You probably know the Sphero robot. It is a small robot with the shape of a ball. In case that you have one, you must know that it is possible to control it using ROS, by installing in your computer the Sphero ROS packages developed by Melonee Wise and connecting to the robot using the bluetooth of the computer.
This handy video-tutorial course gives an introduction to the Robot Operating System (ROS), including many of the available tools that are commonly used in robotics. With the help of different examples, the tutorials offer a great starting point to learn programming robots. You will learn how to create software including simulation, to interface sensors and actuators, and to integrate control algorithms.
I was asked on the Robots for Roboticists forum about tuning motors and understanding Bode plots. Many motor control software packages come with tuning tools that can generate Bode plots. This post is my response to that question.
A recent Conversation piece pointed out that the British electricity mix in 2016 was the cleanest in 60 years, with record capacity from renewable energy, mainly from wind and solar power. But one problem with this great expansion in renewables is they are intermittent, meaning they depend on weather conditions such as the wind blowing or sun shining. Unlike conventional power, this means they can’t necessarily meet surges in demand. Hence many press headlines in recent years about the “lights going out”.
Brad Knox talks bots_alive and a new form of character AI. Much like motion capture for scripted animation, this new technique may revolutionize how interactive characters are created, through observation of authentic human-generated behavior.
So – you’ve built a robot arm. Now you’ve got to figure out how to control the thing. This was the situation I found myself in a few months ago, during my Masters project, and it’s a problem common to any robotic application: you want to put the end (specifically, the “end effector”) of your robot arm in a certain place, and to do that you have to figure out a valid pose for the arm which achieves that. This problem is called inverse kinematics (IK), and it’s one of the key problems in robotics.
Ask a child to design a robot, and they’ll produce a drawing that looks a little like you or I—the parts may be gray and boxy, but it will have two arms, two legs, and a head (probably with an antenna coming out of the top). Starting from the beginning of robotics, the human form has seemed like an excellent starting point. One of the best places to draw inspiration for robotic design, however, is the kingdom of insects, arachnids, snails, and slugs.
Robotics is becoming more accessible for many people, but the complexities of legged robots mean they remain beyond the reach of most consumers. The complex mechanics, electronics and code algorithms make these robots much more difficult to simply get working. Four legged robots are especially difficult, they might seem very stable but simply lifting a leg up can cause the robot to fall.
QuadBot is an open-source, 3D printed robot that aims to change this.
The Car Hacker’s HandbookA Guide for the Penetration Tester is a book about how to interface with cars to read from onboard systems, spoof devices, and control the vehicle on your own. I enjoyed this book, it is easily the best book I found on learning how to use a CAN bus.