The Robots Are Coming, The Robots Are Coming
Isamu stands 53 inches tall, weighs 121 pounds and walks at over one mile per hour. Not only that, Isamu climbs up and down stairs, carries four-pound objects in its handlike grippers, and even recognizes human faces via its dual-camera stereo vision system. Isamu also has a brain, which consists of a dual-Pentium embedded computer running RTLinux.
Isamu is the product of a joint project of the University of Tokyo's Jouhou System Kougaku Laboratory (JSK Lab) and the Aircraft and Mechanical Systems Division of Kawada Industries, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan). The goal of the project is to develop testbeds for research on “human interactive motion control technology”. For example, Kawada Industries plans to explore possible commercial applications in markets such as construction systems, disaster relief, aids for the disabled, rehabilitation and training devices, and amusement.
In order to mimic humanlike movement, Isamu has thirty-five degrees of freedom: six for each leg, one for each foot (a toe joint), seven for each arm, one for each gripper, two for the neck and three for the eyes. The on-board computer, equipped with dual 750MHz Pentium III processors running RTLinux, provides real-time servo and balance compensation, and coordinates the robot's 3-D vision and motion-planning software modules.
Thanks to an ample battery pack, a wireless Ethernet interface and the powerful on-board computer, Isamu can operate without the need for external cables or constant human intervention. A joystick can be used to direct the robot's movements when human control is desired.
Isamu's bipedal walk, control-system software was developed by the JSK Lab, while the hardware and robotics structures, including the servo-based, level control system, were developed by Kawada Industries. Kawada applied aircraft technologies to the body frame, resulting in a strong and light structure. Visit the JSK Lab's web site (jsk.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp), where you can view some amazing videos showing some of the things Isamu can do.
Empower Technologies has announced what it calls “the world's first major operating system upgrade for Palm IIIx and IIIxe handhelds”. A preliminary demo version of Linux DA is available for free download from the company's web site. Although the demo version is limited to only the most basic PDA functions (address, schedule, calculator, notepad and a few games), the commercial version will add functions such as web browsing, e-mail, multimedia and a lot more. The company says its Linux DA was derived from the standard Linux kernel, with the addition of homegrown software for a GUI, database, power management, boot loader, Flash loader, data sync, IrDA and PIM functions. See empower-technologies.com for details.
XOE Device Platform
Transvirtual Technologies, Inc. has closed a four-million-dollar funding round and is using much of the new capital to launch a new Java/XML-based information appliance platform, called eXtensible Operating Environment (XOE). XOE (pronounced “zo' ee”) evolved Transvirtual's PocketLinux Linux/Java environment for handheld computers, along with a number of XML-based client and server functions. The result, according to Transvirtual, is “a faster, cheaper and more flexible solution specifically engineered for small, resource-constrained information appliances such as PDAs, web-enabled mobile phones, automotive telematics and TV settop boxes”. Although initially targeted to embedded Linux-based devices, XOE will eventually support other embedded OSes as well. See transvirtual.com for details.
Axis Communications, maker of the ETRAX system-on-chip, has integrated over 50 components into a multichip module (MCM) in a standard 27 × 27mm PBGA IC package. Axis says just two external components are needed to end up with a fully functional Linux system: a 20MHz crystal and a source of 3.3 V power. The new MCM contains Axis' ETRAX 100LX RISC-based system-on-chip processor, plus all the most common components normally put in designs based on the device, such as DRAM, Flash, an Ethernet transceiver and “glue” components. Axis says it has run Linux and a small application program successfully, entirely within the MCM's built-in 2MB Flash and 8MB SDRAM. A development board and sample schematics of typical applications for the device are available. Samples are expected in this month. Pricing has yet to be finalized but is expected to be in the range of $50 US (10K units) to $75 (single units). See developer.axis.com for details.
Rick Lehrbaum (firstname.lastname@example.org) created the LinuxDevices.com “embedded Linux portal”. Rick has worked in the field of embedded systems since 1979. He cofounded Ampro Computers, founded the PC/104 Consortium and was instrumental in creating and launching the Embedded Linux Consortium.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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|The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database||Jul 29, 2016|
|Stunnel Security for Oracle||Jul 28, 2016|
|SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager||Jul 21, 2016|
|My +1 Sword of Productivity||Jul 20, 2016|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!||Jul 19, 2016|
|Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)||Jul 18, 2016|
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide