Robotics can affect the GDP of some of the countries and regions and at the same time how it can cause job displacements.

1) ROS Web Tutorial Part 1 - Rosbridge Server and Roslibjs.
INFO: In this beginner’s tutorial Mat shows how to create a simple webpage that integrates with ROS through rosbridge and that uses a virtual joystick to send velocity commands to the robot.


1) Call for Header Images.
INFO: Every issue of Weekly Robotics since #37 comes with a header image. We are looking for some new images to diversify a bit so if you know of any company that would like to show their robots in header images then please contact Mat.