If you are celebrating holidays, then happy holidays! On the Weekly Robotics front, I’m reorganizing a little bit and trying to find WR-work-life balance; hence, this issue comes a bit later and a little bit shorter than usual. As usual, the publication of the week section is manned by Rodrigo.
ROBOMINERS - Discover our journey
A consortium of multiple EU companies was working on an autonomous mining robot. The solution is made of many parts, including an analysis of rocks in search of elements, an analysis of the mined product, and the robot build. As is often the case for these kinds of projects, everything is in a prototype stage, but hopefully, there will be some follow-up projects resulting from this work!
Optimus - Gen 2
Tesla released a video of their humanoid showing progress since the last update.
From Text to Motion: Grounding GPT-4 in a Humanoid Robot “Alter3”
This research shows a humanoid robot torso being controlled by GPT-4. The results are interesting, with the robot capable of performing tasks from text description. Examples you will find on the linked page are “playing metal music,” “pretending the ghost,” and more. Some movements seem straight from the uncanny valley, but the results are impressive nonetheless.
Publication of the Week - Motion Planning and Control of Hybrid Flying-Crawling Quadrotors
We’ve covered an entire family of different robots, from subaquatic to terrestrial to flying, and all mix between these three. This paper presents a flying-crawling quadrotor. The robot has four motors that are enabled when in flying mode, but when in crawling mode, only the rear motors are used, and a timing belt transfers the torque to the front wheels, making it four-wheel drive. The authors created a path-search method to take the most out of this hybrid quad robot and also developed a motion state machine to change modes of locomotion during missions. You can check the video of the system in action.
Cruise lays off 900 employees, 24% of robotaxi workforce
“Cruise, the self-driving car unit of GM, continues to face troubles. Cruse president and CTO Mo ElShenawy sent an email to employees this morning informing them that the company is laying off 24% of its workforce, or 900 employees. Before the cuts, Cruise had 3,800 employees”.
German Bionic raises $16.3M for powered exoskeletons
“German Bionic, a developer of electrically powered exoskeletons, raised more than $16.3 million in an expanded Series A funding round. The funding is part of the company’s plan to intensify its relationship with its industrialization partner, Mubea”.