Monthly Archives: January 2013

One Giant Bite: Woman with Quadriplegia Feeds Herself Chocolate Using Mind-Controlled Robot Arm

All she wanted was chocolate. Just the simple act of dropping some into her own mouth and savoring both the sweetness of the goodie and of an act of independence she hasn’t enjoyed for 10 years. Jan Scheuermann, 53, came home to Pittsburgh a decade ago because she thought her degenerative condition might soon lead to her death, with two young children and a husband finding more insulation around her extended family in the South Hills. Upon seeing the success of study participant Tim Hemmes in the previous round of the Brain Computer Interface project, Ms. Scheuermann contacted the researchers and became part of a scientific breakthrough. And she also got to have her chocolate.
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Duration : 0:9:15

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R2D2 Robot Powered by Raspberry Pi

This is a birthday gift I built from scratch for my girlfriend 🙂
The hardware is made of a broken Interactive R2D2 toy and a bunch of cheap parts purchased online. Inside, the little guy is powered by a Raspberry Pi running Rasbian.

voice control (in English and Chinese, using PocketSphinx)
face recognition (using OpenCV)
motion detection
ultrasonic distance detection
audio message record and replay
sound play and TTS
rechargeable battery

Duration : 0:5:38

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What will be the best way to learn about robotics and programming?

I’m looking to understand the basics about robotics. There are various basic robot kits on Amazon that I think will be great for a beginner to learn how to assemble a simple set. What do you think will be the best way to learn?

These kits seem nice, but they’re more "moving toys" than robots because they’re not autonomous. If you can spend some more money and are really interested in the subject, I’d advise you to use a Lego Mindstorm kit, with the controller flashed so that it can be programmed in Java, with the Lejos framework. Having worked both with them and with professional robots at my university, I can tell you they’re really impressive for their price ! Their sensors and engines are well accurate and you can do really much with them.
The kits come with a controller (with a screen, four buttons and a loud-speaker), three rather accurate engines (you can select the rotation speed or the desired angle), two touch sensors, one light sensor and, sonar, and many Lego pieces.
Have a look at youtube videos to see what is possible with these robots.