Weekly Robotics #73

Issue 73

As I mentioned in the previous issue for the next couple of weeks the newsletter will go out on Monday mornings CET. Last week we had CES exhibition happen in Las Vegas. In this issue I will highlight the projects I read about that caught my attention and save you some time by providing you some links to the most interesting CES innovation awards related to robotics.

1) CES Innovation Awards. INFO: I looked through all the CES Innovation Awards related to Robotics and autonomous tech and in this entry I will list all of these that caught my attention. In Robotics category we can find PingPong Robot - a modular robotic platform based on small building blocks. You can see some robots built from these blocks in this YouTube video. A Lovot is a companion robot that some people see as robots they could emotionally attach to. You can find a short hands-on by Jessica Conditt from Engadget in this video. The final entry from the Robotics category that I’ve selected is GANKER EX Battle Robot and a video showing two of these robots fighting.

In Drones & Unmanned Systems categories we could find out about Long Endurance Fuelcell Drone(DS30 with DP30) and GUSS Autonomous Orchard Sprayer.

Most of the products related to Robotics could be found in the Vehicle Intelligence categories. Some of the LiDARs that received the innovation award are Blickfeld Cube - solid-state LiDAR, Leddar PIXELL: The Cocoon LiDAR for Autonomous Vehicles, Ouster OS2-128 Long-range lidar sensor and RoboSense Smart LiDAR Sensor: RS-LiDAR-M1. Another various sensors I found about was VIPER and TriEye’s Raven SWIR cameras, Bosch SensorBox and Uhnder Radar-on-Chip (RoC).

2) CES 2020: Bzigo Laser System Detects and Tracks Mosquitoes So You Can Destroy Them.
IEEE Spectrum
INFO: This system is using a near-IR camera to track mosquitoes at up to 8m range. Once the mosquito is detected the system highlights it using a laser so that you can deal with it. Curiously the system is using 100% of four 1GHz cores for tracking.

3) [CES 2020 Keynote] Introducing Ballie!.
INFO: Samsung is proposing this small ball-like robot for the consumer market. From the video it looks like the robot will be able to follow you around, play videos for your dog and activate your smart vacuum cleaner. I’m very curious how an adoption of this robot will go given the recent issues the consumer robotics companies were facing.

4) Reachy Is an Expressive, Open-Source Robot.
INFO: Reachy is my favourite robot that I came across while researching CES. Visually what I like the most about this robot is the design of the head unit - I think it’s very sleek! Another thing I love about this is the fact that it’s open source both in hardware and software. You can find more information about this project on Pollen Robotics website or Reachy’s GitHub repository.

5) CES 2020: Toyota Is Building an Entire City Full of Autonomous Cars and Robots.
IEEE Spectrum
INFO: Toyota announced it’s plans to build a 175 acres city that will be a ‘living laboratory’, where researchers, engineers and scientists will be able to freely test technologies such as autonomous cars, robotics, smart home solutions etc. The construction of the city is said to start in 2021.

6) Robots of CES 2020: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
INFO: In this video from TWiT Tech Podcast Network you will find some more robots.

7) Velodyne Lidar Introduces Velabit.
INFO: Velodyne has announced a $100 LiDAR unit with a range of up to 100 meters and a field of view of 60 degrees by 10 degrees. The reason I consider this big news is the low price of the unit. I’ll definitely look forward to hear more about these sensors.

8) The Headless Robot Cat Company Has Made a Headless Robot Kitten.
The Verge
INFO: Petit Qoobo is a robotic cat pillow with a wiggly tail meant for seniors in nursing homes or poeple who can’t own pets.

9) These Charmin Robots Make Us Wonder: Is Pooping the Next Tech Frontier?
INFO: A two-wheel balancing robot. To bring you toilet paper. If you are wondering if P&G is serious about this project then welcome to the club. You can see the discussion on this robot in CNET Highlights YouTube video.

10) The Coolest (And Weirdest) robots We’ve Seen at CES 2020.
INFO: You are still here and want to see some robots? In this CNET article you can click through the gallery to find some that I haven’t covered in this summary.

11) KEYi Tech educational CellRobot demo.
INFO: I came across this video on Twitter the other day and enjoyed this demonstration. Would love to play with such robots while I still was at school!

1) ArduSimple RTK2B+heading - First Impressions.
INFO: I’ve recently received an RTK kit from ArduSimple. I really like the promise of sub centimeter positioning precision and extra heading information that I will get by mounting two antennas on a robot. As you are reading this post I’m working on some 3D printed case for the module and some test scenarios. If you are interested in these kinds of things stay tuned for more info - I’ll be sharing more articles in the sponsored section.

2) Weekly Robotics Q4 2019 report.
Weekly Robotics
INFO: Would you like to know how the Weekly Robotics newsletter did in the last quarter of 2019? In the report I outline some statistics on how the newsletter grew during that period and outline some plans on how to take this newsletter to the next level.


1) TERRINet Open Call.
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 industry representatives who will inspire you. You could be granted with a free of charge Trans-national Access (TNA) to the research infrastructure of your choice. Click here https://www.terrinet.eu/robotic_database_show_all_platforms/ to browse all the platforms available in TERRINet. The submission deadline for this call is 31st of January.