One of the projects featured Today made me realize I missed this year’s SIGGRAPH previews. I always find them interesting, even though they rarely contain robotics projects. You can find the technical preview On YouTube. As usual, the publication of the week section is manned by Rodrigo. Last week’s most clicked link was a list of ICRA 2022 finalists and winners, with 13.3% opens.
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Build Mobile Robots with ROS2 - Five-Project SeriesManning
Here is the secret project I've been working on for the past month. In the series, we will build a simulated mobile robot from simulating a model to implementing a Nav2 stack for automatic navigation. If you take on these projects, I look forward to being your mentor on the Manning platform. Use a code lpsad40 for a 40% discount.
Crazyflie ROS2 Summer Update
Kimberly made an update to her last blog post that we featured in the issue #203. Long story short, Kimberly managed to use Nav2 on this tiny multirotor and fly between waypoints. I’m looking forward to learning what comes next!
Balloon Interface for Midair Haptic Interaction
Researchers from the University of Tokyo built a three-dimensional haptic interface. The system uses airborne ultrasound phased arrays (all made of 2739 transducers) and a high-speed vision system to track the balloon.
BPS.Space Successfully Lands A Model Rocket
Joe Barnard did it! After seven years of development, he managed to stick the landing of his rocket - SpaceX style. The featured video show some of the trials and the development progress. I think Joe’s work is an excellent example that if you set your mind to it, take some incremental approach and work through a burnout or two (pun not intended), then you can stick the landing (pun intended)!
Robot Repeatedly Rearranges Remnants In The Round
Here is an intriguing art installation by Kachi Chan. It is named “Sisyphus” and consists of small robots trying to build structures while an industrial manipulator in the center keeps knocking them down over and over. This concept reminds me a bit of this dark installation, where a robot arm is dripping hydraulic fluid, and it’s trying its best to contain it using a mop.
Here is the excerpt from the project page: “Quad-SDK is an open source, ROS-based full stack software framework for agile quadrupedal locomotion. The design of Quad-SDK is focused on the vertical integration of planning, control, estimation, communication, and development tools which enable agile quadrupedal locomotion in simulation and hardware with minimal user changes for multiple platforms. The modular software architecture allows researchers to experiment with their own implementations of different components while leveraging the existing framework. Quad-SDK also offers Gazebo simulation support and a suite of visualization and data-processing tools for rapid development. Refer to the paper for high-level details of the framework”. The project is now a part of the Awesome WR list.
Publication of the Week 1 - Evaluation and Comparison of Eight Popular Lidar and Visual Slam Algorithms (2022)
In previous issues, we’ve covered some algorithms for LiDAR and visual SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping). This article compares eight popular Lidar and visual SLAM algorithms under different conditions of indoor and outdoor terrains using a dataset generated with five commonly used sensors. The results are impressive and can be helpful if you are building a SLAM setup. One key lesson learned is that the further the sensor is from the ground, the worse accuracy gets on all methods. Among the Lidar SLAM algorithms, LIO SLAM had the smallest error, and LEGO LOAM was the more lightweight. Amid the visual SLAM methods, ORB SLAM3 had the best performance overall, while Basalt VIO had its best with quick changes in velocities.
Publication of the Week 2 - Resilient and Modular Subterranean Exploration with a Team of Roving and Flying Robots (2022)
This paper describes in detail the work done by the Team Explorer for the DARPA Sub-T challenge. The write-up is a treasure trove of interesting information, such as the challenge itself, system architecture (perception, simulation, localization (Super Odometry, anyone?)), communications, and hardware. If you are short on time, I at least recommend checking out the Lessons Learned section on page 51. Big thanks to Vaibhav, one of the team members, for sharing this paper with me!
Amazon to Acquire iRobot For $1.7 Billion
If you are following robotics-related news, then you likely heard of the planned acquisition of iRobot. In this article, Evan Ackerman discusses the acquisition and some ways it could go for the iRobot brand.
Commercial UAV Expo
Commercial UAV Expo, September 6-8 in Las Vegas, is the premier event for the commercial drone industry, focusing on the integration/operation of commercial UAS. The event will feature exhibits and demonstrations by UAS solutions providers, keynotes, panel discussions, presentations with interactive Q&A and chat, AI-powered networking, and more. Industries covered include Construction, Drone Delivery, Energy & Utilities, Forestry & Agriculture, Infrastructure & Transportation, Mining & Aggregates, Public Safety & Emergency Services, Security, and Surveying & Mapping. It is presented by Commercial UAV News and organized by Diversified Communications. Use code SAVE100 for a $100 discount.