Weekly Robotics #57

Issue 57

1) Construction Robotics Library.
INFO: Brian Ringley had compiled a list of books on Construction Robotics. In the above link you will find a spreadsheet listing close to 60 titles.

2) Robotic Collaboration in Timber Construction.
INFO: Speaking of construction robots have you seen this article from ETH Zurich showcasing a team of robots assembling timber constructions?

4) Walking Truck.
INFO: In 1965 General Electric developed a quadruped walking vehicle, weighing staggering 1,400 kg (3,000 lbs) and achieving speeds of up to 8 km/h (5 mph). The robot used hydraulic actuators that an operator inside of the machine would control through the movement of arms and legs. I highly recommend checking out this YouTube video showcasing the machine.

3) SCUTTLE Mobile Robot.
INFO: SCUTTLE is an open source mobile robot designed to support teaching at Texas A&M University. The robot has a differential drive configuration, has a frame built using aluminium profiles and is using a Beaglebone as a processing unit. The currently available Bill of Materials prices the hardware used for the core platform at $309.

5) Romanian Engineers Have Created a Fully Functional Flying Saucer.
INFO: Two Romanian Engineers claim to have created, what they call ADIFO (All Directional Flying Object), a flying saucer capable of flying in all directions. It looks like the aircraft is in very early prototyping stage. In the video attached to the article we can only see what seems like a traditional quadcopter with ducted fans attached to one side of the saucer (according to the video the idea is to have jet engines in there in the future). I’m not fully sold on the idea based on what I’ve seen but as soon as any proper demonstrator come out I’ll update you.

6) ExoMars - Moving on Mars.
INFO: I love physical simulations. In this video you can see how ESA engineers are testing various possible configurations of environment (obstacles, inclination) for the lander and rover. I find the sound the wheels occasionally make while on the ramp a bit unsettling!

7) Publication of the Week - FaSTrack: Ensuring Safe Real-Time Navigation of Dynamic Systems (2017).
INFO: “FaSTrack: Fast and Safe Tracking, is a tool that essentially “robustifies” fast motion planners like RRT or MPC while maintaining real time performance. FaSTrack allows users to implement a fast motion planner with simplified dynamics while maintaining safety in the form of a precomputed bound on the maximum possible distance between the planner’s state and the actual autonomous system’s state at runtime”. You can find the full paper on arXiv and a ROS package with the planner on GitHub.

1) Hands on With slam_toolbox.
INFO: I’ve recently worked quite a bit with slam_toolbox (covered in the previous issue). The above post summarizes my experience while working on it with Robosynthesis.


1) Intermodalics (Leuven, Belgium) - Various Positions.
INFO: Intermodalics is a robotics software development firm, working for businesses world-wide, from our offices in Leuven, Belgium. We assist our customers in their product development journey, from technology exploration to product launch and beyond.

2) Amazon (Seattle, WA, US) - System Development Engineer.
INFO: The AWS Robotics organization aims to simplify or eliminate the common undifferentiated heavy lifting that all robotics developers face when trying to build their robot applications. To date we have launched RoboMaker a service for development, hosted simulation and robot fleet management.


1) TERRINet Open Call - 2nd Edition.
INFO: TERRINet is the European Robotics Research Infrastructure able to offer top quality infrastructures, excellent research services and training to a variety of users worldwide. TERRINet enables you to get FREE access to 15 European Robotics Research Infrastructures to explore your ideas within (joint) research projects. You will have a great opportunity to get in contact with leading and creative scientists, technologists, experts and industrial representatives who will inspire you. You can apply to participate in this call until 30th of September.