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Manuela Veloso: RoboCup’s Champion

 − at 18:00, 28. Feb. 2015

This roboticist has transformed robot soccer into a global phenomenon

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Video Friday: AI Arcade, iCub on One Leg, and Robot Head in Your Kitchen

 − at 16:45, 27. Feb. 2015

The best robot videos of the week are right here

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Sony Halts Support for Aibo, Still One of the Best Robot Toys Ever

 − at 20:40, 26. Feb. 2015

If you have an Aibo, now is the time to start taking very good care of it

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Will Nissan Beat Google and Uber to Self-Driving Taxis?

 − at 16:43, 26. Feb. 2015

Japanese automaker plans fleet of prototype autonomous cabs within two years

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Google AI Learns Classic Arcade Games From Scratch, Would Probably Beat You at Them

 − at 19:02, 25. Feb. 2015

Deep learning artificial intelligence that plays Space Invaders could inspire better search, translation, and mobile apps

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Robotnik Enters Mobile Manipulator Market With RB-1

 − at 18:40, 25. Feb. 2015

Now is an excellent time to be in the market for a mobile manipulator

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A trip to The Plant

 − at 18:12, 25. Feb. 2015

DSCN0288On a cold Feburary morning, we were contacted by a local group seeking assistance. Plant Chicago is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that acts as a small business incubator, and aims to assist the urban agriculture movement through education. They were in need of equipment in order to collect data from their aquaponic systems, aiming to monitor temperature, Ph, dissolved oxygen, humidity, and even plant growth, via the arduino platform. Being that this project is super cool and we have the Geekduino platform, combined with our Sensor Shield which allows for simple and rapid prototyping using a wide range of sensors, we obliged this request. Excited to see what Plant Chicago had in the works, we arranged a trip to The Plant.

Our first chance to visit was on Valentine’s Day, and what a lovely day to make new friends. Nestled in a group of enormous industrial parks, this old building, known as The Plant, is the home of Plant Chicago. Though it is massive, it stands unassuming among the smoke stacks and steel frame factories nearby. Like your mama probably told you, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and we were excited to see what they had to offer. We met up with the President of the Auxiliary Board, and began the tour.

DSCN0295There is a large, inviting lobby beyond the entry steps. Every room bustles with activity. There are several businesses taking residence there, and more moving in. There are algae bioreactors in the windows, giant water tanks on the walls, and everywhere you look, there are signs of activity. There is a small table in this enormous room, with a small fish tank on it. A healthy fish swims around the tank, as water flows to the plants above. This is the first aquaponic system you see in the building, and it is a teaching tool, showing the nature of a closed-loop system.

Being shown around some of the more seemingly vacant areas of the building, we are informed of business that came and went, as well as ones that are moving in, and plans to use spaces as community areas and markets. There is a bakery and a fromagere on the upper floors. A mushroom farm, and a battery of aquaponic farms reside in the basement. The Plant is bustling with activity, and big changes are happening constantly.

DSCN0299 We got a chance to look at the aquaponic systems that Plant Chicago employs, growing food and providing a valuable learning environment for urban agriculture. Seeing the systems up close and personal was a good way to work out the methods with which experiment data collection could be done with the resources that were available, as well as how we could expand upon them with the equipment we were donating. This is a huge undertaking, but with a Geekduino and the willingness to learn, Plant Chicago will be logging experimental data on these systems in no time. We at Trossen Robotics are confident that Plant Chicago is growing, and we’re looking forward to a relationship that broadens the horizons of both organizations together.

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Poker-Playing AIs Today, Skynet Tomorrow

 − at 17:00, 25. Feb. 2015

Making computers unbeatable at Texas Hold 'em could lead to big breakthroughs in artificial intelligence

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The LIDAR-Lite Is In Stock at Trossen Robotics!

 − at 20:47, 24. Feb. 2015


You may have heard about the LIDAR-Lite , a small, low cost, high performance distance sensing module. With a range of up to 40m and an accuracy of 2.5cm, we absolutely love the LIDAR lite. The LIDAR Lite is very easy to work with – you can connect to it via I2C or PWM to read distance data. We’re including several goodies with the LIDAR Lite, like cable ends and heat shrink tube so you can solder onto the LIDAR Lite’s cable that will let you plug it directly into the RobotGeek Sensor Shield or the ArbotiX-M Robocontroller. You’ll also get mounting hardware to help you mount the LIDAR-Lite to any of our robots with the centimeter grid pattern.

We’ve created two demos with the LIDAR Lite using Interbotix Robots. First we put a LIDAR Lite on our PhantomX Hexapod and programmed the Hexapod to move back and forth depending on where an object is. Move the object closer to the Hexapod and it will back up, move it farther, and the hexapod will run after it. After we did that project, we built a small scanner application that will take data from the LIDAR lite connected to a Robot Turret and display the perimeter of the room on your screen – see the video below to see it in action.

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The Way to Make Delivery Drones Work Is Using...Trucks?

 − at 17:50, 24. Feb. 2015

A company wants to integrate drones into its trucks to make short deliveries semi-autonomously

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