Finally, I’m getting there with being able to spend significant part of Mondays on Weekly Robotics! Having more time dedicated to it helps with covering more content and looking into it more in-depth. Recently, I’ve moved away from hosting the website on GitHub pages, a task that was long overdue. If you see any issues with the newsletter delivery, layout etc. then I would love to hear about it! The most clicked link last week was the All About Mecanum article from Hackaday with 10.2% opens. As usual, the publication of the week section is manned by Rodrigo.
Weekly Robotics is being developed thanks to the Patreon supporters and the following business sponsors:
Experience the World as Your Robot DoesVisualize & Explore your Robotics Data with Foxglove
Use Foxglove Studio's rich interactive visualizations to explore your robotics data! Whether you're analyzing live connections or pre-recorded data, use camera images, point clouds, plots, & more to understand your robot.
DARPA’s RACER Program Sends High-Speed Autonomous Vehicles Off-Road
DARPA is launching the Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency (RACER) programme that will be all about high speed driving in unstructured environments. The programme will last 3 years, with 3 teams that were assigned funding and vehicles: Carnegie Mellon University, NASA JPL, and the University of Washington. I wonder if the general public will ever get access to some datasets captured during the trials.
Nash’s Four Favorite Firmware Debug Tools
In this article, Nash Reilly describes his go-to tools for debugging firmware on embedded systems. If you do embedded development, chances are that you already know some of these tools, but having a list of considerations with pros and cons for each tool is great, at least for someone like me who didn’t touch anything embedded in the last 5 years or so.
Kirigami Grippers Can Grasp Egg Yolk and a Human Hair
We’ve first featured Kirigami Grippers through the research from the Boston University back in May 2021. The video above shows the latest work done by the Researchers from the North Carolina State University, where the gripper is capable of handling egg yolk(!), live fish, shampoo, human hair and some other objects. You can find an open-access paper about this research in Nature.
Robotics 501: Mathematics for Robotics
“ROB 501: Mathematics for Robotics, is a graduate-level course at the University of Michigan that introduces applied mathematics for robotics engineers. Topics include vector spaces, orthogonal bases, projection theorem, least squares, matrix factorizations, Kalman filter and underlying probabilistic concepts, norms, convergent sequences, contraction mappings, Newton Raphson algorithm, local vs global convergence in nonlinear optimization, convexity, linear and quadratic programs”.
Spider-Go Warehouse Inventory Automation
This is a curious product featured in CES. Do you know some startups that try to utilize drones for inventory tracking in warehouses? Spider-Go is an alternative to that. The scanner is mounted on a rail and can travel along the shelves and go up and down to scan products. This solution won’t be as flexible as a multirotor, due to required modification to infrastructure, but on the other hand, it can probably safely work with people around it. I’ll be curious to see where this goes.
Walmart to Roll Out Inventory Analytics Function to Fleet of Robotic Floor Cleaners
Walmart unit Sam’s Club is looking to test implementing inventory scanning on robotic floor scrubbers. The reason I found this news interesting is that in 2020 Walmart ended a contract for shelf-scanning robots with Bossa Nova Robotics, some sources saying that Walmart opted-in for approaches that use fixed cameras. Perhaps, since the scrubbers are there it makes sense for them to provide multiple functions.
Publication of the Week - On the Issues of TrueDepth Sensor Data for Computer Vision Tasks Across Different iPad Generations (2022)
Apple has included many interesting sensors over the last releases, ranging from facial recognition to built-in LiDAR. This paper presents a comparison between the TrueDepth (facial recognition) technology across different iPad/iPhone generations and shows how to extract the best out of the sensor. The output from TrueDepth is a point cloud from an infrared dot projector. The authors found out that there are some issues between the provided APIs and models regarding misaligned depth maps in ARKit and wrong factory intrinsics.
Boston Dynamics delivering fleet of Stretch robots to DHL
DHL has bought $15M worth of Stretch robots from Boston Dynamics.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin acquiring Honeybee Robotics
“Blue Origin, the sub-orbital spaceflight company founded by Jeff Bezos, is acquiring Honeybee Robotics for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close in mid-February, and Honeybee Robotics will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blue Origin”.
Live event - Job Hunting in Robotics
Two Robotics Youtubers; Kajal Gada & Robotix with Sina are organizing a live event where they will be answering questions about job search in Robotics in the USA. They will be talking about internships, jobs, skills, projects, various subfields, where to find jobs, how to prepare, what questions to expect & more. The event will take place on the 5th of Feb at 8 AM PT. You can sign up and pre-submit questions using the link above.