Weekly Robotics #74

Issue 74

In this issue of Weekly Robotics we have something special: A podcast episode! This first episode opens up the features section of the newsletter. I’d love it to be a place where anyone from the community can share quality content so if you have written something that you’d like to share with the Robotics world please let me know.

1) Disaster-relief Robotics in Nepal | Patrick Meier | TEDxBerlin.
INFO: In this TEDx talk Patrick Meier, an executive director of WeRobotics, explains how robots (drones, boats and even submarines) can be used by local communities for disaster response and data analysis. It’s refreshing to see robotics used for good causes. Big thanks to Klaudyna for sharing this video with me!

2) Navigation2 WG Changes and Help Wanted.
ROS Discourse
INFO: Sad news from ROS2 world - a team that has been working on Navigation2 stack for 18+ months at Intel is being disbanded. I sincerely hope that these engineers will find their way back into working on ROS2 in some way!

3) MOOS.
Oxford Mobile Robotics Group Powered by PmWiki
INFO: “MOOS is a C++ cross platform middleware for robotics research. It is helpful to think about it as a set of layers”. This framework has been used on Oxford Robotics Institute RobotCar.

4) Virtual RobotX 2019.
Open Robotics
INFO: This post sums up the results of RobotX competition, a competition organized by Open Robotics, Naval Postgraduate School and the Office of Naval Research. In the challenge students had to come up with a solution to a number of problems related to operating an USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle). The competition used ROS and Gazebo simulator as a competition platform.

5) Particle Filter.
Lei Mao’s Log Book
INFO: If you like learning about SLAM (or working with SLAM libraries like amcl) then you might like Lei’s notes on the subject. You will find the full repository with particle filter source code on GitHub.

6) Rodney Brooks Predictions Scorecard.
INFO: In 2018 Rodney Brooks has made some predictions about self driving cars, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, and about progress in the space industry. In this annual self appraisal post you can see how well his predictions are holding up so far.

7) Publication of the Week - Orbit and Attitude Performance of the LightSail 2 Solar Sail Spacecraft (2020)(PDF).
Planetary Society
INFO: Back in WR #49 I covered the successful deployment of Solar Sail in the LightSail 2 experiment. Planetary Society has released a paper with an assessment of the LightSail 2 performance. As it is often the case with such papers I found the Lessons Learned section particularly interesting.

1) WR Podcast - Episode 1: Bio Robotics with Auke Ijspeert .
Weekly Robotics
INFO: The first episode of Weekly Robotics Podcast Project is out! Recently I had a chance to interview Auke Ijspeert, a head of Bio Robotics Laboratory at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. I’ve learned a ton while making this episode and I hope you will learn something too!


1) Open Call for Robot Operating System (ROS) the Complete Reference (Volume 6) Chapters.
INFO: The call for the 6th volume of Springer book on ROS is open until 1st of April. The book will be published by January 2021 and will mostly focus on ROS2.

2) RobotUnion Rocked 2019 and Is Going for More!
INFO: This post from RobotUnion, an EU consortium that helps growing robotics related startups and SMEs, sums up their year with companies starting acceleration programmes and some showing a very solid growth. Weekly Robotics is a community partner of RobotUnion!