Weekly Robotics #5

1) Drone Racing League launches an autonomous drone competition.
INFO: Drone Racing League will host a range of competitions where autonomous drones will race professional FPV (First Person View) drone pilots. The prize pool is said to be $2 million.

2) How to store LiPo batteries safely.
INFO: If you are using any kind of LiPo batteries you ought to watch this 11 minute video showing how different kinds of battery storages handle LiPo fires. Battery fires are no joke. In this 2009 RC groups post you can find a list of battery related incidents. There are also cases of people losing their homes to battery related fires.

3) Bat-inspired Robot uses echolocation to map, navigate environment.
INFO: Tel Aviv University (TAU) graduate student Itamar Eliakim created a robot capable of performing Acoustic SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping). In the article you fill find an attached YouTube video presenting the robot in action.

4) ExoMars 2016 - Schiaparelli Anomaly Inquiry (2017).
INFO: Schiaparelli EDM (Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module) was intended to test the technology for soft landings on the surface of Mars. In October 2016 it suffered a catastrophic failure due to saturation of the IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit). The linked document presents the failure analysis performed by the Schiaparelli Inquiry Board.

5) Robots can now pick up any object after inspecting it.
INFO: Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) created a system called Dense Object Nets (DON) that is capable of looking at an object from various perspectives and then recognizing specific points from multiple positions. This allows the robot to grasp a specific spot on an object, even if the robot has not seen it before (the video in the article covers grasping a tongue of a shoe).

6) 99 Things That Robots Were Supposed to Be Doing by Now.
INFO: A rather humouristic collection of links about the expectations about robots from the past. Did you know that by now robots were supposed to help men shave in the morning? Deliver our jumpsuits? Terrorize musicians?

7) Paper of the week - PID Without a PhD (2016).
INFO: A classic 30 page guide to PID controllers and implementing them in code with examples. If you need a refresher on PID control or to find some strategies on controller tunning then look no further.


0) Would you like to advertise an open position in a robotics related company?
INFO: We are starting a careers section. If you would like to advertise an open position please head over to Careers Section in the above link.

1) SkyCircuits (Salisbury, UK) - Real Time Embedded Software Engineer.
INFO: SkyCircuits is a subsidiary of Callen-Lenz specialising in manned and unmanned aircraft operations and technology.

2) Drotek (Toulouse, France) - Various Positions.
INFO: Drotek was established in 2012 and is dedicated to intense R&D around the rise of the autonomous vehicles market.

3) Flyability (Lausanne, Switzerland) - Automation Engineer.
INFO: Flyability produces safe drones for inaccessible places that are collision tolerant.

4) Trexo Robotics (Mississauga, Canada) - Robotics Software Developer Intern.
INFO: Trexo Robotics are creating wearable robotics to help children with disabilities.