Recent Blog Posts

12 Sep 2014 shimniok   » (Journeyer)

Back to Linux Mint... 13

I installed Linux Mint 17 and have switched back and forth between Mint 14 and 17 for awhile due to instability in 17. I'm using the same home directory I had on Mint 14 which might explain it.

Yesterday, Thunderbird and Chrome kept repeatedly crashing until I logged out and back in again.

The entire computer hung at another point; I couldn't log in remotely, move the mouse, do anything with the keyboard (numlock etc).

At another point, the kernel reported some kind of error/crash/panic/something--can't remember as I was juggling several things at once.

And a few weeks ago, video was going wonky after waking from sleep (I believe they've gotten this known issue fixed since then)...


I fully expect all of these issues to be resolved in the coming months. Meanwhile, I really need two things. First, a stable Linux environment. Second, a supported environment so I can install and update packages, like Festival speech synthesis.

So Mint 17 is gone, replaced with Mint 13 LTS (Long Term Support), based on Ubuntu 12.04; it will be supported until April 2017.

Mint 13 appears to be rock solid so far, zero issues. There are some under-the-covers differences; I couldn't change desktop settings until I nuked the newer config directories. Minor issue. I may be stuck with older versions of some packages, we'll see. And Nemo file explorer didn't come out until Mint 14, but that's ok.

In another month or so I'll give Mint 17 another go and if it's not behaving better I'll try to spend some time reporting bugs.

Syndicated 2014-09-12 14:31:00 (Updated 2014-09-16 00:07:18) from Michael Shimniok

5 Sep 2014 mwaibel   » (Master)

Robots: M-Blocks

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews John Romanishin from MIT, about his project 'M-Blocks'. M-Blocks are small cubes with no exterior moving parts that can propel themselves forward, jump on top of each other, and snap together to form arbitrary shapes.

Syndicated 2014-09-05 07:00:00 from Robots - The Podcast for News and Views on Robotics

5 Aug 2014 svo   » (Master)

Больше бит с VGA-разъема Altera DE1

Увеличение аналогового разрешения композитного видеовыхода на плате Altera DE1.

Increasing analog resolution of VGA-connector based CVBS output on Altera DE1.

Aumentando resolución analógica de la salida de video compuesto de Altera DE1.

Syndicated 2014-08-05 22:20:29 from svo's interactive persuasion vehicle

20 Jul 2014 Flanneltron   » (Journeyer)

Cognitive Abstraction Manifolds

A few days ago I started thinking about abstractions whilst reading Surfaces and Essences, a recent book by Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander. I suspect efforts like Surfaces and Essences, which traverse vast and twisted terrains across cognitive science, are probably underrated as scientific contributions. But first, let me briefly introduce the idea-triggering tome. Surfaces […]

Syndicated 2014-07-20 02:14:57 from SynapticNulship

3 Jul 2014 jmhenry   » (Journeyer)

Ladybird autonomous robot to help out down on the farm

Agricultural robots are beginning to come into their own. This article on the “Ladybird” robot explains how one type of machine is being developed to help farmers conduct a host of operations on many types of crops. This “bug” won’t...

Syndicated 2014-07-03 03:19:24 from RobotNext

3 Jul 2014 steve   » (Master)

Shadow Show

Shadow Show

Shadow Show

Shadow Show, edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle, describes itself as “All-new stories in celebration of Ray Bradbury”. I’ve been a fan of Bradbury’s fiction most of my life. Friends from my high school days may remember me sitting under the bleachers during Pep Rallies reading “R is for Rocket” or wandering the hallways with a copy of “Fahrenheit 451″. I most liked his early work; stories like Frost and Fire or The City. They blended conventional science fiction with Bradbury’s unique style which approached magical realism. I felt his later writing lost a lot by abandoning the science fiction aspect and focusing exclusively on the magical realism. In any case, I heard about this book and imagined it might contain Bradbury-like stories that recaptured the feel of his early work. Alas, this is not the case.

For the most part, the stories in the book aren’t really at all like Bradbury stories. At least, I’d never confuse any of them with the real thing. Most had supernatural or horror themes and lacked the connection to science fiction. They’re simply from authors who were, in one way or another, inspired by Bradbury. They’re not bad stories. Some are enjoyable and may appeal to Bradbury fans, if only to find out how other writers were inspired by him.

There were a few exceptions, however; stories that are intended to provoke memories of Bradbury or his stories in one way or another. The best of these, at least for me, was Children of the Bedtime Machine by Robert McCammon. This story made the book worthwhile for me and was a real celebration of Bradbury in multiple ways. First, it was a story I could imagine Bradbury writing; second, it combined science fiction with a Bradburyesque magical realism, and lastly, Bradbury’s writing actually plays a part in the story’s plot. It’s the story of a woman living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland; the result of climate change and global war. There’s little plant or animal life left, and little hope for the future. The woman’s only joy in life is a trunk full of old book that she reads to herself. During a visit to a trading post in a nearby town, she’s given a useless machine from the dead past. The combination of a Ray Bradbury book and a machine designed for insomniacs leads to a new hope for a dying world.

If you can pick up the book inexpensively, it’s worth it just for that one story. Or perhaps you’ll enjoy the other stories more than I did. Authors include Harlan Ellison, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Alice Hoffman, Kelly Link, and others.

Syndicated 2014-07-03 02:14:55 from Steevithak of the Internet

10 Jun 2014 robotvibes   » (Master)

I’m back, and ready to kick ass!

Nuff said…Let’s go!

Syndicated 2014-06-10 01:35:20 from Cyb3rnetx

10 May 2014 evilrobots   » (Observer)

http://www.drdobbs.com/a-flexible-system-for-centralized-backup/199101279

http://www.vmwarearena.com/2013/10/vsphere-55-download-free-esxi-55.html#comments

2 Mar 2014 wedesoft   » (Master)

OOP with GNU Guile and GOOPS

Why I like Object Oriented Programming using GNU Guile and GOOPS

Syndicated 2014-03-02 00:00:00 from Jan Wedekind

1 Dec 2013 AI4U   » (Observer)

Artificial Intelligence in German (Amazon Kindle e-book)

If your humanoid robot needs an AI Mind to think in English or German, a new Amazon Kindle e-book goes into great detail about robotic thought processes.



This e-book in English about AI in German (and English and Russian) contains the entire AI source code in Forth, which causes most of the editorial portion of the e-book (18 of 20 chapters) to be readable without charge in the free preview.


13 Nov 2013 jlin   » (Master)



In April of this year, I left my job doing machine learning work at Scribd, to join a new startup building robotic toys to teach young kids how to program. We call ourselves Play-i (supposed to be a play on "AI", but unfortunately most people seem to miss the connection). While we had been very public about what the goal would be, we were very hush-hush about the actual product. In all honesty, partially it was because we changed it so many times. We probably went through four completely different complete product ideas before arriving at the one today. Then we worked many long nights to quickly get the prototypes done. And now our robots, Bo & Yana are finally public in the form of a crowdfunding campaign. You can SEE THE ROBOTS HERE.

Our original idea was to actually create a robot where you can build the robot AND program it. But while testing with kids in our target age range, 5-8, we quickly figured out that we needed a fully-functional robot. We will have our own language for kids to program the robots, in addition to being compatible with Scratch, Blockly, and Objective C. There will be an open developer's API as well, which you can gain early access to by pledging at the level of the developer's pack.

We tested Bo & Yana with kids as young as 2 and as old as 17. The younger kids definitely gravitated towards "Yana", the smaller robot, who can detect gestures you make with it. Older kids enjoy the mobility of "Bo", short for 'robot'. Both genders enjoyed playing with the robots. Each robot works as a standalone toy, but they also can detect each other through IR beacons, for more interactive play.

After much demand, we are adding an additional accessories pack to allow connections from Lego Technic and Mindstorm pieces along with other standard 10mm ball attachment toys.

We have a contract manufacturer lined up to create the robots. While we originally prototyped with Arduino, the boards in the final prototypes seen in the video are indeed custom boards that we plan to use in the mass-produced version. We think our estimated BOM is pretty close. But there's still a lot of work to do, particularly with finalizing the firmware and the software. Our campaign is looking pretty good and we've already met our goal, so we are definitely hiring if you are interested in joining the team.

Finally, please feel free to email me personally if you have any questions about the robots. I know that the website doesn't provide very good information, particularly for those who actually know something about robotics.

Thanks everyone for all your support.

Robot of the Day

Patrick

Built by
Earl Morgan

Recent blogs

12 Sep 2014 shimniok (Journeyer)
5 Sep 2014 mwaibel (Master)
5 Aug 2014 svo (Master)
20 Jul 2014 Flanneltron (Journeyer)
3 Jul 2014 jmhenry (Journeyer)
3 Jul 2014 steve (Master)
2 Jul 2014 Petar.Kormushev (Master)
10 Jun 2014 robotvibes (Master)
10 May 2014 evilrobots (Observer)
2 Mar 2014 wedesoft (Master)
1 Dec 2013 AI4U (Observer)
13 Nov 2013 jlin (Master)
23 Jun 2013 Mubot (Master)
13 May 2013 JLaplace (Observer)
21 Apr 2013 Pi Robot (Master)
12 Apr 2013 Pontifier (Apprentice)
16 Mar 2013 gidesa (Journeyer)
12 Mar 2013 ixisuprflyixi (Master)

Newest Members

Newest Robots

7 Aug 2009 Titan EOD
13 May 2009 Spacechair
6 Feb 2009 K-bot
9 Jan 2009 3 in 1 Bot
15 Dec 2008 UMEEBOT
10 Nov 2008 Robot
10 Nov 2008 SAMM
24 Oct 2008 Romulus
30 Sep 2008 CD-Bot
26 Sep 2008 Little Johnny