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Happy Passover
Wednesday, 01 April 2009

The R&D Institute for Intelligent Robotic Systems Computer Science Department, College of Management Academic Studies, in Israel, have made a video to wish everyone Happy Passover

They also have various other videos on YouTube, including 914 PC Bots driven by WiiMote:

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Vision Navigation With RoboRealm
Saturday, 28 March 2009
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I spotted an interesting article and tutorial over at Roborealm.com for robotic obstacle avoidance using vision only. For this example they have used a Lego robot base with an Asus EeePC, which shows that you don't need much processing power to do some simple machine vision. Make sure you check out the video of it all in action on page 7.

Roborealm is provided with various interfaces to specific hardware as well as API support and services for Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. So using the 914 PC Bot MRDS services or C6Jones720's API you could reproduce the example with your 914 PC Bot, or any other hardware platform that supports MRDS.

Don't forget that Roborealm is available as a free unlimited download for personal use.

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914 API Source Code Release
Friday, 20 March 2009
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You may remember that C6Jones720 previously released his 914 API along with some example programs and documentation.

Now C6Jones720 has gone a step further by kindly releasing the full source code for the API.

This release is important as it will allow anyone to make changes to the API in order that third party 914 software can be specifically tuned to suit a specific purpose. It will also assist anyone in finding out how to write software that can directly communicate with the 914's M3 controller. If you wish to compile it, you will need C++ from Visual Studio 6 or later.

A big thanks to C6Jones720 for this release - I'm sure that many people will find this extremely useful.

Here's the download for the source: c6jones720-API-SOURCE-7.35.zip

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PC Bots at UK Maker Faire
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
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At the weekend of 14-15th March it was the UK's first Maker Faire in Newcastle Upon Tyne, which took place as part of Newcastle Science Fest.

Paul Foster and James Bruton ran an exhibit called 'Build the 'Jetsons' digital lifestyle today' featuring two White Box Robotics 914 PC Bots as well as some other Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio technology and a home brew multi-touch display that Paul built.

You can see coverage of the UK Maker Faire on the BBC News website, check out 2:10 for the parts on MRDS and PC based robots.

There’s an official Maker Faire Flickr photoset that you can check out as well as three YouTube videos of the event. Check out 1:05 and 4:10 on the third YouTube video for the PC Bots in action and more on Paul's multi-touch display. Here's the Vid:

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Intel PC-Bot case study
Sunday, 08 March 2009
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Intel have published a case study on White Box Robotics as part of their future small business Canadian marketing campaign.

You can download the case study here: WhiteBox_CaseStudy.pdf

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MacOSX Bot
Monday, 01 December 2008
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You may remember that Cogmation announced support for the 914 PC Bot within their RobotSuite software. It appears that the main integration is complete as Shawn has posted a video on his blog of the 914 doing obstacle avoidance using robotFoundary.

Interestingly, Shawn is using a Mac-mini in his 914 instead of a Windows / mini-itx based computer, although it appears he is still working on actually fitting it inside. You can check out both articles on Shawn's blog.

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914 API Release
Sunday, 16 November 2008
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Inspired by this recent thread in the forums, C6Jones720 has decided to release his 914 API and some open source programs, tutorials, and documentation.

This is the same API that the recently released MRDS services are based on. This is a key piece of software because it will allow anyone to program the 914's M3 controller with pretty much any Windows programming language. Full API documentation is provided along with some beginners tutorials and example programs which will make the 914 do SLAM / auto map building, and navigation using only it's IR sensors.

You can get the download here: c6jones720-API-11.08.zip

C6Jones720 mentions that there are several different versions of the API in use with the sample programs, so the .dll in the folder with each program should stay with it to prevent unexpected results.

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Microsoft ReMix UK 08
Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Paul Foster has given a presentation at Microsoft's ReMix UK 08. In it he discusses Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio and talks about his very own 914 PC Bot called A1-DW.  The entire MRDS presentation is an hour long, and there are also many other presentation videos available for viewing, however, if you just want to see the PC Bot then you'll need to do the following:

-Go to the ReMix08 Agenda.

-Install Microsoft Silverlight if you don't have it already.

-Go to 'Day Two'.

-Locate the 'Robots and Beyond – See What You Can Do Today' session by Paul Foster.

-Click on 'Play Video'. I also found I had to click pause and then play before it would start.

-Fast forward to 14.55 where the 914 makes an appearance.

The whole of the presentation is quite interesting for those who wish to use the MRDS services that have just been released for the 914.

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MRDS 914 Beta Services
Tuesday, 07 October 2008
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Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio services for the 914 PC Bot have now been released as a first public beta.

This software is a collaborative effort from C6Jones720, who wrote low level interface to the 914's M3 controller, and Paul Foster, who wrote the MRDS services.

The download is available now, and for free. Get it here: PCBotServices.zip

The instructions for use are simply to unzip the files and copy them into the bin directory of your MRDS V1.5 installation folder. You can then follow any of the tutorials that use a differential drive robot, specifying the PC Bot manifest file included in the zip.

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Cogmation
Sunday, 05 October 2008
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Shawn Schaerer from Cogmation has announced that support for the 914 will be added to the list of supported robots in Comation's robotSuite.

robotSuite includes robotFoundry and robotSim, and is available as a free, fully functioning (not time limited) download. You can also upgrade to the Pro version for $69.96 USD if you wish, which includes additional functionality.

robotSuite is available for Windows XP/Vista and MacOSX for either Intel or PPC based Macs.

Check out the Cogmation website, or Shawn's blog for more info.

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New WBR Corporate Website
Monday, 11 August 2008
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White Box Robotics have today published their new corporate website, with a brand new look and feel.

There is a new video section that you can submit your own YouTube content to, as well as the Dream in White statement and a new FAQ section.

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