Friday, February 12, 2016

Robotics Weekly #10

Robotics Weekly
Issue #10
Featured material:
  • AAAI Video Competition 2016 - AI Video Competition is people choice competition organized yearly, as part of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. I'm afraid that it might be to late to participate in voting, but I think it is still worth to watch at least some of the videos, especially that their length is about 5 minutes each.
Articles and videos:
  • BionicOpter - Everyone of us is more or less familiar with concept of airplane, balloon, helicopter or its multiple rotor cousins. But it seems, that apart of them, there are other possibilities to achieve stable and effective flight. One of them is "dragonfly" type of motion. It seems that this UAV is quite fragile and have to be lightweight, but on the other hand it looks like it is moving freely with great grace.
  • Crabfu - When we are thinking about robots, we are usually thinking about constructions powered by electricity, eventually by gasoline engines. It is pretty rare to have robot powered by ... steam. It seems that in overall, such robots might be harder to construct, but when you have one, you only need to boil water somehow, and you have fully powered simple robot.
  • Robo-One - Do you remember Dekinnoka from previous issue of Robotics Weekly? Now I would like to present you something similar but slightly more serious. I'm not exactly sure about details of this competition (I still didn't learn Japanese) but there are some videos worth watching anyway.
  • Robots that fly ... and cooperate - TED talk by Vijay Kumar. If you are very interested in autonomous UAV you probably saw this talk. Sorry for that. Anyway, I find it as a nice summary and a profile of trends in drones industry.
  • PETMAN Robot - If you though that this issue will be closed without Boston Dynamics robot, you are wrong ;). I'm not sure what actually happened to PETMAN (did he evolved into ATLAS?) but it is very hypnotizing to see him walking on that video synchronized to Stayin' Alive.
  • Navy’s Robot Firefighter - And if we are in land of humanoid robots, I would like to present you SAFFiR - Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot. This robot is designed to fight fires on autonomous ships. Well, I bet that if it will be effective enough, it maybe will help with fighting fire on land and in buildings.
  • Swarmanoid project - Usually I'm presenting here single entity robot or pack of small universal robots swarms. And how about single specialized robotic units collaborating with each other to achieve goal that any single of them weren't capable of? In this project, there are three distinct units which can communicate and collaborate with each other.
  • Building Quadcopters, Drones and UAV's - In this instructable, author (eben89) shows how to plan, design and build simple and cheap drone. With step by step illustrations and descriptions it seems like anyone can consider joining quadrotor constructors club.
  • Aijia: Smart healthcare Robot - IMHO one of most promising possibilities for the future are caring robots. Aijia is current approach to this topic. Actually I wouldn't name it as robot - rather sophisticated interactive device. When I was analyzing this project I had mixed feelings. It looks too unpolished for its functions and slightly overpriced. Maybe future iterations of it will be more consistent and market ready. Anyway, check it for yourself.
Book of the week:
  • Mobile Robots and Autonomous Vehicles - Main objective of this MOOC is to teach most popular and effective techniques related to autonomous robotics movement and cars subsystems like: sensor-based mapping and localization, fusing noisy and multi-modal data to improve robustness and integrating human knowledge to be used for scene interpretation and decision making. General requirements for this course are basic notions of robotics, probabilities, linear algebra and Python.
  • Robotics Scientist @ Bossa Nova - If you like to work in small university spin-off companies this might be interesting for your. Bossa Nova is currently looking for person which will deal with planning, simulating and testing robotics algorithm either in simulations and on real physical systems. Location: Pittsburgh, USA. Tags: machine-learning, matlab, c++, ros, linux.
MichaƂ Neonek, MrValgad, Tompul
Do you have link to cool news, article, tutorial or video and want to share with other robot fans? Send it to me and if meet quality standards I will include it in next issue of Robotics Weekly.

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