As usual, the publication of the week section is manned by Rodrigo.
Thoughts on ROSCon 2023
I created a short write-up on my experience taking part in ROSCon 2023 and attending some presentations and two workshops (Reachability analysis and ros2_control). I’m not the only one who summed up my experience. Michael Ferguson also wrote about his experience and has some excellent advice. I highly recommend his piece!
Open-source diff drive robot ROS 2 compatible
“Andino is a fully open-source diff drive robot designed for educational purposes and low-cost applications. It is fully integrated with ROS 2 and it is a great base platform to improve skills over the robotics field. With its open-source design, anyone can modify and customize the robot to suit their specific needs”.
Cruise Suspends Robotaxi Operations, What They Must Do To Fix It
Recently, Cruise was ordered to suspend customer operations by the California DMV. This article by Brad Templeton is a great analysis of the situation that compares it to various other manufacturers of self-driving vehicles and includes a list of things Cruise will have to do to fix their operation.
Autonomous Vehicles 2023, Part I
Since we are on the topic of autonomous cars and Cruise, Rodney Brooks started a series of blog posts discussing this technology. In the second part, the author discusses what he thought was a close call while being a passenger in a self-driving car.
A Delivery Robot burned down a restaurant in Poland
Here is a not-so-fun story from Poland - a delivery robot worth approximately $10,000 has caught fire and burned down a restaurant, causing significant damage. If I hear more about the root cause of the incident, I’ll let you know my bet would be on LiPos or motor controllers, but I’m happy to be proven otherwise.
State of the art in LLMs + Robotics - 2023
Keith Chester, a reader of this newsletter, published an excellent write-up on the current state of the Large Language Models in robotics. The article contains lots of background information and a description of some interesting papers.
Roombas at the Edge of the Earth
I really enjoyed this story of some Roombas who are employed at the South Pole. There are dramas, thrills, and a story of “star-crossed lovers, forever separated by the impenetrable barrier of the staircase”. I found this story strangely enjoyable, and I highly recommend it!
2023 ROS 2 Technical Steering Committee Community Representative Election Results
The results for the ROS 2 Technical Steering Committee are in! We will have some solid representatives.
Publication of the Week - Online Self-Supervised Thermal Water Segmentation for Aerial Vehicles
As one of the Agri-Robotics IROS Best Papers, this article presents a method for water segmentation using a thermal camera in an online self-supervised manner. Most water segmentation works with RGB cameras that don’t work well at night. The model uses information from three sources: an RGB-pretrained CNN model, texture and motion differences between land and water, and an IMU-based horizon line. These factors combined to create a consistent algorithm, which you can access within this GitHub repository.