Image Credit: NASA
Not really Robotics related but I thoroughly enjoyed this episode of Smarter Everyday on Supersonic Baseball Cannon. It is some very good engineering and a very nice build montage! In one of the Patreon updates I’ve mentioned that I would give away access to Weekly Robotics Slack for the first 15 supporters, regardless of their pledge - there is still a chance for 4 readers to get on board by sponsoring me a single coffee a month. The most clicked last week was Freedom Robotics guide for tuning wheel odometry with 14.7% opens.
JPL’s Rock Climbing Robot
I recently came across this video from 2013 showing Lemur IIB robot equipped with micro claws that allow it to firmly attach to rocks. If you have been following this newsletter for some time you might remember this design from this short documentary that appeared in the issue 48.
The US Army Spent Millions Developing Giant, Six-Legged Walking Trucks in the 1980s
In 1980 US Army partnered with Ohio State University to develop this six-legged hydraulic walking robot called “Adaptive Suspension Vehicle”. The machine used an array of 17 computers to handle 150k lines of code written in Pascal (!). The maximum speed of this robot was 8 mph (~13 km/h) - quite good for a machine weighing 6k pounds (2.7k kg).
The Rise of “Killer Robots” and the Race to Restrain Them
While we are on the subject of military robots this article by Bryan McMahon provides a good overview on the current state of LAWS (Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems), the countries that develop them and the legal aspect of them.
Biohybrid Design: How to Build a Biological Robot
This is an interview with a dr Ritu Raman, who works on making robots from biological materials that could be used to create actuators that could then be used in a human body.
PufferBot: Actuated Expandable Structures for Aerial Robots
“We present PufferBot, an aerial robot with an expandable structure that may expand to protect a drone’s propellers when the robot is close to obstacles or collocated humans. PufferBot is made of a custom 3D-printed expandable scissor structure, which utilizes a one degree of freedom actuator with rack and pinion mechanism. We propose four designs for the expandable structure, each with unique characterizations for different situations. Finally, we present three motivating scenarios in which PufferBot may extend the utility of existing static propeller guard structures”. You can find the preprint describing the invention on arXiv.
MOOS-IvP is a set of open source C++ modules for providing autonomy on robotic platforms, in particular autonomous marine vehicles. If you have used this software before and wanted to share your experience with the readers of this newsletters then feel free to send me an e-mail.
Publication of the Week - A Roadmap for US Robotics From Internet to Robotics (2020)[PDF]
If you are wondering where Robotics (in particular in the US) is heading then this document is for you. If you are looking for inspiration on things to work on then the document highlights key challenges for some of the sectors - this can be a good starting point!
Humble Book Bundle: DIY Maker School by Make Co.Humble Bundle
We've teamed up with Maker Media for our newest bundle! Get ebooks like Make: Getting Started with Soldering, Make: Electricity for Young Makers, The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory, Make: Start Making!, and Make: Getting Started with Raspberry Pi, 3rd Edition. Plus, your purchase will support the Maker Ed Initiative! As always with Humble Bundle links featured in this newsletter: by purchasing it using the above link you can choose to support Weekly Robotics, which will be hugely appreciated!
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.
Name: Gopi Krishnan REGULAN
Location: Paris, France. Willing to relocate within Europe
Skills: Python, Linux, MATLAB/Simulink, C++, ROS, VHDL, KiCAD, PTC Creo, CATIA, ANSYS
Profile: I am a roboticist passionate about autonomous robots, UAVs, drones, embedded system development and mechanical design. Need to associate with a technical and progressive organization that will allow me to utilize my abilities and strengths in the field to add value to the organization while providing me with opportunities for growth
Social Profiles: LinkedIn
Turing Lecture: Building Dynamic Robots
In this lecture, we’ll hear from the man behind one of the biggest robotics companies in the world, Boston Dynamics, who’s robotic dog, Spot, has been used to encourage social distancing in Singapore and is now getting ready for FDA approval to be able to measure patients’ vital signs in hospitals. The lecture will take place on the 22nd of September at 3 PM UK time.
Join CERN, ESA and ESO for a Unique Online Careers Event
The Global Engineering Careers in Science and Space event is the perfect chance to learn more about career opportunities in engineering, computing and technology! You can also engage with CERN, ESA and ESO representatives in a live one-on-one chat from 13:00 to 17:00 CEST and take part in a live video session to learn more about working for our organisations.