Weekly Robotics #96

Issue 96

The most clicked last week was the hoverbike crash in Dubai with 18.0% opens. Unfortunately, since I’ve posted it it was removed from YouTube. Here is a mirror for you.

1) Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot Dog Now Available for $74,500.
IEEE Spectrum
INFO: Most probably you’ve heard the news already. If you were buying Spot instead of a luxury car you might be disappointed as the article quotes Boston Dynamics: “we specifically don’t want people to just be using it at home for fun”. I know this is probably quite a small detail but the user guide is amazingly well designed. Well done!

2) ROS2 Tutorial for Beginners.
INFO: A team behind Bot Builder had put together a series of video tutorials on ROS2.

3) AR2 / AR3 Open Robotic Arms.
Annin Robotics
INFO: “The Annin Robotics AR2 and AR3 are free open plan low-cost robots anyone can make themselves. They can be made using aluminum components or you can 3D print the parts yourself”.

4) How to Start a Robot Revolution | Part 1 | Breaking the Wheel.
Red Hat
INFO: Here is the first episode of a documentary series about ROS. In the first episode, we can learn about ROS, PR2 and Willow Garage. You can also get a glimpse of how a standup looks like at Open Robotics.

5) UBR-1 on ROS2 (Part 3).
Robot & Chisel
INFO: Here is another update from Michael Ferguson on updating his UBR-1 to ROS2. This time the author covers porting openni2_camera driver to ROS2, components (ROS2 replacement for nodelets), parameters, and some RVIZ2 issues. As always the post is very technical and has solid insights on ROS2 debugging.

6) NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover Sample Caching System.
INFO: “In terms of robots that go into space, the sampling and caching system on the Mars 2020 Mission is the most complicated, most sophisticated thing that we know how to build”. In this video we can learn about how many robots are involved in grabbing a sample and how difficult it actually is to pull off. You can learn more about these systems on NASA’s website.

7) SLAM Lectures
INFO: This YouTube playlist contains a lecture series on SLAM by Claus Brenner. You will find Python files used for the modules on Google Drive. Huge thanks to Patrick for letting me know about this series!

8) Publication of the Week - RBR 50 Innovation Awards (2020).
The Robot Report
INFO: The Robot Report had published its annual innovation awards.

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: David Fischinger
Location: Vienna, Austria
Skills: Robotic grasping, C++, ROS, PCL, Machine Learning, Python, OpenRAVE, Git, Linux, Agile Software Development (Scrum, Jira), Docker, CI, Jenkins, MoveIt, Gazebo, Blender, OpenCV, Matlab
Profile: I am a roboticist specialized on object manipulation and grasping. My work (summary video until 2016) focuses on applications in service and elderly care robotics. Currently, I am leading the grasping team at Aeolus Robotics, where I built up the Austrian branch.
Social Profiles: LinkedIn
Email: david.fischinger@gmail.com

Name: Aravindh Shanmuganathan
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA. Willing to relocate across USA ( No Visa Sponsorship Required)
Skills: C, C++(11,14,17), Python, MATLAB/Simulink, ROS, RVIZ, Gazebo, Linux, SLAM, RTOS, Microcontrollers- Texas Instruments(CC26XX), ATMega16
Profile: Robotics Graduate with previous experience in embedded systems development. Strong knowledge in manipulator dynamics, SLAM, controls systems. Looking for opportunities in Robotics, Controls and Autonomous systems development
Social Profiles: LinkedIn, Portfolio
Email: shanmuganathan.a@wustl.edu


1) Animal Dynamics (Oxford, UK) - Systems Engineer.
INFO: We design super-efficient systems inspired by the deep study of evolutionary biomechanics.


1) Season of Docs.
INFO: Cyberbotics takes part in Google Season of Docs - this means you can contribute to the Webots documentation and receive a stipend of $2,400 – $6,000 USD from Google. The deadline for project idea submission is July 9th, 2020. You will be notified on August 16th, 2020 if your project is accepted by Google.

2) HoverGames Challenge 2: Help Drones, Help Others During Pandemics with NXP.
INFO: In this edition of HoverGames participants will come up with innovative ideas to use drones to help save lives or help people during a global pandemic. The first 100 idea winners will receive a $400 discount on the NXP HoverGames Drone Developer kit and the finalist will also grab a $3,000 Visa Gift Card. Are you interested? Then for a head start check out this article from We Robotics - it should help!