This Wired article on the Internet Archive reminded me of a talk I once attended (at UCD) by the founder, Brewster Kahle. In addition to being technologically impressive, the Archive’s WayBackMachine is tremendously fun. Try visiting Google back in 1999.
Most PhD students know that at some point, the dreaded PhD Avoidance Syndrome sets in. A few whatsapp and real-world conversations led to this:
Slightly Longer Version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTX9WcgjZqM
YARP is another robot development platform, similar to ROS. I had to code up a simple data reader in Python (operating over YARP ports) and couldn’t find any good examples. After some experimenting, I found a solution that worked for me. The following is a simple code snippet for other YARP Python newbies:
class ExampleReader: def __init__(self): #create a new input port and open it self.in_port = yarp.BufferedPortBottle() self.in_port.open("/example/data:i") #connect up the output port to our input port yarp.Network.connect("/example/data:o", "/example/data:i") return def getData(self): #in this example, I assume the data is a single integer #we use read() where the parameter determines if it is #blocking (True) or not. btl = self.in_port.read(True) my_data = btl.get(0).asInt() #if you have doubles, you can use asDouble() #or strings can be obtained using asString() return my_data
I did the unthinkable and upgraded my OS (in my final year of my PhD!). And surprise-surprise, some of my code wouldn’t compile anymore. I figured I needed to rebuild my macports-installed *nix software but ran into problems with gcc45 and libstdcxx. The issue is a ld64 bug, that was fixed using user adrian’s solution (replicated here):
sudo port uninstall ld64 sudo port -v install ld64 sudo port clean libstdcxx sudo port -d build libstdcxx build.jobs=1 sudo port install libstdcxx
Just got news that our paper on the ARTY smart paediatric wheelchair was accepted to the IROS 2012 Workshop on Progress, Challenges and Future Perspectives in Navigation and Manipulation Assistance for Robotic Wheelchairs.
Abstract: Standard powered wheelchairs are still heavily dependent on the cognitive capabilities of users. Unfortunately, this excludes disabled users who lack the required problem-solving and spatial skills, particularly young children. For these children to be denied powered mobility is a crucial set-back; exploration is important for their cognitive, emotional and psychosocial development. In this paper, we present a safer paediatric wheelchair: the Assistive Robot Transport for Youngsters (ARTY). The fundamental goal of this research is to provide a key-enabling technology to young children who would otherwise be unable to navigate independently in their environment. In addition to the technical details of our smart wheelchair, we present user-trials with able-bodied individuals as well as one 5-year-old child with special needs. ARTY promises to provide young children with “early access” to the path towards mobility independence.
More information about ARTY (with video).
Although I’m disappointed that ARTY didn’t win the national award, there were many exceptional projects this year and I’m delighted ARTY was a finalist. Congratulations to Dan and the other National Finalists! I’m looking forward to the International results.
After watching this tutorial,
Kyu Hwa had the great idea to replicate it. So, we gave it a go:
It didn’t taste good. Our experience was that marshmallows and watermelons do not go together. Neither does peanut butter.
We ended up eating the ingredients separately.
But maybe we did it wrong. For example, we cut the watermelon the wrong way. Also, we made only 2/3 holes; Mr Willett made 4 holes. Perhaps we used the wrong kind of watermelon / marshmallow / peanut-butter.
P.S. This is what happens when you have PhD students working 10-12 hours a day in the summer.