Friday, February 19, 2016

Robotics Weekly #11

Robotics Weekly
Issue #11

Featured material:
  • A robot that runs and swims like a salamander - Although this Ted talk has salamander in title, author refers to way wider topic which is biorobotics.  He presents their team approach to analyze biological entities, and their team ideas to mimics animals movement in robotics.
Articles and videos:
  • Robots Podcast #201: The Airbus Shopfloor Challenge, with Curtis Carson - In this short podcast, author from RoboHub interviews Airbus employee and talks about areas where Airbus expects to use robots in near future. There is also discussion about next IEEE conference and robotics competition co organized by Airbus.
  • Drone Racing League - It seems like new professional and visually spectacular sport competitions just emerged. Despite that drones used there are not autonomous, we can still enjoy great races.
  • Top 10: Swarmbots - Quite nice compilation from Make magazine summarizing so called swarmbots which are usually small robots designed to cooperate with them selves in large groups. 
  • Vortex: Robotic Toy Re-invented - Vortex is a simple robotics toy based on Arduino. It is designed especially for kids, but authors promise open API which could be used to produce more sophisticated applications. It is effect of recent successful campaign from Kickstarter.
  • Robotic Fingers with a Gentle Touch - When we are thinking about robots, we are usually thinking about them as mobile constructions which can't delicately take something and hold it. In this case, situation is just opposite. This robotic "fingers" are designed especially to delicately hold objects, even such fragile as raw eggs.
  • Watch DARPA's tiny drone do 45 MPH indoors, autonomously - This prototype could probably start in DRL mentioned above. Or at least it seems that it could compete with human controlled drones on straight and simple tracks.
  • Playing Catch and Juggling with a Humanoid Robot - It seems that soon robots will outperform humans in circus tricks related to juggling. Anyway, in worst case, such robot could be nice companion for mindless throwing ball ;).
  • Create Teeny Tiny Solar Insect Robots - If you ever wonder what robot would be small, simple, easy to build and functional, you might encounter on something similar to this solar powered "bugs". They seems to be easy to construct and can give some experience with solar powered constructions. 
  • Dumy: The family robot - Another example of home helping caring robot. Or at least ambitious approach to it. I'm not sure if it isn't to early to start crowdfunding campaign - after all, its inventor didn't presented working prototype yet. But I let you decide on you own.
Book of the week:
  • Autonomous Mobile Robots - It is always good time to learn something new. If you would like to learn some basics about concepts related to autonomous mobile robots, you can always enroll to this self paced MOOC organized by ETH Zürich (institution often mentioned in Robotics Weekly). After carefully following this course you will be familiar with environment perception, probabilistic map basic localization and motion planning.
  • Software engineer @ NCCR digital fabrication, ETH Zürich - If you ever dream about constructing big and non trivial structures with robots, this job might be right for you. Warning, this position is research position, so you should have some scientific experience and drive toward solid scientific research. Location: Zürich, Switzerland. Tags: python, c, c++, ros, cad.
  • Beer Pong Robot - I didn't had a chance to play beer pong even once in my life, but I'm afraid that I would loose anyway if I had to play against it.
Michał 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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