Weekly Robotics #79

Issue 79

Publication of the week was the most clicked link two weeks in a row now! Last week the blog post on Gears had 17.7% opens. I’m glad you enjoy publications featured in the blog, especially because I have a backlog of over 60 publications that I should get through at some point for this newsletter.

1) Subterranean Challenge Urban Circuit.
INFO: DARPA’s Subterranean challenge is on from 18th to 27th of February. In the above page you will find a link to the live stream. If you’d like to explore this challenge more then IEEE Spectrum editor Evan Ackerman has authored the following articles that might interest you: How Robotics Teams Prepared for DARPA’s SubT Challenge: Urban Circuit(there are lots of lessons learned in this particular one - I highly recommend it), DARPA’s Tim Chung Answers Our Questions About the SubT Challenge Urban Circuit, DARPA Subterranean Challenge: Urban Circuit Preview.

2) This is Ascento 2.
YouTube (aslteam)
INFO: This teaser is the first time I’m seeing Ascento 2 robot, a project by ETH students. After watching it I’ll be really looking forward to ICRA 2020 papers, where I’m hoping to learn more about this robot.

3) Getting a Grip: An Innovative Mechanical Controller Design for Robot-Assisted Surgery.
Science Daily
INFO: Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology are working on a new type of gripper for surgeons that’s meant to combine two methods of gripping: a “pinch grip” and a “power grip”. By combining the two the scientists are hoping to keep the advantages of two methods while eliminating all the disadvantages. If you’d like to learn more about this system then you can find a publication on Wiley.

4) The Robot, The Dentist and the Pyramid: Ancient Egypt Documentary (2020) | Ancient Architects.
YouTube (Ancient Architects)
INFO: I’m only 10 minutes into this documentary about exploring a pyramid using a mobile robot but I can already tell I’m hooked! I think you might like this one too!

5) Ultimate Electronics Book.
INFO: In the above link you will find an open source book on electronics that is being written by Michael F. Robbins. Currently there are 2 chapters available with more coming soon. I’m really looking forward to seeing this book happen as a couple of years ago I struggled to find quality learning resources on electronics.

6) Mars 2020 Rover: Curiosity’s Hi-Tech Twin Is Strapped For Science; Includes A Flying Drone.
INFO: I like how this article covers some of the technical aspects of the Mars 2020 Rover. Before reading this article I wasn’t aware that the rover will actually store collected samples and I didn’t expect that the drone will use a Snapdragon processor. The planned launch window for this mission is from July 17th to August 5th 2020 and the landing is scheduled for 18th of February 2021. Can’t wait!

7) Publication of the Week - A Practical Guide to Watchdogs for Embedded Systems (2020).
INFO: Do we have any embedded software roboticists onboard? If yes, you might like this blog post from Interrupt on watchdogs with an example using FreeRTOS and an NRF52840 based development board.

1) ROS 2 Introductory Course Online.
ROS 2 New Features [video]
INFO: ROS 2 New Features is a 3-hours course that is recommended for people that never worked with ROS 2, or even have a basic understanding of ROS 1, and want to start with this new version. You’ll be introduced to the outgoing features available in ROS 2. With simple and practical examples, it covers all of the new features, especially major features including distributed discovery, node lifecycle management, security, and more. You’ll learn how to make the best use of these features and how they improve and secure the way you use ROS and support modular systems. By the end of the course, you will understand the new features introduced in ROS 2 and will be able to apply them to your systems.