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SciFi

9 open source robotics projects

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OSS
SciFi

Open source isn't just changing the way we interact with the world, it's changing the way the world interacts back with us. Case in point: open source robotics.

Robots are playing an increasing role in our world, and while we perhaps haven't reached the utopian future with robotic housekeepers imagined for us in the Jetsons, robotics are making advances in fields that fifty years ago would have been completely unimaginable.

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Introducing MrRobot, Ubuntu Touch App Enabled Robotics Powered by Raspberry Pi

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Linux
SciFi

Today we have the great pleasure of introducing you to a brand-new project developed during the Ubuntu ShenZhen hackathon by Joseph Wang. It is called MrRobot, just like the TV show we taked about in a couple of articles right here on Softpedia.

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Linux-based bipedal robot endures kicks and dodgeball attacks

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Linux
SciFi

OSU demonstrated its speedy, bipedal ATRIAS robot withstanding a barrage of kicks and dodgeballs. ATRIAS runs on ROS and a real-time Xenomai Linux kernel.

Researchers at Oregon State University’s Dynamic Robotics Laboratory have demonstrated their Linux-driven ATRIAS robot withstanding a considerable beating while keeping its cool. OSU recently posted videos of its unusual torture testing procedures, which include human kicks and a barrage of dodgeballs, as reported by IEEE Spectrum. Eventually, the human-sized bipedal robot is knocked from its feet, but not before it absorbs a lot of hits. The robot protects itself with strategies such as side stepping and hopping on one foot

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Linux for Astronomers

Filed under
GNU
Linux
SciFi

I've looked at specialty distributions that were created for engineers and biologists in previous articles, but these aren't the only scientific disciplines that have their own distributions. So in this article, I introduce a distribution created specifically for astronomers, called Distro Astro. This distribution bundles together astronomy software to help users with tasks like running observatories or planetariums, doing professional research or outreach.

From the very first moment of booting up Distro Astro, you will notice that this distribution is aimed at astronomers. The look and feel of items, from the boot splash screen to wallpapers and screensavers, have all been given an astronomical theme. Even the default wallpaper is a slideshow of Hubble images.

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Imitate Fake Hollywood Terminal Hacking Melodrama with This Amazing App for Ubuntu

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GNU
Linux
Movies
SciFi
Humor

We all know that Hollywood movies are the worst place to see some accurate depiction of anything from real life and that includes computer terminals. Well, there is a solution for that now and we can only hope that some misguided producer will see the new "hollywood" package made for this exact purpose.

Hollywood movie producers invest a lot of time and money in custom interfaces and GUIs that don't really do anything, but they think they’re nice and interesting on film. Most of the time, someone is hacking away by typing frenetically while windows with crazy stuff open and close. This is why this kind of image is now seared into the public's consciousness and hacking looks more exciting than in real life. It isn't.

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NASA’s R2 bot to receive legs via SpaceX

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Linux
SciFi

The 330-pound Robonaut 2 measures 3 feet, 4 inches tall from the waist, and is equipped with more than 350 sensors. Its stomach-located brain runs Linux on 38 PowerPC-based processors. The robot is operated remotely by humans, using the Robonaut Tele-operation System (RTS). This telerobotics system requires a ground- or space-based user to wear a 3D visor, vest, and pressure-sensitive gloves. (For more on the R2, see our original coverage.)

According to the OSRF, the R2 team also uses the open source Gazebo simulator to simulate R2 for development and testing. NASA and ROS.org released their Gazebo models of the R2 and the ISS as open source.

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Top 10 tech tricks we're sick of seeing in movies

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Movies
Sci/Tech
SciFi

cnet.com: Think how awesome it was the first time you saw a lightsaber in action. Or how your mind was officially shredded when Neo mastered the Matrix. Technology in movies is cool. But for every thrilling example of cool-ass tech, Hollywood seems to produce a tired, dated cliche.

Michael Crichton, million-selling science-fiction author, dies at 66

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SciFi
Obits

latimes.com: Best-selling author Michael Crichton, who wrote such novels as "The Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park," and created the popular TV drama "ER," has died at 66, his family said today.

George Lucas Talks More 'Star Wars' TV

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SciFi

cinematical.com: In a two-part interview with TV Guide, George Lucas talked some more about those two Star Wars TV series he currently has in the works.

BBC confirms Doctor Who series five

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SciFi

the register: The BBC has announced there will be a fifth series of Doctor Who, although it won't be until 2010 and David Tennant is doubtful to reprise his role as the Time Lord.

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More in Tux Machines

Debian and Derivatives

  • Glad to be a Mentor of Google Summer Code again!
    While, why I proposed this idea? Plinth is developed by Freedombox which is a Debian based project. The Freedombox is aiming for building a 100% free software self-hosting web server to deploy social applications on small machines. It provides online communication tools respecting user privacy and data ownership, replacing services provided by third-parties that under surveillance. Plinth is the front-end of Freedombox, written in Python.
  • The #newinstretch game: new forensic packages in Debian/stretch
    Debian/stretch AKA Debian 9.0 will include a bunch of packages for people interested in digital forensics. The packages maintained within the Debian Forensics team which are new in the Debian/stretch release as compared to Debian/jessie (and ignoring jessie-backports):
  • Getting ready for Stretch
    I run about 17 servers. Of those about six are very personal and the rest are a small cluster which are used for a single website. (Partly because the code is old and in some ways a bit badly designed, partly because "clustering!", "high availability!", "learning!", "fun!" - seriously I had a lot of fun putting together a fault-tolerant deployment with haproxy, ucarp, etc, etc. If I were paying for it the site would be both retired and static!)
  • Devuan Jessie 1.0.0 stable release (LTS)
    Once again the Veteran Unix Admins salute you! Many of you might remember November 2014 when we announced that we were going to fork Debian. Well, we have done exactly that. It has been a long process, but now over two years later, we proudly present Devuan Jessie 1.0.0 Stable.
  • Parsix GNU/Linux Is Closing Its Doors, All Users Will Be Migrated to Debian 9
    You know we hate to give you guys bad news, but it looks like the Parsix GNU/Linux project is closing its doors in about six months after the release of the Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system.

OSS Leftovers

Ubuntu-Based Alternatives and Snapcraft 2.30

  • ​How to install Linux Mint on your Windows PC
    I think Linux Mint isn't just a great desktop, it's a great replacement for Windows. With Windows security problems such as WannaCry, people are starting to explore alternatives to Windows. I got a number of requests about switching out from Windows to the latest and best Linux. For me and many other experienced Linux users that's Linux Mint 18.1. You don't need to be a Linux expert to install Mint on a Windows PC. Here's how to do it.
  • Distro watch for Ubuntu lovers: What's ahead in Linux land
    With the death of Unity, Canonical will focus more attention on Ubuntu servers, Ubuntu in the cloud and Ubuntu in the so-called Internet of Things. Even if you give Canonical the benefit of the doubt - that it will continue working on desktop Ubuntu - at the very least, desktop Ubuntu's future looks uncertain. Post Unity, how will the transition to GNOME work? Will existing Unity users be "upgraded" to GNOME with 17.10? Canonical is reportedly plotting out solutions to much of this uncertainty right now, but for users, the uncertainty rules the day.
  • Canonical Releases Snapcraft 2.30 Snappy Packaging Tool for Ubuntu Linux OSes
    Canonical's Sergio Schvezov was proud to announce the release and immediate availability of Snapcraft 2.30, a major milestone of the open-source Snappy packaging tool used to package apps in the Snap universal binary format.

An introduction to Linux's EXT4 filesystem

Although written for Linux, the EXT filesystem has its roots in the Minix operating system and the Minix filesystem, which predate Linux by about five years, being first released in 1987. Understanding the EXT4 filesystem is much easier if we look at the history and technical evolution of the EXT filesystem family from its Minix roots. Read more