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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

Galicia continues promotion of free software

The government of the autonomous region of Galicia (Spain) will continue to encourage the use of free and open source software solutions in the public and private sector. This week, the government published the ‘Free Software Plan 2017’, outlining 110 actions. In its ‘Plan de acción software libre 2017’, Galicia announces new initiatives to promote sharing and reuse of ICT solutions. The government is to share new software solutions, but will also emphasise the reuse of existing tools, pointing to Mancomún, the region’s software repository, the catalogue maintained by the Spanish central government’s Centre for Technology Transfer, and to the European Commission’s Joinup eGovernment portal. Read more

Linux Devices: Raspberry Pi, PIC32, Lime Micro

  • Apollo Lake COM Express module has onboard microSD and eMMC
    The COM Express Compact Type 6 “MSC C6C-AL” taps Intel’s Apollo Lake and offers up to 16GB DDR3L, microSD and optional eMMC, plus support for 5x PCIe slots.
  • How to create an Internet-in-a-Box on a Raspberry Pi
    If you're a homeschool parent or a teacher with a limited budget, Internet-in-a-Box might be just what you've been looking for. Its hardware requirements are very modest—a Raspberry Pi 3, a 64GB microSD card, and a power supply—but it provides access to a wealth of educational resources, even to students without internet access in the most remote areas of the world.
  • Squeeze Pi: Adventures in home audio
    The Squeezebox Touch provided a family-friendly interface to access our music library, either directly on the device or via a range of mobile applications. Logitech discontinued its development in 2012, but I was happy as they open sourced the Squeezebox's server software as Logitech Media Server and supplied the open source code used on the physical Squeezebox devices.
  • Evaluating PIC32 for Hardware Experiments
    PIC32 uses the MIPS32 instruction set. Since MIPS has been around for a very long time, and since the architecture was prominent in workstations, servers and even games consoles in the late 1980s and 1990s, remaining in widespread use in more constrained products such as routers as this century has progressed, the GNU toolchain (GCC, binutils) has had a long time to comfortably support MIPS. Although the computer you are using is not particularly likely to be MIPS-based, cross-compiling versions of these tools can be built to run on, say, x86 or x86-64 while generating MIPS32 executable programs.
  • Want a Raspberry Pi-powered PC? This $50 case turns the Pi into a desktop
    As long as you keep your expectations in check, it's perfectly feasible to run the latest Raspberry Pi as a desktop computer. However, the base Raspberry Pi 3 is a bare bones board, so anyone wanting to set it up as a desktop PC will need to buy their own case and other add-ons.
  • Open source LimeNET SDR computers run Ubuntu Core on Intel Core
    Lime Micro has launched three open source “LimeNET” SDR systems that run Ubuntu Core on Intel Core CPUs, including one with a new LimeSDR QPCIe board. Lime Microsystems has gone to Crowd Supply to launch three fully open source LimeNET computers for software defined radio (SDR) applications. The systems run Ubuntu “Snappy” Core Linux on Intel’s Core processors, enabling access to an open, community-based LimeSDR App Store using the Ubuntu Core snap packaging and update technology. The SDR processing is handled by three variations on last year’s open source LimeSDR board, which run Intel’s (Altera) Cyclone IV FPGA.

Android Leftovers

Server: Data Centres, Google, SDN, Amazon, and Microsoft

  • Data Center Networking Performance: New Apps Bring New Requirements
    Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google, Baidu, and Tencent have reinvented the way in which IT services can be delivered, with capabilities that go beyond scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility. That’s put traditional carriers on notice: John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president at AT&T technology and operations, for instance, said last year that AT&T wants to be the “most aggressive IT company in the world.” He noted that in a world where over-the-top (OTT) offerings have become commonplace, application and services development can no longer be defined by legacy processes.
  • Google Reveals a Powerful New AI Chip and Supercomputer
    The announcement reflects how rapidly artificial intelligence is transforming Google itself, and it is the surest sign yet that the company plans to lead the development of every relevant aspect of software and hardware. Perhaps most importantly, for those working in machine learning at least, the new processor not only executes at blistering speed, it can also be trained incredibly efficiently. Called the Cloud Tensor Processing Unit, the chip is named after Google’s open-source TensorFlow machine-learning framework.
  • Google's AlphaGo AI is about to face off against the world's best Go player

    This week, the matter will be settled once and for all. Ke Jie and AlphaGo will face off in a three-game match in Wuzhen, China, as part of the Future of Go Summit being held by Google.

  • Keynote: Cloud Native Networking- Amin Vahdat, Fellow & Technical Lead For Networking, Google
  • Google's Networking Lead Talks SDN Challenges for the Next Decade
  • Peace, love and SDN
    Virtualization has been a blessing for data centers – thanks to the humble hypervisor, we can create, move and rearrange computers on a whim, without thinking about the physical infrastructure. The simplicity and efficiency of VMs has prompted network engineers to envision a programmable, flexible network based on open protocols and REST APIs that could be managed from a single interface, without worrying about each router and switch.
  • Bryan Cantrill on Integrity

    Amazon has 14 leadership principles and integrity is not on it.

  • Bankrupt school ITT pleads 'don't let Microsoft wipe our cloud data!'
    The estate of bankrupt US trade school ITT Technical Institutes is today asking a court to stop Microsoft from erasing its cloud data. In a filing [PDF] to the US District Bankruptcy Court of Southern Indiana, the caretakers of the defunct for-profit university seek an order to bar the Redmond giant from wiping the contents of ITT's Office 365 and webmail accounts for students, faculty, and administrators.