Misty Robotics Introduces Misty II

Misty Robotics, a professional-grade robot platform provider, has introduced Misty II. Misty II, unlike many modern robots, includes both hardware and software that is more accessible to the broader developer community. Many robot platforms on the market today are limited in access to those familiar with robotics. Misty II was specifically built with SDKs, APIs, and other development tools that are readily familiar to the massive software developer base around the world.

“There are more than 23 million developers around the world, and they are the key to unlocking the future of robots, previously only available to the world of roboticists,” Ian Bernstein, Misty Robotics Founder and Head of Product, commented in a press release. “For the price of a computer, developers can bring their code to life and free it from the 2D world of a browser. We’ve already seen some of our crowdfunding backers start to solve real-world problems. The possibilities are really endless, and we are excited to see what they build next.”

As is commonplace in the software development world, Misty II comes with extensive APIs, documentation and other tools that allow software developers to jump right in. These tools are accessible through an SDK interface. Pre-built tools included in that SDK include a Command Center, Skill Runner, and API Explorer.

At its ship date, Misty II skill categories include roaming (locomotion, obstacle avoidance, 3D mapping), interaction (face detection, wake word event, sound localization, audio recording, audio playback, capacitive touch), perception (remote video streaming, audio streaming, voice integration), and building for misty (programmable personality). In less than 6 months, the company expects to add cloud access and third-party APIs, and autonomy (auto charging, auto skill execution, spatial awareness). Additional interaction (face detection, 3D mapping, etc.) remains in development. Check out the Misty II site to learn more.

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Author: <a href="">ecarter</a>


Check Out These Mechanical Japanese Zen Garden Kinetic Art Pieces

Unlike paintings or sculptures, kinetic art relies on movement to capture the eye and provide meaning. How exactly that is implemented is just as subjective as any other kind of art and is up to the artist to determine. And, as with other art forms, kinetic art requires both technical skill and artistic vision. A painter needs to be capable of precise brush strokes, while a kinetic artist needs to be skilled with their fabrication tools of choice. These mechanical zen gardens, created by Jo Fairfax, are a fantastic example of what that kind of skill and vision can achieve.

These art pieces are, of course, inspired by traditional Japanese zen gardens. Those are intended to facilitate tranquility as the “gardener” carefully brushes the sand. Fairfax’s mechanical zen gardens do something similar, except that they do it all on their own. His reinterpretation of the zen garden consists of a large box with a clear cover. The box is filled with fine iron filings. As a person approaches a mechanical zen garden, it will spring to life and begin drawing patterns in the sand-like iron filings.

The mechanism used to draw the patterns is what makes this project particularly interesting to us. Inside of the box and underneath a barrier separating it from the iron filings, there is a motorized arm covered in an array of electromagnets. An Arduino Uno board controls both the movement of the arm and if each magnet is activated. By activating the magnets at specific points through the arm’s movement cycle, a variety of geometric patterns can be drawn. Fairfax has produced at least a couple of these mechanical zen gardens, though the only major difference between them appears to be their shape and the movement patterns of the motorized arms.

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Author: Cameron Coward