Another Step Closer to ‘A Robot in Every Home’

If you’re not familiar with Microsoft Robotics Studio, it can be used with a variety of robot platforms. It’s for academic, hobbyist and commercial developers to easily create robotics applications across a wide variety of hardware. You can download the latest Microsoft Robotics Studio and Tutorials from this location.

Writing an application using the Microsoft Robotics Studio involves orchestrating input and output between a set of services. Services represent the interface to software or hardware and let you communicate between processes that perform specific functions. Learn the basics about the Microsoft Robotics Studio with several new tutorials.

The goal of the Microsoft Robotics Studio is to supply a software platform for the robotics community that can be used across a wide variety of hardware, applicable to a wide audience of users, and development of a wide variety of applications. As a platform, their intent is also to enable third parties to supply support for new hardware, technologies, and tools, just as Microsoft Windows provides a platform for others to bring their products and technologies to the community of PC users. So while they may populate the platform with some of their own contributions, those should not be considered exclusive to tools or libraries provided by other parties looking to provide interesting technologies for this platform.

From the Robotics Studio site:

The Microsoft Robotics Studio delivers three areas of software:

  1. A scalable, extensible runtime architecture that can span a wide variety of hardware and devices. The programming interface can be used to address robots using 8-bit or 16-bit processors as well as 32-bit systems with multi-core processors and devices from simple touch sensors to laser distance finding devices.
  2. A set of useful tools that make programming and debugging robot applications scenarios easier. These include a high quality visual simulation environment that uses the Ageia Technologies™ PhysX™ engine.
  3. A set of useful technology libraries services and samples to help developers get started with writing robot applications.

Our development environment runs on the platforms listed in the section “System Requirements”. It can be used to support robots that support these platforms as well as robots that can be remotely controlled from a PC running a supported platform. The remote control can for example be through a serial port, Bluetooth®, RF or Wi-Fi. We provide information that can be used by hardware or software vendors to make their products compatible with our development platform.

Additional references:

Computers

Readymech Paper Toys

readymech galleryHave you seen these really cool toys that you can generate from your own printer and download from Readymech.com? Readymechs are free, flatpack toys for you to print and build and they’re designed for your standard 8.5″x11″ paper.

Below is a closeup of the Geisha, I’m assembling the Pirate right now…
Geisha

Just geeky

Amazing Papercuts out of A4 Paper

Check out these amazing works of art that Peter Callesen has cut out. They are 2D and 3D objects he’s cut into and out of A4 paper. Taking something so ubiquitous as this type of paper in our everyday lives and turning it into something so meticulous and darn right beautiful in some cases just blows my mind.

Here are 3 examples below.

Skeleton Papercut Footprint and Snail Shadow Temple

Here’s a link to his other galleries of art besides the A4 Papercuts.

Just geeky

Why People Probably Don’t Understand Probability

On NPR today, Robert Siegel talks with Columbia statistics professor Andrew Gelman. Gelman is the co-author of the book Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks, which includes an age-old statistics experiment that demonstrates how people misunderstand probability when it comes to the coin toss.

They also talk about the fact that the Superbowl coin flip has come up ‘Tails’ for 10 straight years now!

You can listen to the story on NPR from here.

Just geeky

Nokia Does Something Right

Nokia Aeon

Everyone’s getting fanatical about their cell phones these days. Especially if concept phones like Nokia’s very own Aeon ever make it into the mass consumer market. The Aeon will feature a full touchscreen surface that does away with the standard keypad, giving you an extremely sleek and sexy look that is guaranteed to turn heads each time you answer a call. One thing’s for sure though – unless Nokia knows how to perfect a material that does not attract fingerprints like ants to sugar, you’ll probably spend half your time wiping the Aeon.

And despite it good looks, it comes jam-packed with current technology, plus a few new ones – such as Nokia’s wireless concept, called “Wibree”.  Wibree is a prototype open technology offering connectivity between mobile devices or personal computers, and small, button cell battery power devices such as watches, wireless keyboards, toys, and sports sensors. The technology enables new use-cases and growth potential in this market segment.

So, sign me up!  I’d easily drop a few bennys for this slick unit.  I’ll monitor this phone’s development – even though it seems that Nokia might not actually release it as a consumer phone.  This is one rumor I hope is proven wrong in the months to come.

Gadgets / Devices