iCub humanoid robot updates on Facebook and YouTube. The photograph below was taken by Miguel A. Romero.
Last Updated on Sunday, 04 March 2012 22:23
Aquila 1.9a released and major changes planned for the version 2.0
I would like to announce that we have just released a new version of Aquila, which has several new features such as new vision filters and transforms, GPU face and template tracking integrated with The Gaze Interface, new object recognition system for the MTRNN module, ERA (Epigenetic Robotic Architecture) module and more.
I can confirm that the rumours regarding our use of NVIDIA's Tegra 3 system were correct, however, I noticed that publishers often confused CUDA with Tegra 3. We are proud to work with Tegra 3 next-generation systems featuring quadcore processors, 12 GPU processors and one additional companion core. We are of course aware of the harsh conditions in space and on the lunar surface and I can assure you that we have got specific plans how to tackle this and protect Tegra 3 system in our rovers. Tegra 3 combines all the benefits we would hoped for such as low power consumption, small size and low weight and fantastic processing speeds. Tegra 3 also includes 12 GPU (graphics processing unit), which are great for processing parallel problems. My whole PhD research has been very positively influenced by NVIDIA's technology and also by NVIDIA's staff who encouraged me to carry on with my efforts.
Couple of years ago I read an article that used NVIDIA's CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) to implement neural networks running on GPU processors as opposed to standard CPU processors. The article inspired me a lot because it helped me to realise that GPUs are ideal for cognitive robotics research where we develop complex bio-inspired systems that are by nature parallel. I have started development of CUDA-based software named after constellation Aquila. Aquila has been very successful and helped me to demonstrate the power of NVIDIA's GPUs when used for cognitive robotics research. This led to couple of articles featured on NVIDIA's website and later to my visit to NVIDIA's headquarters where I did a presentation about my PhD research and involvement with The Google Lunar X PRIZE Synergy Moon team. Later, we received the Tegra 3 system and we are going to use it to develop state of the art AI system for the rovers.
NVIDIA has been a great inspiration and I have even started my own business (ProIS Group) that utilize the power of GPUs in the industrial sector. If everything goes well, The Synergy Moon team will launch two rovers controlled by Tegra 3 systems, which will be the first time ever when NVIDIA's products reached other celestial body.
Today, this site will hit a quarter of million visits. Thanks for popping over and if you have any feedback/suggestions please visit my guestbook and leave your comments.
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 December 2011 12:39
Released on 11.29.11, Internet Rising is a digi-documentary investigating the evolving relationships between the Internet and collective consciousness of humanity. It provokes many questions about ancient and modern paradoxes of life, its pleasures and pains... and the gray area contrasts in between - but most of all it is meant to be an inspiring conversation starter.
Internet Rising is a labour of love comprising a rapid fire mashup stream of live webcam interviews all conducted within the web sphere. The film's participants include many profound personalities and key internet influencers ranging from professors, corporate academics, futurists, researchers, writers, bloggers, media creators, activists, gamers, educators, scientists, artists, innovators - real humans, all of whom provide amazing insights into how our state of the world is changing and transforming via various forces of economic, social, geographic, political, philosophical development... all centred around technology's transformative and generative power.
Last Updated on Sunday, 04 December 2011 13:22
FreeFly Astronaut Project
Olav Zipser, the pioneer of the freeflying, has recently returned from Moscow where he met with world-leading manufacturers of space suits. I have previously written article about Olav's aspirations to exceed the supersonic speed and his last visit to Russia was an important step towards reaching this goal because jumping from 40km altitude needs not only the mastery of the freeflying but also a space suit that will be custom made for Olav's body. The video below is a great summary of his new FreeFly Astronaut Project.
The goal of the FreeFly Astronaut Program is to improve the lives of mankind?s first space pioneers. The FreeFly Astronaut Program FFAP will help to create the capability to safely decent from the edge of space in case of an emergency.
Zipser will forego the previous balloon-lift method used by the current record-holder, and instead will jump from an IOS SR 145 rocket. The launcher will propel Olav to an altitude of over 40 kilometers (about 25 miles)—higher than any manned balloon can possibly go—where he will eject from the launch vehicle and FreeFly back towards earth.
“This initial record attempt will be the first of a whole program, culminating with a dive from above the Karman line (100km), from a real space altitude. This is not a stunt. This is a research mission.
“We believe that the data and scientific information you will gather in this planned series of increasingly higher altitude jumps will prove to have intrinsic value and will enhance the safety of future space pilots and tourists. It is our privilege and pleasure to work with you in this fascinating and most important project.” ~ Randa Milliron, CEO Co/Founder, Interorbital Systems
Last Updated on Monday, 28 November 2011 14:48
Aquila 1.8alpha released
I would like to announce that we have just released a new version of Aquila. This is the first alpha version (v1.8a), which is much more stable that the previous versions. Apart from several bug fixes, this version has two major additions. The first improvement is in terms of stability where we replaced the previous rendering implementation causing occasional segmentation faults with a new one that is reliable and equally fast. The second addition is a new ERA (Epigenetic Robotics Architecture) module, which adds the functionality of the ERA architecture in a fully configurable manner rather than hard wired as in the MODI experiment tab. More advanced visual filters and free speech via yarp ports are also included.
There are few new developers working on the extension of the Kinect module to improve the precision of the control, make the interaction more fluid and add iCub legs control. Other developers are looking into developing an EEG interface to control objects in the simulator.
Aquila can be downloaded from iCub and ITALK repositories as well as from the main SourceForge repository that we use for the development. New developers are welcome to join the project via SourceForge and have their own branch in the repository. Aquila 1.7b manual is in the root directory and provides basic instructions on how to use different modules and also guidelines on how to compile the software. The 1.8a version of the manual is not yet finished but if you have any problems installing the latest version let us know.
The latest updates are always on Aquila's FaceBook page, click here to explore it.