Weekly Robotics #72

Issue 72

Starting from next week I’ll be publishing the newsletter on Monday’s CET instead of Sundays for at least 5 weeks due to some changes in my schedule, hope you won’t mind!

Even though I didn’t sum up the 2019 in robotics many others did! The one I particularly liked for robotics related news is the Robotshop summary. The Robot Report made a list of companies we’ve lost in 2019, that I also found to be a good reminder how difficult robotics business can be.

Some summaries tangent to the newsletter that I’ve enjoyed are the Top MIT research stories of 2019, 2019 Space Station Research in Pictures by NASA and 5 minutes long video of ESA highlights 2019.

1) Hello (Real) World with ROS – Robot Operating System.
TU Delft
INFO: In 10 days a free 6 weeks ROS course will start on edX platform. The expected workload is approximately 8-12 hours per week and looking at the curriculum course should cover most of the basic on using ROS with Python.

INFO: I learned about SPHERES by reading the article NASA 2019 Space Station Research in Pictures. Each of these satellites is a polyhedron with a mass of about 4.1 kg and a diameter of 21 cm. They use CO2-based cold-gas thrusters for movement and ultrasonic beacon for localization. According to the linked articles they were predecessors to Astrobee, one of my favourite robots (#35, #39, #44, #60).

3) 2,000 Drones Light up Night Sky in Shanghai to Welcome New Year.
INFO: Have you seen this Shanghai drone display? It looks to me that the swarm control of multiple drones is solved problem.

4) Road-Marking Robot Adds Hard Drive to New A14.
Cambridge Independent
INFO: It looks like lane pre-marking is a very time consuming and dangerous task. According to the article a line pre-marking robot had been deployed in some of the UK roadworks saving hundreds of hours for both the workers and drivers. The featured robot seems to be TinyPreMarker developed by TinyMobileRobots, a Danish robotics company.

5) Atlas - 6DOF 3D Printed Universal Robot.
INFO: For some reason I’m attracted to the idea of using BLDC motors in robot arms. In this project Damian Lickindorf is using ODrive to control two of the axes of the robot arm (the rest of the joints are using stepper motors). The robot is capable of carrying loads of up to 2.5-4.5 kg depending on speed of movement. If you like robot arms then I recommend checking out the project gallery. It contains amazing renders and videos of the author testing the robot.

6) The Material Science of Metal 3D Printing.
INFO: This video from Real Engineering discusses the current state of additive manufacturing techniques vs. the traditional manufacturing processes, especially when scale is considered.

1) Python & Machine Learning by Packt Bundle.
Humble Bundle
INFO: If you are interested in Machine Learning then you might like this bundle of ebooks from Packt. In the bundle you can get up to 21 books for $15. By purchasing the bundle you can support Innocent Lives Foundation and if you use the above link you can choose to support Weekly Robotics too.


1) Resolve Robotics (Whitehaven, Cumbria, UK) - Various Positions.
INFO: Resolve Robotics provides bespoke and rapidly delivered solutions for remote access, monitoring and intervention in hazardous environments. Founded in August 2019, the company has gained significant interest from key nuclear clients and is about to begin the development of our first core product.