Weekly Robotics #52


It’s our birthday! I started this project one year ago to organize the projects I was learning about and to spread interesting projects and articles. During this year I not only learned a lot about robotics and some fascinating projects but also about persistence and building habits. I hope that you too, dear readers, had learned something from some of the issues published so far. Finally, big thanks to Artur and Zack for sending me some of the articles that are featured in this issue.

1) Raisim.
INFO: Raisim is a physics engine for rigid-body dynamics simulation developed by Researchers from ETH Robotic Systems Lab. You can see the simulator in action in this YouTube video.

2) Lights-out Pharma Factory: Why the Future of Pharma Production is Robotic.
INFO: Big thanks to Zack from Multiply Labs for forwarding me this article. The article is an interesting take on how Multiply Labs is using Robotics for creating personalized pharmaceutical prescriptions at scale. I highly recommend looking at the video embedded in the article showing Multiply Labs process.

3) Ball Balancing PID System.
INFO: This tutorial by Johan Link shows the steps to create a parallel platform capable of balancing a ping-pong ball. The system uses 3 servos, a camera, a custom PCB for servo control and custom software written in Python.

4) Suit up With a Robot to Walk AND Run More Easily.
Wyss Institute
INFO: Researchers had developed a lightweight exosuit assisting with gait-specific hip extension during both walking and running. The exosuits assists the wearer through a cable actuation system between the waist belt and thigh wraps. Weighing 5 kg the system is said to be able to reduce the metabolic cost of walking by 9.3% and running by 4%.

5) Disney Research Makes Dynamic Robots Less Wiggly, More Lifelike.
IEEE Spectrum
INFO: This article forwarded to me by Artur describes the work done by Disney research for retargeting animations onto lightweight physical robot characters while suppressing unwanted vibrations by using customized motor profiles. The video featured in the article is well worth a watch and if you would like to explore this topic further then the published paper is a great way to start.

6) A Miniature Stretchable Pump for the Next Generation of Soft Robots.
INFO: Scientists at EPFL had developed a miniature stretchable pump that can be used for soft robotics applications. Via linked article: “The pump has a tube-shaped channel, 1 mm in diameter, inside of which rows of electrodes are printed. The pump is filled with a dielectric liquid. When a voltage is applied, electrons jump from the electrodes to the liquid, giving some of the molecules an electrical charge. These molecules are subsequently attracted to other electrodes, pulling along the rest of the fluid through the tube with them.”

7) Publication of the Week - Soldered Electrical Connection: NASA Technical Standard (1997).
INFO: Have you ever wondered how NASA does its soldering for space flight hardware and mission critical ground support equipment? I didn’t until I came across this document in one of the issues of The Prepared. I found the standard to be quite exhaustive and full of good advice. If I ever need to set up a proper working station I’ll be heavily consulting it.