Weekly Robotics #66

Issue 66

Have you heard of paradox of automation? It says that the more efficient and automated the system the more crucial is human contribution of the operators. I liked how this concepts was presented in The Personal MBA.

1) Luca Aces Telerobotic Lunar Geology Test Drive.
INFO: The first ESA experiment I reported in the Issue #59 took place this week. In the experiments Luca Parmitano took command of a rover in Netherlands while being on-board ISS. In the experiment Luca drove the rover along the obstacle course and collected a rock sample. The robot’s interface in this experiments provides haptic feedback to the user, which sounds to me like quite a challenge given the involved latency.

2) ROS2 Eloquent Elusor Had Been Released.
INFO: The fifth release of ROS2 occured on 22nd of November. The End Of Life for this release is November 2020 (for contrast the Dashing Diademata, a previous release, is going to be supported until May 2021). It’s good to see ROS2 maturing!

3) Caltech and JPL Firing Quadrotors Out of Cannons.
IEEE Spectrum
INFO: SQUID is a prototype folding multirotor developed by researchers that weighs 530g and can be launched from a baseball pitching machine, reaching a velocity of 15m/s.

4) Robobee Powered by Soft Muscles.
Wyss Institute
INFO: After the article: “Researchers at SEAS and Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a resilient RoboBee powered by soft artificial muscles that can crash into walls, fall onto the floor, and collide with other RoboBees without being damaged. It is the first microrobot powered by soft actuators to achieve controlled flight”. I found using Ride of the Valkyries quite fitting to the video presenting RoboBees in action.

5) Aquatic Rover Goes for a Drive under the Ice.
INFO: I think BRUIE is one of the most interesting rover concepts I have seen since I started working on this newsletter. This rover is meant to be deployed underwater, and use buoyancy to drive on the ice. You can see how this rover works in this YouTube video from 2015.

6) Mobile Robot Programming Toolkit.
INFO: Mobile Robot Programming Toolkit (MRPT) is a collection of mobile robotics application and libraries. The project is open source, with a BSD licence. If you happen to use ROS then MRPT also has some ROS ready packages that you can find on GitHub.

7) Publication of the Week - The Architecture of Open Source Applications: FreeRTOS.
INFO: In this chapter of AOSA book Christopher Svec covers the architecture of FreeRTOS - a real-time operating system kernel for embedded devices. If you are looking into Real Time systems then this book chapter might be a great start.


1) Neuralink (San Francisco, CA, US) - Electrical Engineer, Robotics.
INFO: Neuralink is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers. We are building a team of multidisciplinary experts passionate about making a world-changing impact.

2) Nuro (Mountain View, CA, US) - Robotics Reliability Engineer.
INFO: Nuro is developing a self-driving vehicle for local goods transportation.


1) Arm AIoT Dev Summit.
INFO: Arm AIoT Dev Summit is a developer-focused conference to cast vision and share actionable technical knowledge to developers, data scientists, product managers, and all engineers and architects in IoT, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Attendees will connect with industry leaders who will conduct deep-dive training, facilitate hands-on workshops, and share real-world use cases and solutions you can use to equip your teams with the most cutting-edge development strategies available. Use code ARMWEEKLYROBOTICS to bring your ticket price down to $49!