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Submission + - $150 UCSD Robotics Development Kit enables hacking Mobile Inverted Pendulum (

Charbax writes: Here's the $150 BeagleMiP robotics development kit presented by students and professors from the Coordinated Robotics Lab at University of California, San Diego at CES 2014. It's Texas Instruments AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 Beaglebone Black Linux powered, combines all sensors needed in educational robotics development, webcams, displays, 3D printed structures/inventions, the self-balancing Mobile Inverted Pendulum (MiP) motors and encoders, the UCSD spin-off start-up Strawson Design has designed the Novus Robotics Cape sister-PCB Board to connect all kinds of additional motors, sensors, cameras, radios, and a lot more. WowWee MiP is the mass market consumer toy version of this design to be sold for $99 (and which will be somewhat programmable/hackable also using a backpack). The battery lasts for hours, it can carry and balance more than its own weight, potentially future sensors and apps will allow it to be autonomous (like a self-driving car), to feature emotions (how are you doing kid?), advanced artificial intelligence (bring you the beer from the fridge before you even think to ask for it), and larger robots based on these designs can potentially soon carry your groceries and follow you around, make your laundry, cook your food, wash your dishes and take care of your kids when you party.

Comment Re:Hopefully... (Score 5, Informative) 612

Seem like he stayed there until they said it was ok to go. "Assange has made himself available to the Swedish prosecution from the beginning: he stayed in Sweden for 5 weeks waiting to be interrogated, and left Sweden after asking permission to do so from the Swedish Prosecutor Marianne Ny (which she granted)."

Comment Re:Important comparison factor missing (Score 1) 157

"How does the screen compare on price?" The beauty of Pixel Qi is they use the existing LCD Fab, it does cost a million dollar or so to start a run of displays. So price is dependent on the how many displays you want to make in one go. I have this ($275) 1st gen pixel qi 10.1 screen replacement screens in my netbook, works great only issue is one of the viewing angles is bad, I think from the left. Out in the sun with the backlight off it goes from 1024x600xRGB (transmissive) to 3072x600 (reflective) sort of grey scale. So the battery life is very good with the back light off or down low. I do wonder what touch screen tech Pixel Qi people recommend to use with the new display.

Comment Re:Already invented 30 years earlier (Score 1) 193

This validity of this patent has been widely challenged on the grounds that it covers an obvious invention.

CSIRO's solution may not have been so obvious at the time, quote from

"If the problem was so unimportant, then why did 22 major research agencies around the world, including IBM, shut down their wireless research when the CSIRO published its results?"

Comment Re:where's the details on the patents (Score 4, Informative) 193

Their patent expires soon, it was granted in the US in 1996, it seem to be a hardware patent, they made a chip to do ‘fast Fourier transform’ to solve the problem of wireless signals bouncing off walls. The main inventor worked in radio astronomy, "Inspired to think about ways of cleaning up smeared radio signals to make searching for short pulses like those from exploding black holes easier."

Comment Re:MNG Support (Score 1) 262

I don't trust firefox to make rational decisions in the image area, after they removed mng support and then created the apng format. Over 700 people voted for it to be put back, they could have put mng back and let people choose what they want to use. The overhead was small as mng shared a lot of the png code.

Comment efficiency of 20 bits per second per Hertz (Score 1) 121

This csiro news page talks about how efficient the tech is. "CSIRO is achieving spectral efficiency of 20 bits per second per Hertz (20 b/s/Hz)" "CSIRO’s spectral efficiency is three times that of the closest comparable technology and the data rate is more than 10 times the industry’s recently declared minimum standard."

Cooking With Your USB Ports 188

tekgoblin writes "Wow, I would never have thought to try and cook food with the power that a standard USB port provides, but someone did. A standard port provides 5V of power, give or take a little. I am not even sure what it takes to heat a small hotplate, but I am sure it is more than 5V. It looks like the guy tied together around 30 USB cables powered by his PC to power this small hotplate. But believe it or not, it seems to have cooked the meat perfectly."

Game Prices — a Historical Perspective 225

The Opposable Thumbs blog scrutinizes the common wisdom that video games are too expensive, or that they're more expensive than they were in the past. They found that while in some cases the sticker price has increased, it generally hasn't outpaced inflation, making 2010 a cheaper time to be a gamer than the '80s and '90s. Quoting: "... we tracked down a press release putting the suggested retail price of both Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 at $69.99. [Hal Halpin, president of the Entertainment Consumer's Association] says that the N64 launch game pricing only tells you part of the story. 'Yes, some N64 games retailed for as high as $80, but it was also the high end of a 60 to 80 dollar range,' he told Ars. 'Retailers had more flexibility with pricing back then — though they've consistently maintained that the Suggested Retail Price was/is just a guide. Adjusted for inflation, we're generally paying less now than we have historically. But to be fair, DLC isn't factored in.' He also points out all the different ways that we can now access games: you can buy a game used, rent a game, or play certain online games for free. There are multiple ways to sell your old console games, and the competition in the market causes prices to fall quickly."

Canadian Cannabis Car 120

sykobabul writes "The CBC is reporting: 'An electric car made of hemp is being developed by a group of Canadian companies in collaboration with an Alberta Crown corporation. The Kestrel will be prototyped and tested later in August by Calgary-based Motive Industries Inc., a vehicle development firm focused on advanced materials and technologies, the company announced.' Leave it to us Canadians to come up with all sorts of uses for cannabis."
PC Games (Games)

JavaScript/HTML 5 Gaming? 201

cjcela writes "Lately I've seen some HTML 5/JavaScript games popping up on the web. Most of them lack sound, and are not polished, but little by little this is changing. As an example, check Galactic Plunder. While it is only a single-level proof of concept, it is one of the first arcade non-Flash games that I've found playable. Do you know of other comparable or better pure JavaScript games?"

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