Weekly Robotics #88

Issue 88

I have just finished listening to an audiobook Creativity, Inc., a piece about Pixar and creativity in business. Even though it’s not directly related to robotics I found it inspiring and will definitely look back on it as I’m growing my company. I’d especially recommend this book to managers in companies of all sizes. It has been a while since we had what I call a “full issue” containing the core of the newsletter, a publication of the week, careers section, an announcement and even a (sort of) sponsored post. The most clicked last week was Adam Savage’s video on how Spot works with 13.3% opens.

1) You’ve Never Seen the Robot Joint Like This One!
YouTube (Skyentific)
INFO: If you have read issue #62 chance is that you’ve actually seen a robot joint based on a pulley system before. As usual with Skyentific videos I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the explanation of the principles behind the design and the demonstration.

2) New Scavenger Technology Allows Robots to ‘Eat’ Metal for Energy.
Science Daily
INFO: Researchers from University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science are working on “metal-air scavenger” - a concept that’s bridging the gap between batteries and harvesters (for example solar panels). In this project the robot is carrying a cathode, below which a slab of hydrogel is used as an electrolyte and the metal surface the robot is touching is the anode. Here is the video showing the robot in action and the researchers explaining their invention.

3) What Networks Will Co-Evolve With AI and Robotics?
Rodney Brooks
INFO: An interesting take from Rodney Brooks on what networks (think roads, railway, telephone, cloud computing) could be built because of the current pandemic.

4) April 2020: AWS Robomaker Virtual Meetup.
YouTube (Object Computing)
INFO: Here is a video recording of the Object Computing virtual meetup on AWS Robomaker that I saw being announced at ROS Discourse. It seems like an interesting concept if you want to run lots of tests for your platform or handle a robotics fleet.

5) Mithi’s Hexapod Robot Simulator.
INFO: Here is something interesting: a web based hexapod simulator with forward/inverse kinematics. You can access the working simulator here.

6) Astronautenassistent CIMON-2 Meistert Einstand auf der ISS.
YouTube (DLR)
INFO: He is back! CIMON, a free flying robot assistant, seems to be back in the ISS. If you don’t speak german - don’t be discouraged by the title, everything in the video is in English. Compared to the video I shared in the issue #54 the position control seems way better!

7) Publication of the Week - The Canadian Planetary Emulation Terrain Energy-Aware Rover Navigation Dataset (2020).
Sage Journals
INFO: This paper and the dataset will be interesting for anyone looking into creating planetary rovers or testing localization algorithms in uneven terrain. The described dataset contains information from 6 runs with an average distance of 200 meters captured on a Clearpath Husky skid-steered robot. The data you will find in the set contains information from an omnidirectional stereo camera, a monocular camera, IMU, a GPS receiver, wheel encoders, Drive power monitors and pyranometer (used for measuring solar irradiance).

1) 360 Camera for Industrial Inspection with ROS and Robosynthesis Robots.
INFO: Here is something I’ve enjoyed working on recently: creating a 360 camera module using ROS and rviz_textured_sphere package. Thought you might enjoy this!

Job Seekers

In the issue #83 I’ve started this section to try to help out those looking for work in the times of pandemic. If you are currently looking for work then feel free to send me your details in the same format as you can see in the entries below. Please note that I will be able to list up to 5 profiles a week here.

Name: Chris Perez
Location: Washington DC, United States
Skills: Power Electronics, Soldering, Function Generators, Bread boarding, Oscilloscopes, Python, Jenkins, EagleCAD, Matlab, Pspice, LtSpice
Profile: Graduated from University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a focus in power systems. I have a variety of interests which has led me to work in a few different areas ( Bio-Tech, Energy Research, Retail Banking) but am looking to transition into a more robotics focused industry. I’m fluent in Spanish and English and am willing to relocate.
Social Profiles: LinkedIn
Email: chris.perezca@gmail.com


1) Malloy Aeronautics (White Waltham, UK) - Various Positions.
INFO: Based near London we are an R&D and Production company that makes small and large drones. We have a dedicated team of hard working and skilled engineers and technicians, designing, building and testing VTOL vehicles of all types, for all customers.

2) wheel.me (Oslo, Norway) - Various Position.
INFO: wheel.me is a Norwegian Robotics & IoT company with global ambitions, located in Oslo. We help people improve the way they live and work by enabling everything indoors to move effortlessly on smart wheels.


1) Webinar Video: Drones, Hype and COVID-19.
INFO: On 30th of April WeRobotics will hold a webinar on drones and COVID-19. You can sign up for it by filling this form.