Response by Ray Kurzweil to the announcement of chatbot passing the Turing test

From Ray Kurzweil's blog: In my 2004 book The Singularity Is Near, I anticipated that there would be premature announcements of this kind: The Singularity Is Near, page 295 | Turing was carefully imprecise in setting the rules for his test, and significant literature has been devoted to the subtleties of establishing the exact procedures for determining how to assess when the Turing test has been passed. In 2002 I negotiated the rules for a Turing test wager with Mitch Kapor on the Long Now website... ( cont'd )

Tessel: A Microcontroller That Runs JavaScript

From tessel.io : Tessel is a microcontroller that runs JavaScript. It's Node-compatible and ships with Wifi built in. Use it to easily make physical devices that connect to the web. Programmable via JavaScript 14 different hardware modules for added capabilities Compatible with 10,000's of Node.js packages on NPM Deploy over USB or remotely by WiFi   180mhz ARM Cortex-M3 LPC1830 32mb SDRAM 32mb Flash TI CC3000 WiFi radio 20-pin GPIO bank for general prototyping Micro USB or battery power Starting at $99 (controller and one module)

Open-source 3D Printed Life-size Robot

From InMoov's homepage: Gael Langevin is a French modelmaker and sculptor. He works for the biggest brands since more than 25 years. InMoov is his personal project, it was initiated in January 2012 InMoov is the first Open Source 3D printed life-size robot. Replicable on any home 3D printer with a 12x12x12cm area, it is conceived as a development platform for Universities, Laboratories, Hobbyist, but first of all for Makers. It’s concept, based on sharing and community, gives him the honor to be reproduced for countless projects through out the world... ( cont'd )

Algorithm that harnesses data from a new sensor could make autonomous robots more nimble.

MIT paper from Andrea Censi and Davide Scaramuzza: The agility of a robotic system is ultimately limited by the speed of its processing pipeline. The use of a Dynamic Vision Sensors (DVS), a sensor producing asynchronous events as luminance changes are perceived by its pixels, makes it possible to have a sensing pipeline of a theoretical latency of a few microseconds. However, several challenges must be overcome: a DVS does not provide the grayscale value but only changes in the luminance; and because the output is composed by a sequence of events, traditional frame-based visual odometry methods are not applicable. This paper presents the first visual odometry system based on a DVS plus a normal CMOS camera to provide the absolute brightness values. The two sources of data are automatically spatiotemporally calibrated from logs taken during normal operation. We design a visual odometry method that uses the DVS events to estimate the relative displacement since the previous CMOS frame by processing each event individually. Experiments show that the rotation can be estimated with surprising accuracy, while the translation can be estimated only very noisily, because it produces few events due to very small apparent motion ... ( full paper )

Leap Motion V2 Tracking

From Leap Motion's developer blog : V2 retains the speed and positional accuracy found in V1, but the software also now tracks the actual joints and bones inside each of the user’s fingers. This leads to some immediate benefits over V1: Finger and hand labels – every finger, hand, and joint now has anatomical labels like ‘pinky’, ‘left hand’, and ‘proximal phalanges’ Occlusion robustness – fingers are tracked even when they’re not seen by the controller, as might happen if you turned your hands completely vertically or intertwined the fingers of your left and right hands Massively improved resistance to ambient infrared light – sunlight, powerful halogens, etc. Much more granular data for developers about the user’s hands and fingers – 27 dimensions per hand, in addition to special parameters like grab/pinch APIs

VoCore: A Coin-sized Linux Computer With Wifi

VoCore Indiegogo Campaign: VoCore is a coin-sized Linux computer with wifi. It is also able to work as a full functional router. It runs OpenWrt on top of Linux. It contains 32MB SDRAM, 8MB SPI Flash and using RT5350(360MHz MIPS) as its heart. It provides many interfaces such as 10/100M Ethernet, USB, UART, I2C, I2S, PCM, JTAG and over 20 GPIOs but its size is less than one square inch... ( $20 USD for single unit )

Printed Hand With An Opposable Thumb

From  Chiprobot on Let's Make Robots :

DARwIn-mini

Available now at Maker Shed for $499 : If you haven't checked out the amazing capabilities of the  DARwIn-OP Deluxe Edition , you should! DARwIn-Mini is the younger, but no less amazing, sibling of this award winning robot. DARwIn-Mini is Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence from Korea-based ROBOTIS kits, famed for their transformability and stunning humanoid designs. Custom controller based on the 32-bit ARM Cortex M3 3D files of the robot’s parts at Thingverse

3D Video Capture With Three Kinects

From Doc-Ok.org: Video from a capture space consisting of one Oculus Rift head-mounted display and three Kinect 3D cameras set up in an equilateral triangle, with each Kinect approximately 2m from the center point. The resulting 3D video data is merged with a virtual 3D model of an office environment... (cont'd)

Parrot Bebop

From Parrot's official announcement today: Today, after 5 years of development, we are excited to introduce you Parrot Bebop Drone, a ultra-light drone with a full HD camera digitally stabilized on its 3-axis. Chris Anderson's and DIYDrones first look IEEE Spectrum coverage Press release pdf  

Open Source Firmware for RC Radio Transmitters

From OpenTX: OpenTX is open source firmware for RC radio transmitters. The firmware is highly configurable and brings much more features than found in traditional radios... ( cont'd )

Thumbles: Robotic Tabletop User Interface Platform

From  Pattenstudio : Thumbles is an interactive tabletop system based on a group of tiny robots that users can grasp and manipulate. Each robot can represent anything from character in a video game to a molecule in a scientific visualization. The system combines the versatility of a graphical interface with the tactile advantages of physical controls.

Robot Orders a Scone in Mountain View, California

Using the Anybot QB Avatar to order a scone from Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View, CA.

Golang Powered Robotics

From Gobot's homepage: Gobot is a framework and set of libraries in the Go programming language for robotics, physical computing, and the Internet of Things... ( cont'd )

UBR-1 Available for Purchase

From Unbounded Robotics: Beginning today, UBR-1 is available for purchase. To order your own state-of-the-art mobile manipulation platform please contact sales@unboundedrobotics.com. The majority of requests we have had to date have been for the UBR-1 pro model, so we have decided to focus on and ship only one model. The cost of the UBR-1 is $50,000 and will include the newest Hokuyo UST-20LX scanning laser. UBR-1 now offers a higher maximum speed, a state of the art laser scanner, more RAM, and a larger hard drive capacity. In addition to the UBR-1 we are happy to announce that we will also be offering a ROS Ready Computer Package to make setting up your robot even easier. This package includes a computer with Ubuntu and ROS pre-installed, and a wireless router pre-configured to connect your robot and computer. We are planning to start shipping robots to their destinations in late August... ( cont'd )

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Mechatronic Motion Solutions from Festo is a unique system of components, modules, and software. It integrates all types of pneumatic, servopneumatic and (electro)mechanical automation motion and combines them according to your task. Irrespective of the control system environment you use, Mechatronic Motion Solutions always provides the appropriate interfaces. The fingers can be actively moved and their strength amplified; the operator's hand movements are registered and transmitted to the robotic hand in real time. The objectives are to enhance the strength and endurance of the human hand, to extend humans' scope of action and to secure them an independent lifestyle even at an advanced age.