Thursday, January 17, 2013

VelociRoACH: Robotic Cockroach (hexapedal millirobot)

The Pestilent Cockroach have been here on planet earth for millions of years, and part of the reason of their evolutionary success is the shear speed at which they move. Most of the times the best engineering solution for a problem is mimicking nature, but mimicking nature obviously is very difficult. However day by day year by year we are getting closer and closer to doing that, specifically when we talk about legged robots.
Mr.Duncan Haldane and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkely), have been studying the six-legged pests to improve their millirobots. The 'VelociRoACH' as its called is the fastest legged robot in the world at the scale, however the fastest legged robot title stays with the LS3 from Boston dynamics (The Cheetah Robot).

Taking about specifications and technical details. The VelociRoACH can move with a velocity of 2.7 m/s actually making it faster than a real cockroach which do a maximum 1.5 m/s.
The secret of the the velocity of the VelociroACH is in the shape of its legs. Shaped like a 'C' they provide the spring action need to propel the robot really fast and at the same time absorbing the impact of the legs hitting the ground almost 15 times a second. The legs are similar to that of the R-Hex from Bostan Dynamics but don't work in the same way. Its body has been fabricated out of a good type of cardboard. Although it can lift 4 times its own weight. It weighs a mere 30 grams and is 10 cm long. To keep it stable, it must have 3 of the six legs making contact with the ground all time.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Your smartphone is a Desktop too with Ubuntu OS for smartphones.

Today smartphones have become more powerful than ever before. We have smartphones which have high clock speed Quadcore processors, upto 2gigs of RAM and also a great deal of storage, well that's a lot of processing power in the palm of your hands. But all people end up doing with it hardly utilizes the full potential of the hardware they paid for. Practically  its just a waste of hardware resources. Although that's not the users fault, Its the industries fault, The top three smartphone operating systems, the Android from Google, iOS from Apple and Windows Phone from Microsoft also have a separate PC OS. Why didn't these IT giants never though of developing an OS that works for/on both the devices or rather, just getting a Smartphone to do the work of an entry level PC. 
Well Apple and Microsoft in the recent past made some effort and big talks about the Desktop-Mobile convergence but never made serious effort towards it, may be the industry was never ready enough for it cause they were already making good money by kinda fooling people.
That being said Ubuntu backed by Canonical may have set a spark to revolutionize the IT industry for good, by just doing that, Building an OS that works both on smartphones and PC, rather a smart phone that's also an efficient desktop computer when connected to a screen, keyboard and a Mouse. 

In a recent announcement Ubuntu backed by canonical announced a new smartphone OS that's just the same as the PC OS, just with a Mobile friendly interface. What that means is you can convert your smartphone into a PC by just connecting it to a Screen, keyboard and a Mouse. Ubuntu is already available for Android Smartphones with a Dual core processor for free. What that means is you can run the full PC Ubuntu OS on a compatible smartphone.