I’ll be at ROSCon this year! The following newsletter issue may be delayed depending on my travels. If you are also attending the event, let me know, and let’s try to grab a coffee! As usual, the publication of the week section is manned by Rodrigo.
„The OpenPodcar is an affordable and open source hardware and software platform for self-driving car research. It can be used for general autonomous vehicle research as well as for human-robot interaction (HRI) studies and practical automated transportation of people and goods”. For more details about this work, check out this paper.
Our Battlebot fight! (Orbitron VS Roundhouse)
Last week, I shared the Hacksmith Industries videos of their team helping students build a Battlebot. This video shows the preparation for the fight, some last-minute fixes, and the battle itself. I can appreciate how stressful preparing for this event gets, especially when your team is experiencing hardware issues.
Building a String Art Machine
The other day, Roland shared this video on our WR Slack, and I absolutely loved it! Some excellent (over)engineering effort went into making this machine.
ROS 2 Alternative middleware report - General - ROS Discourse
I might have featured in an earlier discussion where ROS 2 maintainers sought feedback about the DDS options. This report highlights what the team has considered so far, and it looks like there will be a Zenoth-based middleware in the next ROS distro that should hopefully be more beginner-friendly.
I love these exercises in control theory. I used to look for easy ways to practice PID control for junior engineers and could never find them until now. This website will make for a great resource! I added this resource to awesome Weekly Robotics, so if you forget to bookmark it, worry not - it won’t be that difficult to find it again.
Publication of the Week - Realtime Motion Generation with Active Perception Using Attention Mechanism for Cooking Robot (2023)
Cooking a perfect scrambled egg isn’t an easy task, even for robots. This paper presents a cooking robot capable of perceiving and stirring scrambled eggs to cook them in even parts without raw or burned parts. The humanoid robot has a dual arm with a 7 DOF setup and a RealSense for its perception. By learning from demonstration, the robot cooked scrambled eggs within the specifications 90% of the time. Here is a video with more details and the cooking in action.
Publication of the Week - Open Source Robot Localization for Non-Planar Environments (2023)
Researchers from the Intelligent Robotics Lab at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos started implementing 3D state estimation and localization in Nav2 with promising results. The team is using gridmaps and octomaps to encode the elevation data. I really appreciate a flame graph showing the software’s profile (spoiler alert: Octomap’s ray casting is the most expensive function).