Don’t Mess with Robots!

A recent BBC show makes it clear why we really shouldn’t get physically aggressive with today’s computer systems!

Posted under fun

This post was written by admin on November 15, 2009

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MATLAB Packages for the NXT

Brickengineer announces MATLAB packages for the LEGO NXT Robotics system:

There are now several MATLAB packages for robotics, and specifically for the NXT. One paradigm is to run the code on a PC and have it communicate direct commands to the NXT Brick via Bluetooth or USB. I have found this paradigm to be a bit dangerous since in the event of a MATLAB crash or a miscommunication, the NXT Brick will continue with its last command until ordered to stop. This has the potential to destroy your robot. The paradigm that I prefer to use is to write several programs that run on the brick. These programs take commands from files on the brick that can be uploaded rapidly from the PC. The MATLAB code then is in charge of sending the command files and starting and stopping programs. In the event of a MATLAB crash or communication failure, the software running on the NXT Brick can be designed to terminate gracefully.

Here are the MATLAB packages that I know of. The first two are specifically geared toward the NXT; whereas the last is a general robotics package.

* LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Toolkit for MATLAB and Simulink
http://www.mathworks.com/programs/mindstorms/
* Robotics Toolbox for MATLAB (Release 7.1) (P.I. Corke)
http://petercorke.com/Robotics%20Toolbox.html
* RWTH Mindstorms NXT Toolbox for Matlab
http://www.mindstorms.rwth-aachen.de/

Posted under research, software

This post was written by admin on February 11, 2009

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European Research in Robotics

A ScienceDaily article discusses the explosion of research in robotics in Europe. The European Network of Robotic Research (EURON) is funding a mass of projects that are helping to differentiate the field of robotics into sub-fields such as domestic robotics, field robotics, and service robotics. Several particular projects and their advances are mentioned in the article. More here…

Posted under research

This post was written by admin on November 8, 2008

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Knuth: Developing Robotic Scientists for Space Exploration

The University at Albany (SUNY) has highlighted Knuth’s research in a recent news piece.

UAlbany Professor Kevin Knuth with a robot built from LEGOs. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

UAlbany Professor Kevin Knuth with a robot built from LEGOs. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

Kevin Knuth has a laboratory in the physics department of the University at Albany that is filled with LEGOs. The bricks are relatively cheap and can be used to rapidly prototype a robot’s body. Knuth’s robots are being programmed to solve such problems as mapping complex terrain.

At UAlbany Day on Saturday, Oct. 25, he will give a demonstration on Robotics and Robotic Exploration in Life Sciences Room 143 at 10:45 a.m.

More here:
http://www.albany.edu/news/update_4522.shtml

Building instructions for the robot shown in the UAlbany article can be found on Brickengineer.com

Visit Autonomous Exploration News for information on Knuth’s company Autonomous Exploration Inc.

Posted under exploration, mindstorms, research

This post was written by admin on October 21, 2008

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