New Robot Navigation using vanishing points

A clever sort of orientation-system for indoor-robots has been developed by Pratap Tokekar. It uses vanishing points of side-walls, ceiling and the floor, to determinate an orientation point for navigation. The robot uses a standard laptop-webcam and software, to analyse the vanishing point if the room, calculated by lines of walls, floor and ceilings. The robot also uses visual clues, like orange traffic cones, to recognize specific locations. This technology applies to typical indoor usage like in offices or restaurants.

More on this in the blog of Pratap Tokekar. There is a detailed project report available as PDF. From the report:

The first step in estimating the vanishing point is the extraction of the lines parallel in the world, within the image. Canny edge detector was used to first extract the edges in the image. Change in the illumination conditions is one of the biggest problems associated with vision-based techniques. To reduce the eff ect of this problem, histogram equalisation was performed on the grayscale image. This ensured suffcient contrast within the image, to extract the required edges using the Canny edge detector.

Well, what would happen, if you send this robot to a post-modern, deconstructivated building with ranked wall? Happy malfunction than, little robot.

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Tags: indoor, research, homebrew, camera
Jan_22:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

We experienced some troubles with our RSS-feed

Hi people, it somehow seems, that we experienced some problems with our RSS-feed within the last 10 days. For some and unknown reason, it suddenly stopped being well-formed. This caused big trouble on showing the right date and time on the single items on the feed. Eventually some of you had problems with the feed, especially on marking items as "read" on your RSS-reader.

We hopefully fixed all issues now. All our recent tests on the feed passed, but it could be possible, that the RSS-reader of your choice is still showing the cached version of the feed with the wrong dates (all postings have exactly the same date and time). I expect, that this problem will solve itself within the next days, when the cache of your reader-application will be overwritten or deleted.

If you still have problems on the feed after, let's say one week, don't hesitate to focus contact with us (mail us or comment on this post). We will do everything to give you the best service and experience. Thanks to Chris, who pointed us to this bug!

Tags: this
Jan_14:2009 .020200 Comments(1)

WowWee Lightstar flying-object


Remote control of the Lightstar.

The Lightstar is a remotely flying object, that turns itself into the air with the help of fast rotation. It's got lights on its wings, resulting in a glowing ring, when moving through the air. Especially in the dark, the Lightstar reveals the quality of its name. The remote control has only one thumbwheel for control, modifying the rotation speed. The toy needs 10 minutes to charge, and has about 4 minutes of flying time.

So, get yourself a galaxy-backup. What is the magical leoplurodon compared to that?

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Tags: toy, play, air
Jan_13:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

Humanoid Robot at Sony Ericsson Advertisement

Commercials begin to pop robots into culture. This heavy-looking robot spills out a music-mobile out of its mouth. Strange indeed!

Tags: culture, japan, humanoid, video, commercial
Jan_11:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

The world by industrial robot density

industrial robot world map data

industrial robot world map data

This maps unfortunately show only industrial robots. Germany got a solid 4th place, when it comes to pure working robots. And this is the quote, that should be ringing in your head:

By 2011, the world's industrial robot population is expected to rise to 1.2 million.

Maps by Mike Vella

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Tags: map, industrial, statistics, germany
Jan_11:2009 .020200 Comments(1)

Nightclub Robots: Are music robots, too!


Picture: Giles Walker

Oh my god. The underground seems to be the most important platform for the growth of a robotic culture. And why not? Giles Walker build this robots in the year 2007. Look how they move, look how they dance. The works from Giles Walker ofter circle around music and bodies. The robots are fairy nature, made by something like a metabolism, if you look how the robots were build. Just to remember, that also humans constantly exchange matters between the body and outside.

These pieces are two fully animated robot pole dancers. They are made from raw materials found in various scrap yards (eg. the motors that animate the pieces are 12V car wiper motors or window motors) and controlled, via a PC, using a DMX lighting programme.

That surveillance cameras as heads is a brilliant idea, just screaming "Hey, I am looking at you!".

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Tags: music, culture, nightclub, erotic, surveillance
Jan_09:2009 .020200 Comments(3)

Future of Robots at Saturn?!

Wow, Saturn, a consumer electronic discounter from Germany, discovered robots in their ads. At least I totally dislike their shops, but this ad here is sort of cool. A nightmare or the future? Buying robots at Saturn. At least this will be inevitable sooner or later. (This is a German joke at least ;)

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Tags: ad, fiction, germany, robots, evolution
Jan_07:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

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