Lately, I’ve been exploring using Singularity with ROS based on this ROS Discourse thread, and I had no idea working with containers could be this easy. I’m looking forward to spending a bit more time on this and sharing some more insights on the process soon! As a side note, I received this video from Michael the other day, and I found this hugging robot from Halodi Robotics weirdly wholesome. As usual, the publication of the week section is manned by Rodrigo. Last week’s most clicked link was the ride-on multirotor hitting a basketball, with 9.6% opens.
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How Can We Make Robotics More like Generative Modeling?
In this article, Eric Jang discusses generative modeling (such as DALL-E 2, Midjourney) and how some lessons learned could be transferred to the robotics domain. The hope is that somehow we could develop a way for the general public to help evaluate some robotic policies through an API, just like we have seen GPT-3 models and some AI image generation lately.
Experiences with ROS 2 on Our Robots
In this blog post, a RoboCup team described some hurdles of switching their software stack from ROS 1 to ROS 2. For a follow-up conversation, I recommend this ROS Discourse thread. I can’t wait for ROS 2 to have the same out-of-the-box experience as ROS 1 had and I’m hoping we will get there soon.
PX4 Based Omnicopter Using the New Dynamic Mixing System in v1.13
Px4 can boast a new mixing system that seems to add quite a flexible attitude control for omnicopters. As a side note, the videos from the 2022 PX4 Developer Summit are now available online.
NASA Sending Two More Helicopters to Mars
NASA has announced a mission architecture for the Mars Sample Return program. Plan A assumes the Perseverance rover will deliver the samples by itself, and plan B assumes that the lander will come with two helicopters, similar to Ingenuity, with a minor modification of having wheels and a manipulator for sample retrieval. If Percy is immobilized, the helicopters may try to fetch the sample from it or the backup cache that the rover will drop at some point.
ICRA2022 Awards Finalists and Winners
Robohub published a list of ICRA 2022 finalists, generously linking to the paper’s pre-prints.
How to Help Assembly-Line Robots Shift Gears and Pick up Almost Anything
“A University of Washington team created a new tool to design a 3D-printable passive gripper and calculate the best path to pick up an object. The team tested this system on a suite of 22 objects — including a 3D-printed bunny, a doorstop-shaped wedge, a tennis ball, and a drill”. I highly recommend checking out the video for this project.
Publication of the Week - Robot-Assisted Drilling on Curved Surfaces with Haptic Guidance under Adaptive Admittance Control (2022)
Sometimes I find it hard to make straight holes on flat surfaces, so curved surfaces would be a total no-go. This paper presents a cobot that can assist you in drilling in curved surfaces using haptic guidance through an augmented reality (AR) interface. They generate the surface mesh of the object using a depth camera or manually sampling many points with the tip of the drill around the target. The user initially positions the handle with the help of the AR goggle, and only at 5cm from the target point, the robot becomes stiffer and aligns the drilling axis precisely to open a hole. The system uses adaptive admittance control and could decrease human effort by 16% while delivering 26% faster operations. You can check a video of the system at this link.
Teradyne’s Robotics Group Makes $101M in Q2
“Teradyne‘s industrial automation group generated $101 million in revenue for the second quarter of 2022. The group’s revenue grew 10% from Q2 2021 and 19% for the first half. Revenue declined slightly from the $103 million generated in the first quarter of 2022.”.
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Internship: Auto-pilots driver integration
Septentrio (Leuven, Belgium)
Learning opportunity and chance to get industry experience. New versions of autopilots are appearing in the market for UAV or Robotics applications. These auto-pilots require a GNSS input for navigation and thus require some driver support depending on the GNSS HW used which you will be part of.