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 )

UAVs Emerging as Key Addition to Wildlife Conservation Research

Automatic object detection is software that can automatically identify animals or poachers. This would enable tasks such as counting animals to become completely automated.

Using UAVs For Environmental Research

An Interview with Dr Paul Scholefield, Large Scale Ecosystem Modeller at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

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 )

Precision Farming Expo 2015

This year attendees can expect to see a lot of Ag focused drone systems and also enjoy interfacing with the people making them but that is not all. Our focus this year is on the "Drones, Data, Droids and Dirt."

Regulating the UAV Industry: Current Status and Future Trends

Current UAV regulation is not a cause for concern as is so often suggested. Regulations for commercial UAV usage are fit for purpose and are likely to become more relaxed as UAV technology evolves.

Robotics Engineers: What are the salary levels & who is hiring?

The below salary charts for robotics engineers shows the highest salary levels for robotics engineers in New York & San Francisco at approx. $110,000.

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 )

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)

Communicating Cars the Future?

If uninterrupted conversations between cars make driving safer, then self-driving cars will become safer as well.

European Research Consortium Collaborates to Develop Unmanned Robot to Manage Vineyards

A European research consortium comprising Spanish, French, Italian and German universities and companies is working on the development of an unmanned robot, equipped with non-invasive advanced sensors and artificial intelligence systems, which will help manage vineyards.

Robots Explore Dangerous Mines with Novel Sensor Fusion Technology

The 3D Riegl scanning laser range finder and an Acumine 2D scanning millimeter wave radar were transported on Husky and used to record video footage and densely sampled data sets. The data is being submitted to the International Journal of Robotics Research to ensure that this insight and information is available to the robotics community.

My 2015 Predictions: Big Deployments, Big Ideas and Big Problems Solved

I see three exciting and significant trends taking place right now that I think will begin to gain some very real traction in 2015.

3-D Human Tissue Printing

The bioprinting revolution could eventually begin to deliver "tissue on demand." This might not be the cure-all; but for many patients, it might prove to be life-changing.

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MiR200 – Autonomous Mobile Cobot

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