Cultibotics
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Cultibotics
Cultibotics is about applying robotics to making horticultural best practices scalable and economical.
Curated by John Payne
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Researchers teaching robots to feel and react to pain | IEEE Spectrum

Researchers teaching robots to feel and react to pain | IEEE Spectrum | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“One of the most useful things about robots is that they don’t feel pain. Because of this, we have no problem putting them to work in dangerous environments or having them perform tasks that range between slightly unpleasant and definitely fatal to a human. And yet, a pair of German researchers believes that, in some cases, feeling and reacting to pain might be a good capability for robots to have. The researchers, from Leibniz University of Hannover, are developing an ‘artificial robot nervous system to teach robots how to feel pain’ and quickly respond in order to avoid potential damage to their motors, gears, and electronics.”

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Cultibotics: Biological Agriculture for Roboticists, Part 4

“So how can robotics contribute to agriculture, or, more generally, to land management? Let's start with a relatively simple example, where the robot need not concern itself with differentiating between crops and weeds, and the only required manipulations are of nonliving materials.”
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Harvard's RoboBee now perches on overhanging surfaces to preserve power | Gizmag

Harvard's RoboBee now perches on overhanging surfaces to preserve power | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
In the latest exhibition of their flying microbot, Harvard researchers have demonstrated the RoboBee's newfound ability to land on surfaces during flight, a neat trick that allows it save power and remain in operation for longer periods of time.
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Cultibotics: Biological Agriculture for Roboticists, Part 3

“…we will continue to need that rural production for a long time to come, for the foreseeable future, so we'd better be thinking about how we can protect and improve the productivity of the land we depend upon. This is where both biological agriculture and robots come in.”
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Stress testing drones in a high-tech wind vortex | Motherboard

“As drones are becoming more commonplace in cities, so are drone accidents. People are crashing their brand new toys and flying them places they shouldn’t be like crazy. Part of this is thanks to the complex wind environments in built-up areas, which can make drones go out of control. In the latest episode of Lab Spaces, Motherboard's Jordan Pearson visits WINDEEE, the world’s first hexagonal wind testing chamber where scientists are pushing drones to their limits in order to learn how to make drones safer in the future.”

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Menacing walker teaches kids to build robots | Gizmag

Menacing walker teaches kids to build robots | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
The ZeGoBeast Electric is a large, mean-looking built-it-yourself walking robot that's designed to be as simple to build as possible. The team hopes that the DIY walker​ will become a tool for learning about programming and electronics.​
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Volvo's autonomous driving trial will be UK's "most ambitious" | Gizmag

Volvo's autonomous driving trial will be UK's "most ambitious" | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Having announced what it calls China's "most advanced autonomous driving experiment" earlier this month, Volvo has now revealed plans for the UK's most ambitious autonomous driving trial as well. Drive Me London will see real families driving autonomous cars on public roads.​
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RoboWeedSupport: Første test af Phantom 4 til billedindsamling i vinterhvede | Aarhus University

Description accompanying video, as translated from Danish to English by Google Translate: ”of Senior Rasmus N. Jørgensen, Aarhus University, Inst. f. Engineering This is the all first flight with Phantom 4 drone for manual image gathering. It's a bit demanding when the drone to be down to 1 m or better still 0.5 m height for taking pictures of a sufficient quality. The speed can be screwed up a lot with a little practice and the necessary height quick fix if we pills slightly and change the lens.“

John Payne's insight:
This approach provides very highly detailed images.
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Robot Revolution exhibit | Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Robot Revolution exhibit | Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Explore and interact with a cutting-edge collection of robots from around the world in Robot Revolution, open now through August 7 Everyday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

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SparkFun open sources Eagle PCB designs | SparkFun

"Let’s be frank: We’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years. In the ongoing pursuit of better-designed PCBs, we’ve dealt with tons of screw-ups, from boards with ill-arranged traces to boards with…no traces at all, actually, and a host of others. Fortunately, by now we feel like we’ve gotten a pretty solid handle on a largely-error-free design for manufacturing process, and we want to help you avoid some of our past mistakes.


"We primarily use EAGLE to design our boards, and we’ve amassed a catalog of over 500 open source design files, as well as guides, tutorials, tips and tricks to help you through every step of the PCB design process. Check out our video below for an intro to the resources available, and visit our special EAGLE page for all the good stuff. Happy building!


"More Information: https://www.sparkfun.com/news/2075 "

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Car makers ask US to slow down on allowing self-driving cars | Ars Technica

Car makers ask US to slow down on allowing self-driving cars | Ars Technica | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in January that within six months it intended to ‘develop guidance on the safe deployment and operation of autonomous vehicles.’ The agency is working with officials in states and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators to develop a ‘model state policy’ that would eventually lead to a consistent policy for the whole country. With that effort in progress, the NHTSA held a public hearing Friday to get different viewpoints. Paul Scullion, safety manager at the Association of Global Automakers, warned that issuing guidance instead of writing regulations could allow dangerous cars on the road. ‘While this process is often time-consuming, these procedural safeguards are in place for valid reasons,’ Scullion said, according to the Associated Press.”

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Guarav Sukhatme: Robots at sea | CMU RI Seminar

“Gaurav S. Sukhatme is Dean’s Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC). He currently serves as the Chairman of the Computer Science department.” His abstract follows: “Underwater robotics is undergoing a transformation. Advances in AI and machine learning are enabling a new generation of underwater robots to make intelligent decisions (where to sample? how to navigate?) by reasoning about their environment (what is the shipping and water forecast?). At USC, we are engaged in a long-term effort to explore ideas and develop algorithms that will lead to persistent, autonomous underwater robots. In this talk, I will discuss some of our recent results focusing on two problems in adaptive sampling: underwater change detection and biological sampling. Time permitting; I will also present recent work on hazard avoidance, allowing underwater robots to operate in regions where there is substantial ship traffic.”

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Insect eyes enable drones to fly independently | Lund University

Insect eyes enable drones to fly independently | Lund University | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
After studying how insects navigate through dense vegetation, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have come up with a system that can be applied to flying robots. By adapting the system to drones, they can be made to adjust their speed to their surroundings and fly on their own– completely without human intervention and control.
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Cultibotics: Biological Agriculture for Roboticists, Part 5

“To be most useful, agricultural robots need not only to be able to distinguish plants from a background of soil and decaying plant matter, but to be able to distinguish them from each other, and to quickly model their branching structures, at least approximately, if only so they can locate the main stem and the point at which it emerges from the soil.”
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Ladybird | Robohub

Ladybird | Robohub | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Robots Podcast #208 is an interview with James Underwood of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, who provides us with an excellent overview of what we can expect from agricultural robotics over the next few years. Don't miss this podcast!
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Highly-conductive shark jelly could inspire new tech | Gizmag

Highly-conductive shark jelly could inspire new tech | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Researchers have tapped into a mysterious jelly that allows sharks, skates and rays to detect weak electric fields produced by their prey.
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Cultibotics: Biological Agriculture for Roboticists, Part 2

“…whether using soil or not, whether outdoors, or in polytunnels or permanent greenhouses, or in racks under light from LEDs, or even growing mushrooms in the dark, there's a place for robots, lots of robots, maybe even billions of robots.”
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Cultibotics: Biological Agriculture for Roboticists, Part 1

This is the first post in what I expect will become a series. As such, it makes no attempt to be comprehensive, but rather is intended to be a gentle introduction to the subject, which I have chosen to call "biological agriculture" for an audience composed of roboticists and robotics enthusiasts. This choice of names is somewhat arbitrary, but I think it will serve well enough, the idea being that methods based in biology and the manipulation of organisms should be used in preference to methods based in chemistry, even biochemistry. By this I do not mean that there is no place for chemistry, far from it, but that, in the sense/think/act paradigm common in robotics, chemistry properly belongs primarily to sensory input.
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Circuit Classics revive a golden age of electronics design | Gizmag

Circuit Classics revive a golden age of electronics design | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Filled with hand-drawn circuit diagrams and hand-written explanations, Forrest M.Mims' engineering books were an icon to a generation. Now a crowd-funded project is producing a limited set of working circuit boards in the Mims' style.
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The Perfect Match: Timo Boll and KUKA

“One of the fastest table tennis players of the world. One of the strongest robots of his class. And one of the most flexible mobile platforms, ever existing. When Timo Boll, the KUKA titan and the KUKA omniMove come together, one thing is for sure: something exceptional happens. But this time it is not about competition. It is about something bigger: the perfect collaboration of human and machine. By cooperating perfectly, a completely new dimension of processes and results is created. We at KUKA call it: Orange Intelligent.”

John Payne's insight:
Yes, this is an ad, but it's really quite amazing!
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Raj Madhavan: Humanitarian robotics and automation technologies | CMU RI Seminar

“Raj Madhavan is the Founder & CEO of Humanitarian Robotics Technologies, LLC, Maryland, U.S.A. and a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Robotics with AMMACHI Labs at Amrita University, Kerala, India” His abstract follows: “Robotics and automation technologies hold immense promise in transforming people’s lives across various communities around the globe. However, there exists a huge disconnect between what is possible from an engineering and scientific viewpoint and what the expectations of the general public are. The problem lies in the fact that we have not seen many practical solutions that can be deployed in a truly useful and effective fashion towards making a difference in the quality of lives of people. In this talk, I will describe my current work focusing on the applied use of robotics and automation technologies for the benefit of under-served and under-developed communities by working closely with them to sustain developed solutions. This is made possible by bringing together researchers, practitioners from industry, academia, local governments, and various entities such as the IEEE Robotics Automation Society’s Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT), NGOs, and NPOs across the globe. I will discuss a demining challenge that I have co-organized for the last two years with the intent of producing an open-source solution for detecting and classifying unexploded ordnance buried in minefields. I will also outline my recent efforts in the technology and public policy domains with emphasis on socio-economic, cultural, privacy, and security issues in developing and developed economies.”
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Sense, think, and act: The big picture on Cublets | Modular Robotics

“Learn the basics of Cubelets Robot Blocks in about 5 minutes! Cubelets are a fast and easy way to inspire kids to become better thinkers. This video is a fast and easy way to learn more about Cubelets! Learn more about Cubelets Robot Blocks at http://www.modrobotics.com

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RIPPA endurance trial | Australian Centre for Field Robotics

“RIPPA completes over 21 hours of continuous operation using only solar and battery power in Cowra, NSW. The run began at 0530, 1 hour before sunrise and completed at 0317 the next morning, 9 hours after sunset. For the duration, RIPPA roved autonomously up and down the spinach crop rows imaging the leaves. RIPPA then waited until solar sufficiently charged the batteries and at 1000 it began where it left off and continued roving up and down the rows again.”

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IBM's Watson supplies ghost in the machine for a robot at NVIDIA event | Hot Hardware

IBM's Watson supplies ghost in the machine for a robot at NVIDIA event | Hot Hardware | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Watson is more capable and human-like than ever before, especially when injected into a robot body. … at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) when Rob High, an IBM fellow, vice president, and chief technology officer for Watson, introduced attendees to a robot powered by Watson. During the demonstration, we saw Watson in robot form respond to queries just like a human would, using not only speech but movement as well. When Watson's dancing skills were called into question, the robot responded by showing off its Gangnam Style moves.”

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Reversing desertification with sticks, rocks, and ancient wisdom | Permaculture Voices

“We all live in a watershed and everything we do on the land has consequences for the surrounding watershed and ecosystems. Because of this, watershed awareness is critical. There are many natural processes that effect watershed and ecosystem health and it is our job as designers to understand and harmonize with those processes as much as possible. This is especially important when it comes to harvesting our shared, life-giving resource of water. This talk will describe a simple method to assess the ways that surrounding landscapes influence project sites as well as regenerative design principles that help to harmonize water harvesting earthworks with natural healing processes.”

John Payne's insight:
Ancient wisdom is only partially convertible to code, but robots can manipulate sticks, rocks, and soil.
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