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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

Essential Applications for GNU/Linux Users

So, you’ve made the switch from Windows or MacOSX to GNU/Linux, congratulations! There is a good chance that you’ve also installed a distribution like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, or perhaps Manjaro; and so you have a wide range of software already installed. However, There are a number of applications that don’t always ship by default, that I feel every user should have or at least be aware of, and some that people have by default but have not ventured to use; so I thought a list of essential applications was in order! Read more

today's leftovers

  • EV3DEV Lego Linux Updated
    The ev3dev Linux distribution got an update this month. The distribution targets the Lego EV3 which is a CPU Lego provides to drive their Mindstorm robots. The new release includes the most recent kernel and updates from Debian 8.8. It also contains tools needed for some Wi-Fi dongles and other updates.
  • Purism Librem 13 / 15 Laptops Hit GA Status
    Purism has announced their privacy-minded Coreboot-friendly Librem laptops have reached a general availability state. Purism will now be holding an inventory of their Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops for quicker shipping rather than everything being made-to-order. While this means users will no longer need to wait "months" when ordering a Librem 13/15 laptop, it still doesn't sound like it will be a very quick turnaround time. Their press release announcing the GA state says, "will now arrive in user’s hands a few weeks after purchase."
  • Linux is Running on Almost All of the Top 500 Supercomputers
    Linux is still running on more than 99% of the top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world. Same as last year, 498 out of top 500 supercomputers run Linux while remaining 2 run Unix.
  • Alioth moving toward pagure
    Since 2003, the Debian project has been running a server called Alioth to host source code version control systems. The server will hit the end of life of the Debian LTS release (Wheezy) next year; that deadline raised some questions regarding the plans for the server over the coming years. Naturally, that led to a discussion regarding possible replacements. In response, the current Alioth maintainer, Alexander Wirt, announced a sprint to migrate to pagure, a free-software "Git-centered forge" written in Python for the Fedora project, which LWN covered last year. Alioth currently runs FusionForge, previously known as GForge, which is the free-software fork of the SourceForge code base when that service closed its source in 2001. Alioth hosts source code repositories, mainly Git and Subversion (SVN) and, like other "forge" sites, also offers forums, issue trackers, and mailing list services. While other alternatives are still being evaluated, a consensus has emerged on a migration plan from FusionForage to a more modern and minimal platform based on pagure.
  • elementary + GitHub
    We’re excited to finally say that elementary has completed our move and now lives on GitHub! We’ve migrated over 70 repositories from Launchpad and bzr. So what does that really mean?
  • Ultimate Edition 5.4
    For those who like a visually enhanced form of Linux then Ultimate Edition 5.4 is for you. The graphics are extremely nice compared to other versions of Linux I have seen. With animated cursors and having a desktop called ‘Budgie’ the Operating System (OS) is visually pleasing.
  • Google Summer of Code day 16
  • Google Summer of Code day 17
  • Running virt-controller locally
  • How to install and use Monit on Ubuntu/Debian Linux server as process supervision tool
  • AMDGPU VRAM Improvements Could Help DiRT Rally, Dying Light
    A patch series posted on Friday could help games suffering from visible video memory pressure when using the AMDGPU DRM driver. Independent developer John Brooks has posted a set of nine patches for improving the driver's performance when limited CPU-visible video memory is under pressure.
  • Understanding Xwayland - Part 1 of 2
    In this week’s article for my ongoing Google Summer of Code (GSoC) project I planned on writing about the basic idea behind the project, but I reconsidered and decided to first give an overview on how Xwayland functions on a high-level and in the next week take a look at its inner workings in detail. The reason for that is, that there is not much Xwayland documentation available right now. So these two articles are meant to fill this void in order to give interested beginners a helping hand. And in two weeks I’ll catch up on explaining the project’s idea. [...] In the second part next week we’ll have a close look at the Xwayland code to see how Xwayland fills its role as an Xserver in regards to its X based clients and at the same time acts as a Wayland client when facing the Wayland compositor.

Flirting With Red Hat and Fedora Games Spin 25

  • Q&A: Flying the open source flag
    Red Hat’s vice-president and general manager for the ASEAN region, Damien Wong, sheds light on the company’s strategy for tackling a market that is not used to paying for software
  • Coming off a strong quarter, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst talks public clouds and containers
    Coming off a quarterly earnings report that shattered expectations, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst believes his company is as well-positioned to capitalize on the shift to cloud computing as it ever has been. Red Hat is in a very interesting place in 2017, with one foot in two different eras of enterprise computing but thriving in that position instead of feeling trapped. It still makes most of its money selling Red Hat Enterprise Linux to companies running their own data centers, but it has become the de facto leader of the OpenStack cloud computing project and has interesting DevOps products in Ansible (IT automation) and OpenShift (container management). On Tuesday, the company reported a 19 percent increase in both revenue and net income to $677 million and $73 million, respectively, during its first fiscal quarter of the year. Financial analysts, who peppered Whitehurst with more than their usual share of “Great quarter!” asides during a conference call, were expecting revenue of $648 million according to Marketwatch. The company also raised revenue guidance for its full fiscal year.
  • Fedora Games Spin 25
    Fedora Games Spin can be downloaded from https://labs.fedoraproject.org/games/download/index.html. Here, you can choose from the 32- or 64-bit version of the OS. Download the version you need and save it to your hard disk.

Software: Calibre, juju, Wine, Castle Game Engine, Budgie and Latte Dock

  • Calibre 3.1 Open-Source Ebook Manager Released with Support for RAR 5.0 Archives
    Last week's major Calibre 3.0 update made a lot of noise among the ebook community with its new support for reading books in-browser on your phone or tablet, and now developer Kovid Goyal announces the first point release to the series. Calibre 3.1 is out, and among the new features is ships with, we can mention support for reading RAR and CBR files compressed using the latest RAR 5.0 archiving format, a new option in the Tag browser to control the spacing between items, and new buttons to the Edit metadata dialog to easily set and clear the "Yes/No" columns.
  • conjure-up dev summary for week 25
    We recently switched over to using a bundled LXD and with that change came a few hiccups in deployments. We've been monitoring the error reports coming in and have made several fixes to improve that journey. If you are one of the ones unable to deploy spells please give this release another go and get in touch with us if you still run into problems.
  • Wine 2.11 Adds OpenGL Support in the Android Driver, Adobe Premiere Improvements
  • Castle Game Engine 6.2 release
    We’re proud to announce the release of Castle Game Engine 6.2!
  • Budgie Desktop User? Here’s 5 Applets You Should Be Using
    Are you a Budgie desktop user wanting to add a bit more functionality to your nimble, lightweight desktop? Well you can, by adding Budgie applets. Budgie applets are like little souped-up mini-apps that live in your panel. They provide additional features and functionality in an accessible and semi-uniform manner. You likely already have a small set of icons and applets nestled in the far reaches of your Budgie panel right now, such as the simple clock applet, Wi-Fi signal status, and volume control.
  • Latte Dock Is Working On Wayland Support, New Features
    Latte Dock, the desktop dock based on KDE's Plasma Framework and Qt, is preparing for their next release at the end of August. Latte Dock 0.7 is expected to be the next major release of this dock and it's slated for availability by the end of August.
  • Latte Dock accepts donations, what is coming...
    to cheer you up a bit for the upcoming 0.7 version which is scheduled for the end of August or maybe earlier ;) based on the effort...