The possibility of simulating processes or products and their behavior in the environment throughout the entire life cycle has a clear and positive impact in all stages of development and maintenance of an equipment or system. Nevertheless there are also pitfalls which can be easily avoided, head to our software simulation article to learn more.
In this article we will explore some of the features of Virtual Robotics Toolkit, a feature-rich simulation environment for LEGO Mindstorms robots which allows testing any robotic creation similar to an actual model without actually owning one – simply import any LDraw 3D model, load an EV3-G script, run the simulation and start observing what your robot does.
Good story, pretty good scenario, interesting cast and amazingly well weighted visual effects – everything clings together in the most entertaining movie I’ve seen in a long while. The Martian has Matt Damon in the leading role of astronaut Mark Watney who is left stranded on Mars and is presumed dead by his crew which evacuates the planet during an extremely violent dust storm.
With the large number of drones for sale today, it is difficult to make a decision sometimes. A lot of first time drone buyers are torn between the features provided by an upper end drone, like the DJI inspire 1, and the more cost friendly types, like the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K. Rather than leaving you to do all of the research and guess work, we’ve let these two popular heavyweights battle it out, and here are the results.
In robotics and automation benefits of software simulation are apparent from early stages in the development life cycle of almost any product or system, and this is particularly true for industrial environments where equipment downtime periods are a key factor in the overall efficiency of a process. Today we take a look at RoboDK, a highly versatile development platform for industrial robot offline programming and simulation which supports over 200 industrial robots from leading manufacturers such as ABB, KUKA, Yaskawa, Adept and many more.
A bit of background, RoboDK is the commercial version of the perhaps better known RoKiSim robotic simulator developed at École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) in Montreal, Canada by Ph.D. graduate Albert Nubiola. The software became pretty popular over its 3 years of existence so its creator founded RoboDK with the goal to create a more refined product for roboticists worldwide.
The first story of today is perhaps the most interesting thing I’ve seen lately. Researchers at MIT’s AeroAstro laboratory have presented an implementation of their new learning algorithm for optimizing control policies based on reinforcement learning effectively obtaining a robotic Ken Block. The starting point for the reinforcement learning algorithm is represented by a set of determined optimal control policies for drifting a remote control car. A set of simulation runs is performed after which the control model optimized by the algorithm is transferred to the physical car. In the demonstration below steady drifting is achieved quite rapidly and we can see how efficiently the algorithm compensates for external factors. Of course the end of the video is just as interesting.
Earlier this week Microsoft announced the public release of their Windows IoT Core embedded OS, currently supporting the Raspberry Pi 2 and Intel’s MinnowBoard Max development boards. When the project surfaced earlier this year Microsoft’s shift towards the Internet of Things became unequivocal. The new OS is fully integrated with the existing Windows development framework that is familiar and well established.
Windows 10 IoT Family | Photo: Microsoft
The Windows 10 IoT Core is scarcely featured compared not only to mainstream Linux distributions for embedded devices but to the rest of the Windows family as well. Let’s see what this all means.