Assorted Cool Technology - 2012-02-04

Posted on February 4, 2012

I’ve been wanting to get a place where I can post simple links, accompanied by some small observations about random cool stuff and quite frankly I think this blog is the right place to do it.
There is the OneOverZero blog, where I write about singularity-related topics, but I wanted to write about (or rather, link to) more than just singularity-related stuff. I want to start collecting links to things that are just cool to look at. And that’s why I’ve decided to try and keep a kind of journal of those things right here.
Lots of good intentions, let’s see how long I can keep it up.

Flying stuff

A few weeks ago the robots dreams blog posted an article about an autonomous quad copter demonstration video, with a few links to relevant sources that really got my will to build one of these things going. Luckily (?) for me I am fully aware of just how many side projects I’ve gotten myself into lately and how much I don’t have time for something like this. For now. :-)
But anyway, do watch this video of ongoing riots, captured by a Polish quad builder.

Also regarding quad copters (aren’t they just the coolest things?), I’ve posted a link at the OneOverZero blog regarding a quad rotor swarm demonstration video. My views about it are explained on the post and, really, need not be repeated here, just watch it and you’ll get what the excitement is all about.

The robot invasion

If there’s one topic of technology I’ve always been in love with it has to be robots. And lately I’ve been paying a little more attention to it on a few fronts, from building a few tentative arduino-based experiments, to getting back to studying and playing around with AI.

So when I got word of the new NAO, the humanoid robot from Aldebaran Robotics (which you have to love, if only just for their name) I was quick to register for access to the developers kit and the community resources.
Unfortunately that’s about as far as I will go regarding this beautiful piece of tech, because the price of the robot, even for individual developers, is way out of what I can reasonably justify before myself for a hobby.

Lastly, I’ve finally gotten around to watching some of the videos from 2011’s Google IO conference and I was particularly struck by the Cloud Robotics session. First off, the quick presentation they give of ROS is very well structured and useful. I’d never delved into it before, but just from that talk I was surprised to find out that ROS is, at it’s heart, a “simple” message routing system. The way that it allows for the whole robot to be a highly-distributed system is very interesting. And then, the integration with android seems to be getting in place really well.
I am aware of a few other initiatives of taking your robots to the cloud, but this seems to be one with a real future. As long as Google keeps interested in it and doesn’t forget about it as it’s done with so many other projects.