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:
Last Chance: Save $200 On HiFi AI-Enabled 3D Sensor
HiFi's Kickstarter campaign ends December 14th at 8AM PST/5PM CET! Once the campaign is complete, HiFi's campaign pricing of $349 ($200 off MSRP) will be over. HiFi moves 3D sensing forward with 1.6MP super-sampled depth, 8 TOPS of AI power plus 16Gb of memory, USB-C plus gigabit ethernet, and Tangram Vision self-calibration.
Teardown of Surgical Robot Instrument
Kyle Bartholomew created this video three years ago where he tears down a surgical robot instrument by Intuitive Surgical. The instrument uses a set of metal rods and pulleys to allow control in many degrees of freedom. An interesting fact I learned from this video is that these end-effectors are disposable and that they get thrown out after ten uses (and because of that, you can buy them relatively cheaply online).
Zsolt Kira created an awesome list of papers using LLMs for robotics. I love the format and that the author provides easily accessible links to various resources. This list has been added to our Awesome Weekly Robotics list.
Robotics Q&A with Boston Dynamics’ Aaron Saunders
Tech Crunch started a series of interviews with roboticists (see the article’s opening for the previous three interviews). This time, Brian Heater is interviewing Aaron Saunders, the CTO of Boston Dynamics.
Welding and the Automation Frontier
Brian Potter from Construction Physics created this interesting write-up on the history of welding automation, including an analysis of the job market for welders and welding machine operators.
ANYMal’s Wheel-Hand-Leg-Arms Open Doors Convincingly
Folks from the Robotics System Lab at ETH Zurich use ‘curiosity driven’ learning to teach a wheeled ANYmal robot to open doors and manipulate objects. Cool stuff!
What is going on with Mars Sample Return?
In this article, Case Handmer offers his thoughts on the state of the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission based on this interview. Long story short, things are looking grim for the mission.
Publication of the Week - Snake Robot with Tactile Perception Navigates on Large-scale Challenging Terrain
Snake robots are becoming more real, and as much as I’m not a snake fan, I like the robotics versions. This paper presents a snake robot that not only has 11 actuated joints but also can sense the forces in the environment with tactile sensors. The authors use hierarchical reinforcement learning (HRL) to control the snake robot, taking into account the tactile information. With this, the snake can better adapt to different terrains and improve their gates, consequently taking less time to transverse a path.
Gecko Robotics raises $100M Series C extension, adds board members to intensify defense focus - The Robot Report
„Gecko Robotics Inc., which has developed software and robots to help maintain and build critical infrastructure, today announced an extension of its Series C funding. The Pittsburgh-based company has raised a total of $173 million in this round.”
Intuitive Ventures raises $150M for minimally invasive care startups - The Robot Report
„Intuitive Ventures closed a $150 million funding round to support early-stage minimally invasive care companies.”