Hitchbot is Halfway Across its Canadian Journey

From hitchBOT's page:

I am hitchBOT — a robot from Port Credit, Ontario.

I am traveling from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia this summer. As you may have guessed, robots cannot get driver’s licences yet, so I’ll be hitchhiking my entire way... (cont'd)

Nvidia Jetson TK1 Development Kit

Features ($192 ):

  • Tegra K1 SOC
    • Kepler GPU with 192 CUDA cores
    • 4-Plus-1 quad-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU
  • 2 GB x16 memory with 64 bit width
  • 16 GB 4.51 eMMC memory
  • 1 Half mini-PCIE slot
  • 1 Full size SD/MMC connector
  • 1 Full-size HDMI port
  • 1 USB 2.0 port, micro AB
  • 1 USB 3.0 port, A
  • 1 RS232 serial port
  • 1 ALC5639 Realtek Audio codec with Mic in and Line out
  • 1 RTL8111GS Realtek GigE LAN
  • 1 SATA data port
  • SPI 4MByte boot flash

Dr. Dobbs has an in depth look here.

Ino: Command Line Toolkit for Arduino Hardware

Ino tools webpage:

Ino is a command line toolkit for working with Arduino hardware

It allows you to:

  • Quickly create new projects
  • Build a firmware from multiple source files and libraries
  • Upload the firmware to a device
  • Perform serial communication with a device (aka serial monitor)

Ino may replace Arduino IDE UI if you prefer to work with command line and an editor of your choice or if you want to integrate Arduino build process to 3-rd party IDE.

Ino is based on make to perform builds. However Makefiles are generated automatically and you’ll never see them if you don’t want to.

Features

  • Simple. No build scripts are necessary.
  • Out-of-source builds. Directories with source files are not cluttered with intermediate object files.
  • Support for *.ino and *.pde sketches as well as raw *.c and *.cpp.
  • Support for Arduino Software versions 1.x as well as 0.x.
  • Automatic dependency tracking. Referred libraries are automatically included in the build process. Changes in *.h files lead to recompilation of sources which include them.
  • Pretty colorful output.
  • Support for all boards that are supported by Arduino IDE.
  • Fast. Discovered tool paths and other stuff is cached across runs. If nothing has changed, nothing is build.
  • Flexible. Support for simple ini-style config files to setup machine-specific info like used Arduino model, Arduino distribution path, etc just once.

(Homepage)

 

REMUS SharkCam: The Hunter and the Hunted

From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Vimeo page:

In 2013, a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution took a specially equipped REMUS "SharkCam" underwater vehicle to Guadalupe Island in Mexico to film great white sharks in the wild. They captured more than they bargained for.

Additional article in Oceanus Magazine.

Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again In 2 Minutes

From Medium:

Today, Antoine Cully at the Sorbonne University in Paris and a couple of pals say they’ve developed a technique that allows a damaged robot to learn how to walk again in just a few seconds. They say their work has important consequences for the reliability and robustness of future robots and may also provide some insight into the way that animals adapt to injury as well... (cont'd)

JIBO

From JIBO's Indiegogo campaign:

Friendly, helpful and intelligent. From social robotics pioneer Dr. Cynthia Breazeal.

OpenFPV

From Tilman Griesel's posts on DIY Drones:

Open source project to make FPV(first person view) with the raspberry pi easy to use for every one.

OpenFPV is a project that uses latest technology to provide low latency, easy and well tested open source FPV flying. Based on single-board computers, HD cameras and IEEE 802.11. 

Current Features:

  • Recording
  • Web interface
  • Low-Latency H264 Streaming (≈120ms)
  • RESTful API
  • Customizable
  • Extendable
  • Installer (in progress)
  • Minimal bettery consumption

Roadmap:

  • Invite more people to join the development team
  • Complete the installer
  • More field tests with different setups
  • Create desktop applications for mac/win with HUD support
  • Add OculusVR support

Release is not available yet but you can follow the progress on DIY Drones or the OpenFPV homepage.

Quoc Le's Lectures on Deep Learning

Gaurav Trivedi has put together a landing page with all of Quoc Le’s recent lecture series and accompanying resources:

Dr. Quoc Le from the Google Brain project team (yes, the one that made headlines for creating a cat recognizer) presented a series of lectures at the Machine Learning Summer School (MLSS ’14) in Pittsburgh this week. This is my favorite lecture series from the event till now and I was glad to be able to attend them... (cont'd with all videos)

Parallella: $119 Parallel Computing Platform with 16-core Epiphany chip

Parallella Computer Specifications:

The Parallella platform is an open source, energy efficient, high performance, credit-card sized computer based on the Epiphany multicore chips developed by Adapteva. This affordable platform is designed for developing and implementing high performance, parallel processing applications developed to take advantage of the on-board Epiphany chip. The Epiphany 16 or 64 core chips consists of a scalable array of simple RISC processors programmable in C/C++ connected together with a fast on chip network within a single shared memory architecture... (cont'd)

A realtime raytracing example running on the 16-core Epiphany chip:

Raspberry Pi Model B+

From Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi Founder:

This isn’t a “Raspberry Pi 2″, but rather the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi. Today, I’m very pleased to be able to announce the immediate availability, at $35 – it’s still the same price, of what we’re calling the Raspberry Pi Model B+.

The Model B+ uses the same BCM2835 application processor as the Model B. It runs the same software, and still has 512MB RAM; but James and the team have made the following key improvements:

  • More GPIO. The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins, while retaining the same pinout for the first 26 pins as the Model B.
  • More USB. We now have 4 USB 2.0 ports, compared to 2 on the Model B, and better hotplug and overcurrent behaviour.
  • Micro SD. The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version.
  • Lower power consumption. By replacing linear regulators with switching ones we’ve reduced power consumption by between 0.5W and 1W.
  • Better audio. The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply.
  • Neater form factor. We’ve aligned the USB connectors with the board edge, moved composite video onto the 3.5mm jack, and added four squarely-placed mounting holes... (cont'd)

Intro to Shape Memory Alloy Actuation Using Flexinol

From Jie Qi's projects page:

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are metals that change shape when heated up. They are wonderful actuators in that they are light, silent and can be "turned on" by simply running current through. The shape that they change to can also be set, though this process is a bit more tricky. Flexinol is a particular brand of nitinol, which is an SMA made of nickel and titanium, and is pre-set to contract about 10% of its original length when heated.

In my projects, I generally used the 0.006" to 0.01" diameter, High-Temp wires.

Since Flexinol draws a lot of current (about 300mA for the diameters I used), you need a strong power supply like a wall supply or a good lithium-ion battery. I've used from 3.7V up to 6V (any more and my Flexinol wires would start overheating). To turn the Flexinol on, I would simply short the ends of the wire to the power. For digital control, I used a standard MOSFET circuit which is a digital switch that can be turned on and off using a microcontroller... (cont'd)

BugJuggler: Project to build 70ft tall robot that juggles cars

Project Overview:

BugJuggler will use a diesel engine to generate hydraulic pressure. An operator located in the robot’s head will be able to control its motions using a haptic feedback interface connected to high-speed servo valves. Hydraulic accumulators - essentially storage batteries for hydraulic fluid - will allow for the rapid movement required for the robot to juggle cars or other large, heavy objects. 

The first stage of the BugJuggler project will be construction of a working 8ft tall single arm proof-of-principle juggler able to toss and catch a 250lb mass... (cont'd)

A Robot Valet Will Park Your Car at This German Airport

Last week, Düsseldorf airport (DUS) introduced robot valets to take the hassle out of parking for travelers. Travelers can leave their cars at the arrival level of the ParkingPLUS structure. As they leave, they confirm on a touch-screen that no one is in the car.

The robot valet, nicknamed "Ray," takes it from there. The robot measures the vehicle, picks it up with a forklift-like system, and takes it to the back area, where it will position it in one of the 249 parking spots reserved for automated valets.

The machine is capable of carrying standard cars weighing up to 3.31 tons. The robot valet is even connected to the airport's flight data system, and by checking customer trip data with the database, Ray knows when the customer will return for the vehicle. A traveler can note any itinerary changes in a parking app, which is available for iOS and Android.

Dissembling a 1980s Kuka Robot

Relaxing summertime viewing of a 80s era Kuka robot being taken apart and dissected (20 parts total).

Intel's 3-D Printed Robot "Jimmy"

From Wired:

Intel describes Jimmy as a research robot, but a less sophisticated version of the adorable droid will go on sale later this year for $1,600. The caveat is that you will have to 3D print your Jimmy. The 3D printing blueprints will be available without charge, but to construct the robot you will also need to purchase a kit from Intel that will contain all the parts of Jimmy that aren't printable, including motors and an Intel Edison processor.. (cont'd)

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