Friday, February 26, 2016

Robotics Weekly #12

Robotics Weekly
Issue #12
Featured material:
  • Meet the dazzling flying machines of the future - Again guys (and girls?) from ETH Zürich. As usually they are presenting bleeding edge practical results of their research related to UAVs. They are researching reliability, safety, robustness, agility and cooperation abilities. Now, they are presenting something new, but it seems that those ideas will arrive to our households in next few year.
Articles and videos:
  • Atlas, The Next Generation - I must confess that when I saw latest video from Boston Dynamics I had mixed feelings. Main feeling was more or less "Wow! This is awesome! Look how it holds doors to avoid being hit by them!". But then I remembered that BD is military subsidized company and that make me sad. Of course, those projects can always led to products used in non military environments. But I would like to see such achievements rather for more pacifist company.
  • Automation and Employment - Another podcast from Robohub. This time Michael Osborne presents his findings based on analysis of employment marked and its future in context of more and more advanced robotics. During his research he found that there are bad but also good "futures" and that we certainly shouldn't ignore forthcoming robotic revolution.
  • This Remarkable Robot Hand Is Worthy of Luke Skywalker - This is indisputably best tele-operated hand at this moment. It is not clear yet how long it will take to use such hand as prosthesis. But it still is very impressive in context of tele-operations.
  • Underwater robot can make its own snap decisions - What fauna and flora is hidden from humans eyes in depths of oceans? There are many mysteries to uncover there, and we might be one step closer to reveal them with this autonomous underwater vehicles. I guess that we just need longer lasting batteries and we might start releasing such machines for weeks or months long missions.
  • Robot allows musicians to become three-armed drummers - I would totally bet on company that will try to augment humans by adding them additional pair of robotic hands. Here you have example of additional hand which is used for playing on percussion. The trick here is that this hand learns habits of its "host" so he can actually collaborate with it in crating music.
  • Vibrating Bat Wings Inspire Efficient Sea-Skimming Drones - Not sure if you would like to have quick unmanned boat or airplane? Why not both? Well... maybe not both on the same time. In this construction you can observe lightweight skeleton wrapped with special material which changes its properties which enables more control of it. I'm just not sure if it can be easily scaled.
  • Meet the soft, cuddly robots of the future - Will robots of the future be soft? Well, maybe not every one, but at least some of them.
  • Drone Racing League | Level 1: Miami Lights - "It is like Formula 1 in drones" my wife said, and I could totally agree with her. Biggest difference is that when someone crashes in F1 you feel pity, here you are laughing and waiting for someone else to crash ;). Totally worth to watch.
  • Ardusea: Opensource modular sailing robot - Very interesting project, especially in context of Ocean Discovery Xprize. I didn't found if this project is using Arduino (because of naming similarity) or something else as CPU, but I'm afraid that it might be slightly overpriced - you will receive actual Ardusea when you support campaign with 1500 USD. Anyway, it might be worth to at least observe it.
Book of the week:
  • Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future - This time I recommend something non-technical. There are some predictions about trends in robots as market labor. In his book, Martin Ford tries to precise his predictions about rising possibilities of robotics and artificial intelligence and its impact on average household and economy.
  • Control of Mobile Robots - "Control of Mobile Robots is a course that focuses on the application of modern control theory to the problem of making robots move around in safe and effective ways. The structure of this class is somewhat unusual since it involves many moving parts - to do robotics right, one has to go from basic theory all the way to an actual robot moving around in the real world, which is the challenge we have set out to address through the different pieces in the course."
  • Deep Learning R&D Engineer - Autonomous Driving @ Nvidia - If you started to play computer games in 90's your first "meeting" with Nvidia was probably when you though about upgrading your computer to something more powerful at some point. Well, it isn't secret that Nvidia is working on something else than graphical cards. This time interested persons will have opportunity to work on machine learning systems in context of self-driving cars. Location: Morganville, United States. Tags: deep-learning, computer-vision, c++, ros, c.
  • Yellow Drum Machine - I saw this cute one ages ago on Internet and casually forgot about it. Now I found it again and I'm still amused.
Michał Neonek, MrValgad, Tompul, Magdalena
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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