Weekly Robotics #80

Issue 80

If you happen to have 22 seconds to spare check out this tracked robot (?) completing a track with an unexpected twist at the end. Pretty cool, right? After my ask on Twitter and LinkedIn last week the awesome Weekly Robotics repository is now at 117 stars! Many thanks to all of you who helped make this project more visible. The most clicked link last week was Ascento 2 video with 20.9% opens.

1) Super Capacitor Rocket.
YouTube (Tom Stanton)
INFO: In this video Tom Stanton makes a rocket powered by Super Capacitors and a single motor-propeller combination. I really like the sound this rocket makes as it’s climbing up!

2) Atmospheric Satellite.
INFO: This repository contains an iPython notebook with the calculations of parameters for a solar plane with minimum wingspan that can indefinitely sustain flight.

3) Mass Layoffs Reported after Starsky Robotics Fails to Find Buyer, Investors.
Freight Waves
INFO: “Autonomous trucking startup Starsky Robotics has laid off the majority of its engineers and office personnel after its fundraising efforts and attempts to find a buyer failed, a former executive says”.

4) Project MELT: 3D Printer for Space.
YouTube (ESA)
INFO: This YouTube video showcases a 3D Printer that is said to be ready to print 3D parts in microgravity. You can find a bit more information on Project MELT on ESA website. According to this NASA page there was an operational 3D printer already tested on ISS in 2014 and according to an 2018 article from 3Dprint.com there is a commercially available 3D printing service on ISS operated by Made In Space.

5) A Stress Test for Jellyfish.
Wyss Institute
INFO: Researchers had developed a soft robotics manipulator that can help capture very fragile jellyfish without harm and with minimizing stress in these animals. This soft robot is using a hydraulic pump to inflate the fingers with water to cause them to curl.

6) Build A Rover, Send It To The Moon, Sell The Movie Rights: 30 Years of iRobot.
INFO: I highly recommend this article to by Colin Angle, a CEO of iRobot, to all robotics entrepreneurs. I found the idea of “Asymmetric Strategic Partnership” an interesting approach to building a robotics company. I also like the story about the 14 failed business models that got iRobot to where they are today.

7) Publication of the Week - Julia for Robotics: Simulation and Real-Time Control in a High-Level Programming Language (2019).
INFO: Many thanks to Julius for forwarding me this article! This paper describes using Julia programming language to perform a simulation of Atlas and writing modules for low level real-time control and high level control. I found the insights on how the garbage collector affects the execution time in a language like Julia. Interestingly the group managed to execute the control loops in under 2ms with the controller running at 300Hz. You can find the project repository on GitHub.

1) Humble Book Bundle: Jumpstart Your Maker Space by Make: Community.
Humble Bundle
INFO: Get a jumpstart on a bundle full of projects to make the most of all the technology in your life! Featuring projects for drones, 3D printing, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and much more, this bundle allows you to make technology work the way you want it to. If you decide to buy this bundle you can choose to support Weekly Robotics, which will be highly appreciated as it will allow me to keep growing this project!


1) Pro-Drone (Lisbon | Alentejo, Portugal) - Senior / C++ Developer.
INFO: Pro-Drone is a tech start-up that is revolutionizing how assets are inspected worldwide by developing autonomous UAV inspection solutions. In fact, we are one of the front runners of the wind blade inspection industry, having inspected over 8500 blades in 8 countries, and growing.

2) Applanix Corporation (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada ) - Software Engineer.
INFO: Applanix is a world leader in providing navigation technology for airborne, land, and marine applications, and increasingly for autonomous operations. We are developing lidar, camera, and inertial-based navigation systems for the off-road autonomy market and seeking candidates to expand our R&D team.

3) 6 River Systems (Waltham, MA. USA) - Various Positions.
INFO: 6 River Systems is disrupting a hundred billion dollar industry with a new approach to warehouse automation. Founded in 2015, we have developed a solution built on proprietary AI, mobile robots and cloud-based enterprise software. Our solution is half the cost of traditional automation and 2-3x faster than manual, cart pick operations.