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SciFi

9 open source robotics projects

Filed under
OSS
SciFi

Open source isn't just changing the way we interact with the world, it's changing the way the world interacts back with us. Case in point: open source robotics.

Robots are playing an increasing role in our world, and while we perhaps haven't reached the utopian future with robotic housekeepers imagined for us in the Jetsons, robotics are making advances in fields that fifty years ago would have been completely unimaginable.

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Introducing MrRobot, Ubuntu Touch App Enabled Robotics Powered by Raspberry Pi

Filed under
Linux
SciFi

Today we have the great pleasure of introducing you to a brand-new project developed during the Ubuntu ShenZhen hackathon by Joseph Wang. It is called MrRobot, just like the TV show we taked about in a couple of articles right here on Softpedia.

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Linux-based bipedal robot endures kicks and dodgeball attacks

Filed under
Linux
SciFi

OSU demonstrated its speedy, bipedal ATRIAS robot withstanding a barrage of kicks and dodgeballs. ATRIAS runs on ROS and a real-time Xenomai Linux kernel.

Researchers at Oregon State University’s Dynamic Robotics Laboratory have demonstrated their Linux-driven ATRIAS robot withstanding a considerable beating while keeping its cool. OSU recently posted videos of its unusual torture testing procedures, which include human kicks and a barrage of dodgeballs, as reported by IEEE Spectrum. Eventually, the human-sized bipedal robot is knocked from its feet, but not before it absorbs a lot of hits. The robot protects itself with strategies such as side stepping and hopping on one foot

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Linux for Astronomers

Filed under
GNU
Linux
SciFi

I've looked at specialty distributions that were created for engineers and biologists in previous articles, but these aren't the only scientific disciplines that have their own distributions. So in this article, I introduce a distribution created specifically for astronomers, called Distro Astro. This distribution bundles together astronomy software to help users with tasks like running observatories or planetariums, doing professional research or outreach.

From the very first moment of booting up Distro Astro, you will notice that this distribution is aimed at astronomers. The look and feel of items, from the boot splash screen to wallpapers and screensavers, have all been given an astronomical theme. Even the default wallpaper is a slideshow of Hubble images.

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Imitate Fake Hollywood Terminal Hacking Melodrama with This Amazing App for Ubuntu

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Movies
SciFi
Humor

We all know that Hollywood movies are the worst place to see some accurate depiction of anything from real life and that includes computer terminals. Well, there is a solution for that now and we can only hope that some misguided producer will see the new "hollywood" package made for this exact purpose.

Hollywood movie producers invest a lot of time and money in custom interfaces and GUIs that don't really do anything, but they think they’re nice and interesting on film. Most of the time, someone is hacking away by typing frenetically while windows with crazy stuff open and close. This is why this kind of image is now seared into the public's consciousness and hacking looks more exciting than in real life. It isn't.

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NASA’s R2 bot to receive legs via SpaceX

Filed under
Linux
SciFi

The 330-pound Robonaut 2 measures 3 feet, 4 inches tall from the waist, and is equipped with more than 350 sensors. Its stomach-located brain runs Linux on 38 PowerPC-based processors. The robot is operated remotely by humans, using the Robonaut Tele-operation System (RTS). This telerobotics system requires a ground- or space-based user to wear a 3D visor, vest, and pressure-sensitive gloves. (For more on the R2, see our original coverage.)

According to the OSRF, the R2 team also uses the open source Gazebo simulator to simulate R2 for development and testing. NASA and ROS.org released their Gazebo models of the R2 and the ISS as open source.

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Top 10 tech tricks we're sick of seeing in movies

Filed under
Movies
Sci/Tech
SciFi

cnet.com: Think how awesome it was the first time you saw a lightsaber in action. Or how your mind was officially shredded when Neo mastered the Matrix. Technology in movies is cool. But for every thrilling example of cool-ass tech, Hollywood seems to produce a tired, dated cliche.

Michael Crichton, million-selling science-fiction author, dies at 66

Filed under
SciFi
Obits

latimes.com: Best-selling author Michael Crichton, who wrote such novels as "The Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park," and created the popular TV drama "ER," has died at 66, his family said today.

George Lucas Talks More 'Star Wars' TV

Filed under
SciFi

cinematical.com: In a two-part interview with TV Guide, George Lucas talked some more about those two Star Wars TV series he currently has in the works.

BBC confirms Doctor Who series five

Filed under
SciFi

the register: The BBC has announced there will be a fifth series of Doctor Who, although it won't be until 2010 and David Tennant is doubtful to reprise his role as the Time Lord.

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More in Tux Machines

Kernel Space/Linux

Leftovers: Software

  • KDE Kirigami 1.1 UI Framework Released
  • [GNOME Maps:] Planning a trip
  • Etcher Image Writer Is Now Better Than Ever
    Back in may we spotlighted Etcher, a stylish open-source USB image writer app for Windows, macOS and Linux. In the months since our feature the app has released a over 10 small beta updates, with Etcher 1.5 Beta being the most recent release at the time of writing.
  • Audacious 3.8 released
    Audacious 3.8 was released on September 21, 2016.
  • New Version of Audacious Music Player Released
    A new version of Audacious, a popular lightweight audio player, is now available for download. Audacious 3.8 introduces a small set of features, including the ability to run more than one instance of the app at the same time. Quite why… no idea. New audtool commands have been added, including stream recording toggles, and cue sheet support is said to be “more seamless”.
  • Rambox Puts All Your Favorite Messaging Services In One App
    Rambox is a free, open-source messaging and email app that groups all your favourite web apps into one easy-to-manage window. Sound familiar? We’ve highlighted apps like Rambox before, with Franz and the Gmail-specific Wmail being but two.
  • Stylish Markdown Editor ‘Typora’ Is Now Available for Ubuntu
    In the market for a desktop markdown editor for Linux? You may have helped but notice that you’re rather spoilt for choice. From Abricotine and Scratch to Simplenote, Springseed and Remarkable. Even Gedit can render markdown with the right plugin! With so much choice it can be difficult to know which app to pick.
  • YoutPlayer Floats Your Fave YouTube Videos on The Desktop [Ed: just an Electron app]
    Looking for a neat-o way to play YouTube playlists on your desktop, outside your browser? Take a looksie at Yout, an Electron app that lets you add and watch YouTube playlists on your desktop, floating window stylee. Yout is not the most user-friendly of apps.

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming

  • Avoid the pile-up in 'Clustertruck', a first-person platformer with day-1 Linux support, it's great
    We have been steadily getting more 3D "beat the timer" games where you're up against others times, which is great because they really can be fun. I do love getting competitive in certain games, especially with some of my Steam friends and friends in the wider community. Games like this recently have been something I've been repeatedly going back to for a break from life. Clustertruck is not only about beating the times of other people, but it's also a "the floor is lava" game, so if you touch the floor you have to start again. The really funny thing is that the safe pads are moving trucks you have to keep up with. You can at least grab onto the back of a truck if you just about touch it, so it's not always instant death.
  • Fusion 3, the next generation game engine and editor from Clickteam will support Linux
    The difference between their tools and others, is the event system. Instead of needing to program every single line, you can stack up events and link them together to create a game. It works quite well and I'm pretty excited to give Fusion 3 a go on Linux myself to see what random games I can create for fun.