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GNU/Linux Devices and Open Hardware

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  • SolidRun Janux GS31 Edge AI Server Combines NXP LX2160A & i.MX 8M SoCs with 128 Gyrfalcon AI Accelerators

    AI inference used to happen exclusively in powerful servers hosted in the cloud, but in recent years great efforts have been made to move inference at the edge, usually meaning on-device...

  • Variscite Introduces i.MX 8M Mini and Nano SoM’s, Symphony Carrier Board

    NXP i.MX 8M Mini and i.MX 8M Nano are lower cost and lower power variants of NXP i.M 8M processors manufactured using a 14nm FinFET process, and cutting some features such as HDMI...

  • Pollen Robotics Reachy Open-Source Interactive Robot can be built just for your needs

    If you’re looking for a robot that can act out your specific needs, check out the Pollen Robotics Reachy Open-Source Interactive Robot. This modular robot is fully customizable and capable of performing food service, customer service, R&D, and demonstration tasks. While it has a hefty price tag, its myriad of capabilities are worth it for people who can afford it. Furthermore, it comes with built-in AI, and it can be easily programmed in Python. And Reachy even comes with ready-to-use environments for doing things like laying out objects, serving coffee, playing tic-tac-toe, and more. Additionally, the humanoid arm has seven degrees of freedom and can manipulate objects up to 500 grams. Finally, the head is expressive with its Orbita animation. The animated antennas aren’t just cute. They allow Reachy to convey a wide range of emotions.

  • Want To Build An Open Source Hardware And Software Robot?

    The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is full of engineering marvels. Many of these marvels are manifested as advances in robots. For example, consider UBTech highlights are this year’s show. The company’s intelligent humanoid service robot named “Walker” won the Best of CES 2019 and will be back with additional features at the 2020 show. According to the company, Walker will be faster and demonstrate more human-like walking as well as yoga poses that show its huge improvement in motion control. The robot will also demonstrate the ability to push a cart, draw pictures, and write characters, plus showing improved static balance with full-body compliance control.

    [...]

    The company invites developers to join their open source community and participate on Github, although the company explains that Reachy is currently still under development. The open source hardware, software and data won’t be released until the robot is ready, toward the end Q1-2020.

  • Designing Tools for Civilization: The Future of Open Source Hardware

    Marcin Jakubowski is the founder of Open Source Ecology, an open collaborative of engineers, producers, and builders developing the Global Village Construction Set. The Global Village Construction Set is a set of the 50 most important machines that it takes for modern life to exist — everything from a tractor, to an oven, to a circuit maker. Marcin and his team are producing open source blueprints so that anyone can build and maintain machines at a fraction of what it costs today. His goal is to create a life size “LEGO” set of powerful, self-replicating production tools that can decentralize production to build modern prosperity in local economies.

    In his TED Talk in 2011, Marcin articulated a vision for the future where anyone can start and build a life using open source hardware. This is very relevant today as we face the threats of climate change. Places like Puerto Rico have been devastated by natural disasters, and the work of Open Source Ecology could help these communities rebuild. Communities impacted by natural disasters should have access to these easily downloadable files that have instructions for building essential machinery for life. Marcin touts, “I’ve pressed 5,000 bricks in one day from the dirt beneath my feet and built a tractor in six days.” Imagine communities in developing countries faced with the task of rebuilding after a 1,000-year flood. If given the tools, the tasks might not seem so daunting.

    [...]

    Marcin Jakubowski’s work could have an even broader impact. If we apply this framework to our supply chains, it is conceivable that we could significantly reduce out carbon footprint and empower local economies by simply sending files instead of massive premade machines. Furthermore, imagine if a company like Tesla were to join in Marcin Jakubowski’s cause. We could see very elaborate open source designs for the 50 (or more) most important machines, and presumably they would all be sustainably and beautifully designed. We could build a new modern set of tools for civilization, and we could do it in our own communities with lower lifecycle costs and reinvigorate the Maker movement.

More in Tux Machines

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Devices/Embedded With GNU/Linux

Easy Librem 5 App Development: Flashlight

In my first post on easy application development on the Librem 5 I discussed how to turn a simple shell script that takes a screenshot into a full graphical app with only a few extra lines of code. In this post I will follow up with an even simpler application that took about twenty minutes to write with much of that time involved in reading documentation. My Bright Idea The interesting thing about smart phones is how many other devices they have replaced beyond a regular phone. For instance, there used to be a market for small, pocket-sized digital cameras, but now many people just use the cameras on their smart phones. While some people still do keep a pocket flashlight with them, many people just use the light on their smart phone. I realized that a flashlight app would be another great way to showcase just how easy it is to develop applications for the Librem 5. As applications go the requirements are pretty simple: you need a button to turn on the light, a button to turn off the light, and a button to close the app. Read more

LibreOffice Writer Articles and Improvements

  • Two alternatives to Microsoft Word that are free and customizable

    If you're looking for an open-source office suite, LibreOffice is the software package for you. Its word processing program is LibreOffice Writer--which, incidentally, this story was written with, so I can attest to its excellence. You're able to choose from different fonts and text styles, embed images and figures, and use a variety of other functions you'd expect from its paid competition. It can save files in an Open Document Format (ODF), a number of Word formats, and export your work as a PDF for wide-ranging compatibility.

  • Improved rotated text handling in Writer's table rows with automatic height

    Writer now has better support for rotated text in tables containing rows with automatic height. This post also presents two related fixes. First, thanks Otevřená města who made this work by Collabora possible. [...] Before diving into improved rotated text handling, first a continuous section break import problem (tdf#128605) was fixed: this was a case when we created a new page style, but only a new section was intended.