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by   -   July 30, 2021

The first Reddit Robotics Showcase will take place online this weekend (31st July – 1 August). Multitude of projects underway in the r/robotics reddit community will be showcased. There will be nearly 30 presentations from members of the r/robotics community, ranging from hobbyists, professionals, academics, industrial, students, etc. across four different categories: simulation, mobile robots, manipulation, and legged robots.

by   -   July 23, 2021

As robots become more affordable and feasible technically, the challenge of designing robots that act in accordance with context-specific social norms becomes increasingly pronounced. Researchers in human-robot interaction and roboethics have attempted to resolve this issue for the past few decades, and while progress has been made, there is an urgent need to address the ethical implications of service robots in practice. As an attempt to take a more solution-focused path for these challenges, we are happy to share a completely new competition.

For the first time an autonomously flying quadrotor has outperformed two human pilots in a drone race. The success is based on a novel algorithm that was developed by researchers of the University of Zurich. It calculates time-optimal trajectories that fully consider the drones’ limitations.

by   -   July 20, 2021

This is a hard question to answer because many people (or their companies) specialize in one tool or another. Some simulators are better at one aspect of robotics than at others. When I’m asked to recommend the best simulation tool for robotics I have to find an expert and hope that they are current and across a wide range of simulation tools in order to give me the best advice, which was why I took particular note of the recent review paper from Australia’s CSIRO, “A Review of Physics Simulators for Robotics Applications”.

A commonly shared dream by engineers and fire & rescue services, would be to have swarms of such drones help in search-and-rescue scenarios, for instance to localize gas leaks without endangering human lives. Tiny drones are ideal for such tasks, since they are small enough to navigate in narrow spaces, safe, agile, and very inexpensive. In this article, we show how we tackled the complex problem of swarm gas source localization in cluttered environments by using a simple bug algorithm with evolved parameters, and then tested it onboard a fully autonomous swarm of tiny drones.

The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan has introduced the AI-Based High Density Shuttle Rack System (SRS). This smart storage system, which operates without manpower in thousands of square meters of space, uses Artificial Intelligence to make warehousing decisions.

The Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) hosted their first virtual conference last Wednesday, the 30th of June. With over 50 talks, the conference was a gathering of top robotics researchers, business leaders and PhD/post-doctoral students showcasing cutting-edge research. In their four dedicated tracks, speakers covered a wide range of topics such as unmanned aerial vehicles, soft robotics, assistive technologies, human-robot interaction, robot safety & ethics, or swarm robotics, among others. Moreover, there were two panels discussing the future of robotics, and smart automation & startups.

by   -   July 6, 2021

Softbank Robotics Europe, the group behind two of the more recognizable robots, is laying off 40% of its workforce. On July 7, the developer of the famous Nao and Pepper robots will reduce its Paris-based workforce that had 330 employees as of March 2021.

Texas A&M’s Robin Murphy has deployed robots at 29 disasters, including three building collapses, two mine disasters and an earthquake as director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue. She has also served as a technical search specialist with the Hillsboro County (Florida) Fire and Rescue Department. The Conversation talked to Murphy to provide readers an understanding of the types of technologies that search and rescue crews at the Champlain Towers South disaster site in Surfside, Florida, have at their disposal, as well as some they don’t.

A team of researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found a way to embed synthetic biology reactions into fabrics, creating wearable biosensors that can be customized to detect pathogens and toxins and alert the wearer.

The Learning for Caregiving Robots workshop at IEEE ICRA 2021 discussed how learning can enable robotic systems towards achieving consistently efficient and safe human assistance across activities of daily living (ADLs). Here we bring you the recordings of the workshop, including talks from the nine invited speakers and two panel discussions.


Results from the DOTS competition were released yesterday, after an intense month with teams from around the world designing new algorithms for robot swarms tasked with delivering emergency food parcels.

Farming robots that can move autonomously in an open field or greenhouse promise a cleaner, safer agricultural future. But there are also potential downsides, from the loss of much-needed jobs to the safety of those working alongside the robots. To ensure that the use of autonomous robots on farms creates more benefits than losses, a process of responsible development is required. Society as a whole needs to be involved in setting the trajectories for future farming.

by   -   June 21, 2021

For five years, the EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS) Network have been holding the UK Robotics Week. This year’s edition kicked off on the 19th of June as the UK Festival of Robotics with the aim of boosting public engagement in robotics and intelligent systems. The festival features online events, special competitions, and interactive activities for robot enthusiasts of all ages. Among them, we chose to recommend you the ‘Robot Lab Live’ session that will take place online on Wednesday the 23rd of June, 4pm – 6pm (BST).

Did you have the chance to attend the 2021 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2021)? Here we bring you the papers that received an award this year in case you missed them. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists!



Autonomous Aircraft by Xwing
July 12, 2021


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