239: Tweet My Boots

What do you do after space debris, hacking dinosaurs, and judging robots? If you are Dr. Lucy Rogers (@DrLucyRogers), you build an organization devoted to promoting the Making industry: Guild of Makers (@GuildOfMakers)

Lucy’s personal site is lucyrogers.com. She wrote the book It’s ONLY Rocket Science: An Introduction in Plain English.

Guild of Maker’s Twitter hack chats are weekly on Tuesdays at 8pm UTC. They use the tag #MakersHour.

Lucy programs in Node-RED, a visual language.

208: What If You Had a Machine Do It

Elecia gave a talk about machine learning and robotics at the Hackaday July Meetup at SupplyFrame DesignLab (video!) and LA CrashSpace. She gives it again in the podcast while Chris narrates the demos. 

Embedded Patreon

Embedded show #187: Self Driving Arm is the interview with Professor Patrick Pilarski about machine learning and robotics applied to prosthetic limbs.

I have also written more about my machine learning + robot arm on this blog. My code is in github (TyPEpyt).

My machine learning board is Nvidia’s Jetson TX2. The Two Days to a Demo is a good starting point. However, if you are new to machine learning, a better and more thorough introduction is the Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning course on Coursera. To try out machine learning, look at Weka Data Mining Software in Java for getting to know your data and OpenIA Gym for understanding reinforcement learning algorithms

I use the MeArm for my robot arm. For July 2017, the MeArm kit is on sale at the Hackaday store with the 30% off coupon given at the meetup (or in Embedded #207).

Inverse kinematics is a common robotics problem, it took both Wiki and this blog post to give me some understanding.

I wasn't sure about the Law of Cosines before starting to play with this so I made a drawing to imprint it into my brain.

Robot Operating System (ROS) is the publisher-subscriber architecture and simulation system. (I wrote about ROS on this blog.) To learn about ROS, I read O’Reilly’s Programming Robots with ROS and spent a fair about of time looking at the robots on the ROS wiki page.

I am using OpenCV in Python to track the laser. Their official tutorials are an excellent starting point. I recommend Adafruit’s PCA9685 I2C PWM/Servo controller for interfacing the Jetson (or RPi) to the MeArm.

Finally, my talk notes and the Hackaday Poster!

201: Accidentally Incredibly Dangerous

Shaun Meehan (@logiclow) joined us to talk about robot arms and stealth rocket companies. Shaun’s rocket startup is hiring; information about the job openings are below. 

Shaun’s robot arm is an ABB IRB-2000 (video of Fred). Elecia was reading How to Choose the Right Industrial Robot when Shaun emailed. He convinced her that the MeArm Pocket Size Robotic Arm is the likely best choice for her machine learning typer project (which needs a better name). 

All this led to a discussion of inverse kinematics, robot operating system (ROS), and OpenAI. SparkFun has a nice guide to selecting the right motor if the DC, servo, stepper section went by a bit fast. Elecia mentioned the TI Piccolo line as good motor controllers, assuming you aren't building an FPGA controller from scratch on your own.

Repair cafes are a thing.

Shaun was on The Amp Hour 220: Doctiloquent Dove Deployer where he talked a lot more about his robot pets. For more about Fred, the robot arm, check out LogicLow.com. Also, see Shaun's github repo, Fun with Flip-Dots (on hackaday.io), his intended page for big servos (Not Your Hobby Servo, also hackaday,io)  His personal site detailing new projects, motors, and fire-breathing dodo birds is ShaunAndKelly.com.  

Shaun recently enjoyed The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

Stealth Space Rocket Company Hiring Information

We are a small, highly entrepreneurial team of rocket engineers with deep technical expertise who love to build things and relish the idea of a grand challenge. 

Building on over a decade of technology development in rocket propulsion, structures, and avionics funded by NASA and DARPA, we are applying a fast-paced, hardware-focused, agile approach to space launch.

Are you an engineer, hacker, maker, or physicist who has always dreamed of building rockets? Come help us build the hardware and launch the services that will open the frontier of space to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The company is in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. If you want to apply, email Shaun: space at logiclow dot com.