Weekly Robotics #55

Issue 55

Reading an article on 15 years of Hackaday made me realize just how quickly technology is advancing these days. 15 years is just a half of my life and around half life ago my computer was still running a 351 MHz Pentium II processor. Thinking that right now I can get a Raspberry Pi Zero that is smaller than a business card and has 1 GHz processor is simply unbelievable. As cheesy as it sounds, we live in the future.

1) A Car Phone — No, Not That Kind.
INFO: Deeprc is a project by Piotr Sokólski that can be considered a google cardboard for RC cars. The brain of the device is the phone that fits in the chassis and connects to the steering servo and a brushless motor. A mirror angled at 45 degrees allows to use the phone camera as a vision sensor. You can learn more about DeepRC Robot Car on the project page.

2) XIVO: X Inertial-aided Visual Odometry and Sparse Mapping.
INFO: XIVO is a library for visual-inertial odometry/mapping developed by UCLA researchers. The library can work either as a standalone project or it can be used with ROS. Currently the licence allows to use it for academic/research purposes, however a commercial licence is available.

3) The Robot Ship Set to Cross the Atlantic and Change the World.
Daily Beast
INFO: This article covers Maxlimer, an unmanned surface vehicle developed by SEA-KIT. The vessel can autonomously deliver up to 2.5 tonnes of cargo. We need to point out that the article mentions that the Maxlimer is posed to become the first unmanned surface vessel to cross the Atlantic. As far as I know this feat was already accomplished by Sailbuoy and Saildrone.

4) A Gentle Grip on Gelatinous Creatures.
The Harvard Gazette
INFO: The researchers had created grippers capable of safely capturing some of the most delicate animals on the planet. “The gripper’s six “fingers” are composed of thin, flat strips of silicone with a hollow channel inside bonded to a layer of flexible but stiffer polymer nanofibers. The fingers are attached to a rectangular, 3D-printed plastic “palm” and, when their channels are filled with water, curl in the direction of the nanofiber-coated side. Each finger exerts an extremely low amount of pressure — about 0.0455 kPA.”

5) Drone Crowdfunding Status Updated.
Google Docs
INFO: Charles Blouin on DIY Drones forum updated an original spreadsheets by Chris Anderson that lists some of the crowdsourced Drone projects and their status. It’s interesting to see how many of these projects are delayed but still seemingly active. Hope the companies can deliver!

6) Reach Robotics Shuts Down Consumer Robotics Business.
The Robot Report
INFO: Reach Robotics, that sold consumer entertainment hexapod robots shut down earlier this week. This is yet another proof that doing consumer robotics is difficult.

7) Publication of the Week - ASSURE UAS Ground Collision Severity Evaluation Final Report 2017-2019.
INFO: This document is an 830 pages collection of reports developed by the ASSURE team. “The goal for this team was to assess injury potential of various SUAS of different material properties and construction. The team conducted fixed wing and multirotor SUAS failure flight testing and aerodynamic modeling, full anthropomorphic test device (ATD) impact testing, simplified head and neck only ATD impact testing, ATD and human‐body model impact simulations, Post Mortem Human Surrogate (PMHS) impact testing, and high-fidelity head and neck only impact simulations. During this project, researchers collected data on over 41 flight test points, 155 simplified impact tests, 133 ATD impact tests, 41 PMHS impact tests, over 100 full-ATD and human-body model impact simulations, and 15 high-fidelity head and neck simulations. Tests were conducted with 16 different multi-rotor and fixed-wing SUAS and objects (payloads, wood blocks and batteries) with weights ranging from 0.75 - 13.2 lbs”.


1) Caressoma (Winterthur, Switzerland) - Chief Technical Officer.
INFO: Caressoma builds a robotic tool for soft tissue monitoring. It is our mission to reduce the number of soft-tissue injuries, support injury recovery and help track the evolution of soft-tissue diseases.

2) Astrobotics (Pittsburgh, PA) - Various Positions.
INFO: At Astrobotic, we’re in the business of bringing space within everyone’s reach. If you have a genuine passion for space robotics, a desire to build real hardware, and are among the best in your field, we’re looking for you.

3) LG ( Santa Clara, CA, US) - Sr. Embedded Engineer (ROS).
INFO: At LG we make products and services that make lives better, easier and happier through increased functionality and fun. Put simply, we offer the latest innovations to make “Life Good” – from home appliances, consumer electronics, vehicle components and mobile communications to business innovations in digital signage, air conditioning, solar and LED lighting.

4) RightHand Robotics (Somerville, MA, US) - Various Positions
INFO: RightHand Robotics (RHR) is a leader in providing end-to-end solutions that reduce the cost of e-commerce order-fulfillment of electronics, apparel, grocery, pharmaceuticals, and countless other industries. Unlike traditional factory robots that can be complex to set up and are singly purposed, RHR solutions are simple to integrate and adaptable to improve the utilization of many different customer workflows, such as sorting batch-picked items, picking items from an ASRS, inducting items to a belt sorter, and order quality assurance.


1) ESMERA Open Call.
INFO: The EU funded robotics project ESMERA (European SMEs Robotics Applications) has opened its second open call. Within that call, industrial end users have defined specific challenges that are to be solved by introducing a robotics solution. The challenges come from the areas of Manufacturing, Energy, Construction, Agriculture, Food Processing, Retail, Healthcare and Emergency Response. Until December 2nd, European SMEs can now apply to solve one or more of these challenges by developing a robotics application and receive funding of up to 200.000 Euros.

2) ESA Open Day 2019.
INFO: Registrations are now open for ESA’s Open Day in the Netherlands on Sunday 6 October – your chance to meet astronauts, space experts and see behind the scenes of Europe’s space adventure at ESA’s largest establishment. You can register for a visit using this link.