Welcome to the last issue of Weekly Robotics in 2023. This time of the year supports reflection. I’m very grateful to everyone subscribing to this work. If it wasn’t for you (and currently, there are nearly 14,000 of you!) I could not send out this newsletter week after week with no missed issues since I started this project in 2018. Carving out time to work on the newsletter this year has been challenging at times, and the year 2024 will be the defining year for the future of this newsletter, but for now, onwards and upwards! As usual, the publication of the week section is manned by Rodrigo.
Researchers at ETH Zurich created a robotic system to beat a labyrinth board game where ones control the board tilt using two knobs and guide a ball to the destination. You will find a video on the website showing the system in action (it does well!). Unfortunately, the project’s GitHub repository is empty, but I’m looking forward to the released version.
Announcing DataTamer beta: a fearless logging library
Davide Faconti released DataTamer, a library that simplifies logging for robotics applications. According to the linked blog post, taking a snapshot of 1000 variables adds a delay as low as 10 microseconds in the code. I’m looking forward to start using this library in the future!
Video Friday: Happy Holidays!
Evan from IEEE Spectrum prepared a compilation of holiday robotic videos. Take a look if you want to remain in the holiday spirit for as long as possible.
Building a full scale flying Delorean Part 1: Making the bodywork
Back in issue #265, we featured Brian’s project where he turned a ginormous manipulator into a CNC router. Now, Brian is back and is using his invention to create a model of a Delorean out of EPS foam.
Autonomous Vehicles 2023, Part III
Rodney Brooks had wrapped up his series, describing his experience as a passenger of Cruise vehicles. You can find the previous articles in the series on this page.
Publication of the Week - RI Seminar: Dr. Robert Ambrose : Robots at the Johnson Space Center and Future Plans
Let’s finish the year with one of my favorite rolling series, another seminar from the robotics institute at CMU. Dr. Robert Ambrose, a former NASA robotics executive, showcases his 21-year legacy around robots in space. His work goes from making gym equipment for astronauts to the various versions of Robonaut and the Valkyrie humanoid robot. There is no more to say other than to watch the whole video, but at this minute is one of the most unusual ways I saw a wheeled robot take advantage of a steer and active suspension system to get unstuck.