Weekly Robotics #9

1) Researchers develop 3D printed objects that can track their own use.
https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/10/3d-printed-objects-collect-data-on-use/
INFO: Researchers at the University of Washington use antennas to reflect a wi-fi signal in order to record the movement of 3D printed tools. No batteries required!

2) Tanzania tests over-water delivery of medicines by drone.
https://www.freightweek.org/index.php/en/latest-news/82-air/3622-tanzania-tests-over-water-delivery-of-medicines-by-drone
INFO: Tanzania, together with DHL and Wingcopter has completed a six month trials, delivering medicine over a distance of 60 km (37 mi). During trials the aircraft made over 160 proving flights. Wingcopter is a hybrid aircraft (can take off like a multirotor, and transition to forward flight like a fixed wing plane) with capabilities of lifting payload of up to 6 kg (13 lbs) and according to manufacturer’s website the drone can achieve a speed of 240 km/h (149 mph) during forward flight.

3) ROSCon 2018 videos and slides.
https://roscon.ros.org/2018/#program
INFO: If you missed ROSCon 2018 the videos and slides were just made available at the link above.

4) SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket on the California coast for the first time.
https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/7/17947518/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-launch-vandenberg-california-landing-watch-live
INFO: SpaceX managed to sucessfully land the Falcon rocket on a ground for the 12th time. The objective of the mission was to take Argentina’s space agency SAOCOM 1A satelltie to the orbit.

5) Boston Dynamics Atlas doing parkour.
https://youtu.be/LikxFZZO2sk
INFO: According to the description in the video the robot is using the whole body including legs, arms and torso to jump over a log and leap up the steps.

6) Jumping Robot Salto-1P Now Goes Where You Tell It To.
https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/jumping-robot-salto1p
INFO: UC Berkley’s Salto 1-P (a pogo stick robot) can control leg angle and retraction in order to allow reaching a desired points on the ground. There is a motion capture system in the loop allowing for precise robot tracking and making it hope on a target that changes position.

7) Paper of the week - Paparazzi’s Guidance Vector Field Navigation (2017).
https://wiki.paparazziuav.org/wiki/Module/guidance_vector_field
INFO: The above webpage (and 3 papers mentioned in the introduction) presents an introduction to Guidance Vector Field algorithm available for Paparazzi UAV (an open source drone autopilot). The approach for navigation in the presented article is to follow smooth curves while navigating (traditionally most of the autopilots use waypoints) and generating vector fields. The gifs presented are a very good way of building intuition on how vector fields work.

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