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10 open source Linux robots from car-bots to humanoids

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Linux
OSS

Linux robots come in all shapes and sizes from rovers to chatty humanoids. Here are 10 intriguing terrestrial robot kits with open software and hardware.

Back in 2014, we struggled to fill out our top 10 roundup of Linux-based robots and padded the list with conceptually similar autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In addition, many of those robots were proprietary or open source only on the software side. Today, however, it’s easy to fill out a top 10 list of Linux-based terrestrial robots that are open source in both software and hardware. In fact, we were forced to leave a number of worthy projects waiting in the wings.

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Debian, Ubuntu, elementary OS, pfSense and Windows

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OS
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Debian
Ubuntu
  • My Free Software Activities in Jul-Sep 2017

    If you read Planet Debian often, you’ve probably noticed a trend of Free Software activity reports at the beginning of the month. First, those reports seemed a bit unamusing and lengthy, but since I take the time to read them I’ve learnt a lot of things, and now I’m amazed at the amount of work that people are doing for Free Software. Indeed, I knew already that many people are doing lots of work. But reading those reports gives you an actual view of how much it is.

  • OpenStack Development Summary – October 13, 2017

    Welcome to the seventh Ubuntu OpenStack development summary!

    This summary is intended to be a regular communication of activities and plans happening in and around Ubuntu OpenStack, covering but not limited to the distribution and deployment of OpenStack on Ubuntu.

    If there is something that you would like to see covered in future summaries, or you have general feedback on content please feel free to reach out to me (jamespage on Freenode IRC) or any of the OpenStack Engineering team at Canonical!

  • elementary OS 0.5 "Juno" GNU/Linux Distro Could Use Ubuntu's Snappy Technologies

    The guys over elementary OS, the popular GNU/Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, were interviewed recently by Canonical's Sarah Dickinson about upcoming integration of Snap packages into their infrastructure.

    As you are aware, there are three main universal binary packages available for GNU/Linux distributions, Snappy, Flatpak, and AppImage, and OS maintainers are free to implement which one they think it's best for their users, or even more of them.

    In the interview, elementary's devs revealed the fact that they want to go with Ubuntu's Snappy technologies to provide their users with a modern and secure confined app format because of the extra layer of security Snaps provide by design.

  • pfSense 2.4 BSD Operating System Debuts with New Installer, Drops 32-Bit Images

    Rubicon Communications' Jim Pingle announced the release of the pfSense 2.4.0 operating system, a major release that introduces support for new devices, new features, and numerous improvements.

    Based on the latest FreeBSD 11.1 operating system, the pfSense 2.4 release comes with an all-new installer based on bsdinstall and featuring support for the ZFS file system, UEFI machines, as well as multiple types of partition layouts, including the widely used GPT and BIOS.

  • Dutch privacy regulator says Windows 10 breaks the law

    The lack of clear information about what Microsoft does with the data that Windows 10 collects prevents consumers from giving their informed consent, says the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA). As such, the regulator says that the operating system is breaking the law.

    To comply with the law, the DPA says that Microsoft needs to get valid user consent: this means the company must be clearer about what data is collected and how that data is processed. The regulator also complains that the Windows 10 Creators Update doesn't always respect previously chosen settings about data collection. In the Creators Update, Microsoft introduced new, clearer wording about the data collection—though this language still wasn't explicit about what was collected and why—and it forced everyone to re-assert their privacy choices through a new settings page. In some situations, though, that page defaulted to the standard Windows options rather than defaulting to the settings previously chosen.

Pi-Top updates its modular, Raspberry Pi-powered laptop

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Raspberry Pi’s single-board computers are surprisingly versatile devices that can be used for all sort of things ranging from desktop PCs to game consoles to smart speakers. Hackers have also been building Raspberry Pi-powered laptops for years, and back in 2014 a UK-based team launched one of the more interesting versions, since the Pi-Top allowed you to modify the case designs yourself using a 3D printer.

Now company is updating its hardware with a new modular Pi-Top model that features a bigger, better display, a sliding keyboard that makes it easy to access the system’s insides, and an “inventor’s kit” to get you started with developing hardware projects.

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Also: 21-inch capacitive panel PC taps quad-core Bay Trail SoC

Top 10 Open Source Linux Robots

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Back in 2014, we struggled to fill out our top 10 roundup of Linux-based robots and padded the list with conceptually similar autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In addition, many of those robots were proprietary or open source only on the software side. Today, however, it’s easy to fill out a top 10 list of Linux-based terrestrial robots that are open source in both software and hardware. In fact, we were forced to leave a number of worthy projects waiting in the wings.

The latest open source Linux robot to hit the scene — the Turtle Rover — won funding on Indiegogo only last week. This four-wheeled bot, which is larger and more sophisticated than typical wheeled robots like the popular, dual-wheeled GoPiGo, was designed to mimic Martian rovers. Another major player here is the recently rev’d, dual-wheeled TurtleBot 3.

Like most of our entries, these models are wheeled robots built around the Raspberry Pi. With the advent of the quad-core, WiFi-enabled RPi 3 model, we’ve seen far more advanced, and sometimes semi-autonomous Pi-based robots, in addition to the numerous RPi-based toy designs of recent years. Other SBCs have also inspired robot designs, especially the BeagleBone and BeagleBone Blue, which is especially suitable for robotics projects.

While open source hacker boards have expanded Linux robot development in recent years, a larger influence is the optimization of Linux platforms such as Ubuntu for interaction with the open source Robot Operating System (ROS) middleware. A number of our top 10 robots include ROS integration.

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Etnaviv Landing Performance Counters For Linux 4.15

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Linux

Lucas Stach has sent in the Etnaviv DRM driver changes to DRM-Next for the Linux 4.15 kernel. This is one of the bigger pull requests for this reverse-engineered, open-source Vivante graphics driver.

This community-driven Vivante graphics driver continues to become more capable and feature complete with each kernel cycle. For Linux 4.15 the new work includes landing GPU performance counter support, which is important for developers in being able to analyze/tune the performance. They've been reverse engineering the Vivante performance counters for a while and now it's ready to go for Linux 4.15. There are experimental patches currently for libdrm in making use of the new API.

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Also: Intel Is Prepping A Final Batch Of Feature Changes For Linux 4.15 DRM

Dedoimedo interviews: Xfce team

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

Hi, I'm Sean! I'm an Xfce core developer, Xubuntu Technical Lead, and long-time Linux user. I love solving problems ... and maintaining a desktop environment means there's no shortage of those.

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Desktop: 10 Best Linux Desktop Environments, Olimex Teres Emerges, Windows Breaks Itself

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GNU
Linux
  • Here’s 10 Best Linux Desktop Environments

    A desktop environment is a suite of tools which make it easier for you to use your computer. Linux users have a choice of many different desktop environments, all with their own styles and strengths. Here, we’ve created a list of the 10 best linux desktop environments.

  • Olimex Teres DIY open source laptop kit now available for $284

    The Olimex Teres I is a small laptop designed to run open source software… and which features open source hardware as well. We reported on the Teres I when the hardware design was finalized earlier this year. Now the laptop is available for purchase for 240 Euros (about $284).

  • Microsoft Fixes Windows Blue Screen Error After Patch Tuesday Update

    As a part of their monthly routine, Microsoft released the Patch Tuesday update on October 10. But other than the necessary security patches and bug fixes, it also brought BSODs to some Windows users.

Devices: PureOS Rising, Microsoft is Dying, and Raspberry Pi 7" Touch Panel Gets Linux Support

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Linux
Microsoft
  • A new nerd phone promises true, open Linux and security

    Like the computer the new smartphone, called Librem 5, runs PureOS, a Linux-based operating system. Purism markets the phone as the truly pure GNU+Linux-based smartphone product.

    While Android is based on Linux too, PureOS is based on GNU free software and Debian Linux distribution and is entirely open source. This means that Librem 5 owners can, for example, change the Linux distribution to something else if they don't like PureOS.

  • Noted in Passing: Microsoft Smartphone OS Platform Passed Away

    Oh. One more bit. I was the first to also tell you that Google won the battle of the century for the OS of all high tech - when Android was passing Windows (all devices, not just smartphones, but PCs included). Nobody else told you that either. It is now becoming apparent to many experts that Google owns the tech world via Android. Who told you first? The dude who saw how Windows was truly collapsing and that iOS was never a threat to Google's world domination plans. Yeah, we'll return to those issues in coming years no doubt. Goodbye Windows smartphones and by darn it, good riddance too! Ballmer gone. Elop gone. Lumia gone. Windows smartphone OS gone. Now when can we see Microsoft the company gone too, please, next?

  • Raspberry Pi 7" Touch Panel, SiI9234 To Be Supported By Linux 4.15

    Daniel Vetter has sent in the latest feature pull request of new drm-misc-next material for staging in DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 4.15 kernel cycle.

    This latest batch of miscellaneous Direct Rendering Manager updates include continued core work around atomic mode-setting, HDMI CEC control support for the adv7511 driver, remote control support for the sii8620 driver, improved HDMI and A31 chip support in the Sun4i DRM driver, and some new driver activity too.

Linux 4.13.6, 4.9.55, 4.4.92, and 3.18.75

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Linux
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