Frankenimage

From David Stolarsky:

The goal of Frankenimage is to reconstruct input (target) images with pieces of images from a large image database (the database images).

Frankenimage is deliberately in contrast with traditional photomosaics. In traditional photomosaics, more often than not, the database images that are composed together to make up the target image are so small as to be little more than glorified pixels. Frankenimage aims instead for component database images to be as large as possible in the final composition, taking advantage of structure in each database image, instead of just its average color. In this way, database images retain their own meaning, allowing for real artistic juxtaposition to be achieved between target and component images... (full description and pseudo code)

Monoprice's $699.99 Dual Extrusion Printer

From Monoprice:

$699. Quickly sold out though. New stock ETA 5/25/2015 (monoprice order page)

Artoo: Ruby on Robots

From Artoo, a ruby framework, that supports 15 platforms including ARrone, Crazyflie, Sphero, and Arduino:

Modular Example

require 'artoo/robot'

SPHEROS = ["4567", "4568", "4569", "4570", "4571"]

class SpheroRobot < Artoo::Robot
  connection :sphero, :adaptor => :sphero
  device :sphero, :driver => :sphero

  work do
    every(3.seconds) do
      sphero.roll 90, rand(360)
    end
  end
end

robots = []
SPHEROS.each {|p|
  robots << SpheroRobot.new(:connections => 
                              {:sphero => 
                                {:port => p}})
}

SpheroRobot.work!(robots)

more information (here) and at (github)

What You Wanted To Know About AI

Run down of the state of AI from FastML:

Let’s take a look at how advanced we are, really. Two representative and well known examples of the current state of the art are:

  • Automatic image annotation using a combination of convolutional and recurrent neural networks
  • DeepMind’s deep reinforcement learning for playing Atari games

(cont'd at FastML)

Runt Rover Robot Kits from Actobotics

From Servocity:

 Simply mount your electronics using our innovative multi-board mounts that are compatible with a variety of micro-controllers; such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino and the SparkFun Redboard. The Runt Rovers™ are perfect for beginning light programming and educational applications... (Servocity available options)

Robotnik's Mobile Manipulator RB-1

From Smashing Robotics:

Spanish company Robotnik introduced earlier this week their very own RB-1 mobile manipulator. The robot is designed for indoor use in household as well as professional environments, and is brought to life by using well known Dynamixel Pro series servo actuators which add up to 13 degrees of freedom (DOF), depending on variant. It is well suited for remote manipulation or human assistance applications and can be fully autonomous or manually controlled... (full article) (datasheet)

ROBOCHOP: Interactive Installation Allows Internet Users Worldwide to Remotely Control a Pop-up Robotic Plant

From Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram:

From March 16-20, 2015 internet users and visitors to CODE_n (Hall 16) at CeBit in Hanover will be able to use an online app connected to the ROBOCHOP installation to design and fabricate a piece of furniture in real time.

The ROBOCHOP interface lets participants instruct a robotic arm to grab and sculpt a prefabricated 40 x 40 x 40cm durable foam cube using a floor mounted hot wire tool to create the object of their choice.

The pop-up robotic plant has been conceptualised, coded and built by KRAM/WEISSHAAR. ROBOCHOP features a needle gripper as the robot’s hand, coaxial cooling of the cutting wire and sensors to measure the wire’s tension and provide direct feedback to the system. This harnesses the robot’s brute force and allows it to sculpt hundreds of unique objects consecutively with elegance and precision. Once manufacturing is complete, each custom object is packaged and posted to the user anywhere in the world entirely free of charge... (full release) (homepage)

 

Beating Super Hexagon With Computer Vision

Two great examples of using Computer Vision to beat Super Hexagon.

Super Hexagon is a really hard game. The goal of Super Hexagon is to control a small triangle which circles around a central hexagon (which occasionally collapses into a pentagon or square in the hexagon and hyper hexagon difficulty) attempting to avoid contact with incoming "walls". 

First example from Valentin Trimaille's Super Hexagon bot:

Ray Casting Wall Detection

The point is that a bot for this game makes a really nice image processing project to start learning OpenCV: simple shapes but lots of human disturbing effects, fast-paced game meaning real-time is required, very simple controls: rotate CW or CCW... (full article)

Second example from Shaun LeBron's  Super Hexagon Unwrapper:

This project is written in Python. It employs Computer Vision algorithms provided by SimpleCV to establish a reference frame in the image. Then it warps (or "unwraps") the image based on that reference frame, using OpenGL fragment shaders... (github code) (full explanation)

Yale OpenHand Project

From Yale's OpenHand Project:

This project intends to establish a series of open-source hand designs, and through the contributions of the open-source user community, result in a large number of useful design modifications and variations available to researchers.

Based on the original SDM Hand, the Model T is the OpenHand Project's first released hand design, initially introduced at ICRA 2013. the four underactuated fingers are differentially coupled through a floating pulley tree, allowing for equal force output on all finger contacts.

Based on our lab's work with iRobot and Harvard on the iHY hand, which won the DARPA ARM program, the Model O replicates the hand topology common to several commercial hands, including ones from Barrett, Robotiq, and Schunk (among others). A commercial version of this hand is currently for sale by RightHand Robotics... (homepage)

Stop Robot Abuse?


There is a word for this. Bullying.

Check out stoprobotabuse.com then read the hacker news comments. Finally go to the tumblr Help Stop Robot Abuse.

Robo.Op: Opening Industrial Robotics

From MADLAB.CC:

Robo.Op is an open hardware / open software platform for hacking industrial robots (IRs). Robo.Op makes it cheaper and easier to customize your IR for creative use, so you can explore the fringes of industrial robotics. The toolkit is made up of a modular physical prototyping platform, a simplified software interface, and a centralized hub for sharing knowledge, tools, and code... (homepage) (github)

 

Proposed FAA Commercial UAS Rules

From IEEE Spectrum:

  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).
  • Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the operator or visual observer.
  • At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close enough to the operator for the operator to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device other than corrective lenses.
  • Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons not directly involved in the operation.
  • Daylight-only operations (official sunrise to official sunset, local time).
  • Must yield right-of-way to other aircraft, manned or unmanned.
  • May use visual observer (VO) but not required.
  • First-person view camera cannot satisfy “see-and-avoid” requirement but can be used as long as requirement is satisfied in other ways.
  • Maximum airspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
  • Maximum altitude of 500 feet above ground level... (full article)

Minibuilders

From iaac:

Minibuilders was conceptualized as a community of three modestly sized robots which were tasked with very specific jobs that aggregated to a large scale operation.

Each robot completes its programmed job in sequence to fully construct an automated, inhabitable structure... (full article)

Boston Dynamics' Spot

From Boston Dynamics' Youtube page:

Spot is a four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. Spot has a sensor head that helps it navigate and negotiate rough terrain. Spot weighs about 160 lbs.

At this time Boston Dynamics hasn't released any additional info.

 

The Art of Electronics Third Edition Coming In April

From Paul Horowitz & Winfield Hill:

3rd Edition Description

At long last, here is the thoroughly revised and updated third edition of the hugely successful Art of Electronics. It is widely accepted as the best single authoritative book on electronic circuit design. In addition to new or enhanced coverage of many topics, the Third Edition includes: 90 oscilloscope screenshots illustrating the behavior of working circuits; dozens of graphs giving highly useful measured data of the sort that's often buried or omitted in datasheets but which you need when designing circuits; 80 tables (listing some 1650 active components), enabling intelligent choice of circuit components by listing essential characteristics (both specified and measured) of available parts. The new Art of Electronics ​​retains the feeling of informality and easy access that helped make the earlier editions so successful and popular. It is an indispensable reference and the gold standard​​ for anyone, student or researcher, professional or amateur, who works with electronic circuits.

  • Over 450,000 copies sold of first and second editions
  • The leading practical guide to circuit design
  • Fully up to date and packed with valuable advice

Preorder at amazon.

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