Weekly Robotics #54

Issue 54

This week I managed to forget my login details to my RSS reader. Resigned I started adding sources from memory and ended up finding lots of interesting blogs and news sites. Thanks to feedly support being super helpful and I managed to log back in to my main account. In my book that’s an OK (albeit a bit stressful) way to end up with 20+ new sources to look at when doing research for this newsletter.

1) Unpiloted Soyuz Capsule With Humanoid Robot On Board Finally Reaches Space Station.
INFO: Last week we mentioned that Soyuz Capsule carrying Skybot F-850 humanoid robot experience issues with docking. You will be glad to hear that the robot made it safely to the ISS and as soon as I hear on some reports about performing experiments with it I’ll let you know!

2) CIMON Back on Earth After 14 Months on the ISS.
INFO: Some robots need to come down in order for others to go up. CIMON, a robot assistant for astronauts that we covered in issue #17 had made it to earth. You can see the robot in action in this video.

3) MIT’s Fleet of Autonomous Boats Can Now Shapeshift.
INFO: “Roboats” are now able to reassemble into different configurations to form floating platforms in Amsterdam. These boats are intended to be used to construct floating bridges, transporting goods and people and collecting trash.

4) Webots Meets ROS.
INFO: Webots, a robot development environment that went open source at the end of last year (as reported in WR #19) made it to ROS. You can find a tutorial showing example launch files with various robotics platforms on ROS wiki.

5) Skid Steer Mows Airport Grass Autonomously.
INFO: In this post we can learn about an autonomous mower utilizing ArduPilot to perform runway mowing. You can learn more about the technical details of the project on author’s blog.

6) Nothing Gets In: Waterproof Enclosure Design 101 (and IP68).
INFO: I found this article to be quite informative. It covers IP ratings, seals and enclosure design.

7) Publication of the Week - Underactuated Robotics: Algorithms for Walking, Swimming, Flying and Manipulation (2019).
INFO: Underactuated Robotics is a course taught by Professor Russ Tedrake at MIT. The above link contains notes on the topics covered in the lectures that are freely available on YouTube.

1) ROS Web Tutorial Part 3 - Web Video Server.
INFO: I’ve created the last tutorial in my ROS web tutorial series. In this one I’m exploring web_video_server and how you can use it to stream camera feed over HTTP with ROS. If you’d be interested in some more advanced ROS tutorials feel free to let me know. If there is enough interest I’ll start publishing tutorials regularly.


1) Osaro (San Francisco, CA, US) - Various Positions.
INFO: Osaro is a startup applying deep learning technology to next-generation robotics applications. Our vision is to build brains for robots on an industrial scale and we are excited and driven to see the results of our efforts operating in and interacting with the real world.

2) Lancaster University (Lancaster, UK) - Research Associate: Collaborative Technologies in Underwater Robotics and Computer Vision.
INFO: A research position is available to work on an exciting, cross-disciplinary million pound project with a team of industrial partners (including QinetiQ, Nuvia, Bristol Maritime Robotics Ltd and Fortis Mechanical Design Ltd) funded by Innovate UK to investigate and develop next generation autonomous robotic systems that will operate in hazardous underwater environment with little direct human involvement.

3) Oceaneering (Hanover, MD, US) - Senior Systems Engineer, Robotics.
INFO: Oceaneering Advanced Technologies’ Mobile Robotics Innovation Lab (MRIL) is the latest initiative to continue growing Oceaneering’s pioneering robotics heritage and portfolio in an ever-exciting time for autonomous systems and AI. Our group investigates and develops new markets, products, technologies and business models in order to drive long-term growth for our lines of business.