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[News] Chess-Playing Robot Runs Free Software (GPL)

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Joshua: DIY Chess Playing Robot

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| For those who don't remember, Joshua is a DIY free software / free hardware 
| chess robot that includes schematics as well as complete software with a nice 
| GUI (licensed under the GNU GPL) to control the finished chess robot.   



The Linux Robot - Progress, Software & a Video

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| The camera draws over 350mA@12V and there’s no reason why I
| need it permenantly on. I’ve connected one of the Phidget
| Kit’s outputs to a simple transistor/resistor/LED circuit,
| with a 12V supply passing into the transistor’s collector
| pin, through the transistor, relay input and resistor. Then
| I’ve connected the camera’s power over the relay’s output.
| The power on and off for the camera/LED are now through
| setting the board’s digital output 0 to 1 and 0
| respectively. Power consumption with no movement has now
| dropped from 1.25A to just under 0.90A. I’ve also put all
| essential USB hardware on one usb hub and all optional
| hardware on another (USB to TTL adapters, sound adapter) on
| the other. The optional hub is also on a relay now on the
| opposite side of the robot, and this now reduces idle power
| consumption from 0.90A to about 0.50A which I’m happy
| with.


Robot software shootout -- the sequel!


Robotic arm runs Linux

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| Zurich, Switzerland-based Neuronics has released an open-source embedded
| Linux version of its "Katana" robot." The Katana Robotic Arm runs Linux with
| Xenomai hard real time extensions on a Freescale MPC5200-based control board,
| and is aimed at industry, production, and research applications, says the
| company.


"Storage robot" gains community-built apps

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| Data Robotics has announced a new "Linux Dashboard" and other
| community-developed "DroboApps" for its Linux-based DroboShare
| network-storage device. The company is also shipping a more powerful,
| Firewire-equipped version of the SOHO-targeted Drobo "storage robot," which
| is network-enabled by the DroboShare companion.


The Robot: Hardware List, Wheel Plan, More Ideas, Steps to launch

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| These rough steps sound pretty accurate. Milestones in bold.
| 1. Research relevant further reading areas
| 2. Order hardware
| 3. Install Linux on main board
| 4. Install Linux kmods for relevant hardware and make sure all works
| 5. Fine tune Linux install


Robotics tools add Linux support

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| Energid Technologies Corp. announced an upgrade to its robotics software
| platform that adds fast validation features and Linux support.


Laser-guided French robots run Linux

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| A French robotics start-up called Wany Robotics has announced two mobile,
| mini-ITX-based sensor robots that run Linux. Aimed at educational and R&D
| applications, the PeKeeII robots are based on Via C3 or Intel Core 2 Duo
| processors, and offer sensor telemetry, ultrasound, and laser detection.


Robot software shootout -- the sequel!

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| Today's nascent robotics market has engendered nearly two dozen
| general-purpose software development frameworks, nearly all of which run on
| Linux.


Research bots leverage open-source for child-like intelligence

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| For the researchers involved, one crucial characteristic of the new robot is
| that both the hardware and software are open-source and designed for easy
| collaboration. Whether the researchers build better cognitive architectures,
| learning algorithms, sensors or limbs, once their work has been proved on the
| European Commission-funded iCub, it can be shared and used to improve the
| next generation of machines.


Open-Source Baby

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| The RobotCub project was first launched in 2004 to compete with research
| under way in Japan and the United States. What differentiates iCub from its
| competitors is its modular hardware and software and open-source development.
| The modular design allows researchers not only to modify or add new
| components more easily but also to work separately on various aspects of the
| robot; iCub’s head, for instance, was designed at the Instituto Superior
| Técnico, in Lisbon, while its legs were developed at the University of
| Salford, in the United Kingdom. The robot’s open source–based software is
| available to anyone who wishes to download it.


Do Open Source Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?

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| The effort to develop many versions of iCub includes open source access to
| the hardware design for iCub, free and open source software for imbuing iCub
| with skills, an open source version of iCub's underlying software platform,
| and a wiki with documentation.


A New Goal for Open Source

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| With the commitment of the AllemaniACs and others from the Fedora community
| the Fedora Robotics SIG was recently founded. It aims to make Fedora fit to
| run on a variety of robots that run (possibly constrained) compatible
| machines and to use Fedora as a development platform for robots. As always in
| Fedora, this is a community effort and all help is greatly appreciated and
| welcomed.



Meet Robot El-E

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| The computer runs Ubuntu GNU/Linux and the engineers have written most of the
| software with Python and occasionally C++. They also make use of a variety of  
| open source packages including SciPy, Player/Stage and OpenCV.


Robotics start-up Willow Garage believes open source OS will soon put robots in
our homes

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| The company will release its open source software at the same time.


Personal robots coming, study finds

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| The personal robot market will be worth $15 billion annually by 2015,
| according to an ABI report. Most personal robots shipping today use
| proprietary OSes, although Linux is slowly migrating from the commercial to
| the consumer robot market, according to an ABI analyst.  
| [...]
| One of the reasons for moving to Linux cited by the contestants was the fact
| that Sony's groundbreaking Aibo, which offered one of the most hackable APIs
| among personal robots, was being discontinued.  


A review of robotics software platforms

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| Today's nascent robotics market has engendered about 10 general purpose
| software development frameworks, including nine that support Linux. This
| article surveys seven of them, before wrapping up with an analysis of market
| trends likely to shape the robotics software landscape of tomorrow.  


First Public Release of CLARAty Software

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| With this release, a total of 44 CLARAty modules (~100K lines of code) are
| now available under the JPL Open Source License. This release is intended to
| share with the robotics community some of the core robotic modules which were
| jointly developed with NASA Ames Research Center, Carnegie Mellon, and
| University of Minnesota. This first release represents about 10% of all
| CLARAty modules and 30% of the generic modules planned for future release.    


We, Robots: Open Source Robotics

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| Now Orocos is nothing like, say, the Linux kernel, which after
| some configuration and adding a number of tools, runs on pretty
| much any 32-bit and quite a few 64-bit architectures once would
| care to think of. Indeed, Orocos is likely to use the Linux kernel
| itself via a real-time interface to talk to hardware.


New robot dog runs Linux, thrives on orders

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| The matt-black Bj is a Linux-powered platform intended for investigating
| robotics and artificial intelligence. As such, it's really a research device,
| although iXs does offer it for sale.  


Build Your Own Internet-Controlled Robots

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| Linux-based hardware developed at Carnegie Mellon University allows
| for Internet-controlled bots made from off-the-shelf parts.


Whir do you want to go today?

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| San Francisco-based startup HeadThere has apparently dreamt up a
| bizarre robotic contraption called a Giraffe, which looks a lot
| like a motorised hat-stand. At the base, a PC motherboard running
| Ubuntu Linux, batteries, motors and wheels lurk, to allow the
| thing to drive around under its own steam and, presumably,
| work out where it's going.


NASA Expands Order for Innova Robotics & Automation's Universal Robot
Controller to Enhance Ground Testing

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| In addition, Innova will provide an external clock synchronization
| signal to NASA's Linux-based host PC that will function as the
| "heart beat" that triggers the initiation of commands to the robotic arm.


Linux humanoid robot on French TV

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| A Linux-powered humanoid robot has been interviewed on 8-Fi, a
| French television magazine devoted to new technology.


WowWee introduces RS Media, a do everything robot

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| It runs on Linux, and has a camera on its chest, which we were
| having fun playing around with at CES Unveiled in Vegas. Thankfully,
| it also comes with a remote control so you can move it around without
| being a Java programmer. The RS Media also has a media player, hence
| the name, that supports MP3 (audio) and MPEG 4 (video) playback
| via its integrated sound system. The orange robot can also display
| virtually anything from your PC via its LCD display.


New Battlefield Robots "Listen" for Enemy Fire Use Linux

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| Inside its belly are a wide array of sensors and a GPS locator
| which are controlled using a version of the Linux operating system.


Linux Robots Rule at Wired NextFest

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| What types of business models are the start-ups pursuing?
| Beyond its hybrid operating environment, Hanson Robotics
| also wants to retain a hybrid mix of open source and
| proprietary technology, according to the company's president.
| As David Hanson sees things, the ideal ratio is 70 percent
| open source, versus 30 percent proprietary.


Mark Tilden's RS Media exclusively available at Debenhams

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| RS media combines Robosapien V2's features with some multimedia
| functionality -  a full colour LCD screen, a USB connector and MP3 and
| MP4 playback. RS Media can display and store data easily from your PC or
| play a song through the speakers in his hands. Using the Personality
| editor, you can edit all his movements, sound files and video files.  
| You can even assign voice files or choreograph a routine to a favourite
| dance track.


Linux robots swarm onto lab floor

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| The Khepera III, which runs Linux on an optional ARM-powered
| add-in card, adds floor-roving capabilities, the better to
| support experiments in swarm behavior, K-Team says.


Roboticists to ride wave of power, chip and sensor improvements

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| The Boston area has become a leading robotics hub, with a larger cluster of
| related companies than any other area in the U.S., according to a group of
| panelists assembled for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise
| Forum on Robotics Wednesday night.  
| [...]
| Some robotics companies, like Vecna, are beginning to follow the software
| company model and sell services as well as products. Vecna , for example,  
| customizes and implements the open-source JAUS robotic platform to fit the
| specific needs of customers.  

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