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SPRING 2013 #1








Spring 2013 Volume 1, Issue 1

Robotic Magazine Robokingdom LLC

Welcome to first edition of our digital and print version

From the Editor


hen we started in 2008, we knew that our passion for robotics and our determination for success would make us one of the most visited websites in the world about robots. We have achieved that goal long ago. Now we are happy to meet you here, with the first edition of our digital and print medium. In Robotic Magazine, we cover all areas of robotics, all robot types, user made robots and robotics events too. Now that we are on digital, we will have our selected news topics available to you, at no charge, at even greater depth. Yes, our digital version is also completely free of charge. We only rely on our supporters in order to continue bringing you the best news in Robotics. Happy to see you here and enjoy your visit….

Inside this issue European Human Brain Project ... 3 Dragonfly Robot .......................... 4 Measuring Temperature with Arduino ....................................... 5

Topics we cover in this issue In this issue, we have complied selected news from previous months and added some more details, in order to cover them at greater depth. The first topic we have is the Human Brain Project of Europe. It is an ambitions, multi year project that involves hundreds of scientists in Europe, which aims to uncover secrets of Human Brain. Then we have the Dragonfly Robot, which is a project funded by US military and aims to be a game changer in Surveillance, as well as having many domestic uses. As we will always do, we will talk about some of the most important upcoming robotics events in the following months. We also have a user section, where we will try to connect with our robot hobbyist readers, by providing them useful information with a how-to section. The other news topics you can find in this issue are, Robotic Bat Wings, Darpa Robotics Challenge, The infant Robot Diego-San.

Robotic Bat Wings ....................... 6 Darpa Robotics Challenge ........... 7 Upcoming Robot Events .............. 8 Diego San—The infant Robot ...... 9

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major study for Artificial Intelligence and NeuroScience, called the Human Brain Project (HBP), which aims to replicate the human brain on a supercomputer, has recently been approved in the EU. 87 universities and hundreds of scientists from leading research institutions across Europe will participate in the study, but the project has some important Japanese and North American partners, as well. The project will continue for 10 years, from 2013 to 2023, and will cost around 1.2 billion Euros.

A 3D model of a neuron: reconstructed from lab data. The “sprouting” protuberances are “pre-synaptic terminals” – the points where the neuron will form connections (“synapses”) with

The human brain consists of 100 billion neurons, which are connected by hundreds of thousands of billions synapses. This makes the human brain the most complex machine we know of. The project brings the fields of Neuroscience, Medicine, and Electronics together, in order to tackle challenges in each field for artificially replicating the brain, as well as treating brain diseases. It will, for example, enable us to understand the DNA mutations that cause many brain diseases, and even to test drugs without using animals on something that approaches the human brain . The project may have an enormous impact in the field of computing. It may also provide valuable insights into the treatment of brain related diseases, which account for a very high percentage of diseases overall, more than cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes combined.

The project is coordinated by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Researchers will examine the neurons and the data collected from all institutions. They will then be consolidated by high powered computers using data mining techniques. Upon deciding which parameters may be brought into the simulation, they, in turn, will be integrated into building a massive supercomputer that will try to replicate the human brain. The ultimate goal is to allow neuroscientists to follow the clues taken from genes, molecules, and cells to better understand human cognition and behavior. Simulating the human brain requires supercomputers that are 1,000 times more powerful than those oftoday, which, in turn, means that the project will also stimulate the development of new supercomputers. By understanding how cognition works, it will aid in designing new electronic devices called neuromorphic computers. This will combine the power of

microelectronics with the cognitive power of the human brain. The human brain project aims to put Europe at the forefront of neuroscience. Another major study recently approved by the U.S. is also on the way, which we had posted recently here.

Source and official site: Official press release can be found here. Caption of the image at cover page: Zoom into a 3D reconstruction of a human brain based on Polarized Light Imaging, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. © FZJ


DRAGONFLY ROBOT It would be considered a game changer if you had a flying robot that could relay information to you from anywhere you want, and at the same time being undetectable by people, because it is identical to a natural insect. Well, now you have it. The dragonfly robot, developed by TechJect Inc., is a flying robot insect which can fly like a bird or an airplane or hover in the air like an insect. It weighs less than 1 ounce (28 grams) and continues to be smaller and lighter in weight with each upgrade. The research began with a $1,000,000 grant from the U.S. Air Force. The robot is being developed by Georgia Tech. University, but many professors throughout universities around the world are also contributing to the effort. Dragonfly robot is also highly modular and this enables it to be customized for different purposes, ranging between a hovering and a gliding version. For instance, for a gaming application, you could choose a faster version or for an outdoor photography application, you could choose a version which has more endurance. The robot can be controlled in many ways, including wifi or gps connection or by phone or ipad. The robot has 20 environmental sensors, cameras, and GPS sensors and can be used to track literally anything indoors or outdoors. For instance, it can be used inside for home security and report anything from inside or outside a house. It can be used to track an athlete or a skier outdoors. Another obvious use would be in the military or on a police force. The use of these robots would also eliminate the necessity of a helicopter to track things from the air, in most cases (well, except if you are shooting a Hollywood movie and need a very high resolution and zoom camera). A helicopter is literally thousands of times more costly to operate, in comparison to operating this small insect robot. If you like to order one of these, you will need to wait until July of this year, as the development of the robot is still being finalized. Different ordering options are available depending on your planned use. You can visit the official sites at: Photo Credit (Including the dragonfly photo on coverpage): Techjet Inc.


Measuring temperature with LM35 and Arduino Hello friends, In this application, we will make a simple temperature measurement by using LM35 and Ardino UNO and then view these measured values on Arduino's Serial Monitor Section. But first, lets get to know LM35 heat sensor a little bit: 1-LM35 heat sensor measures 1 deg. C heat at every 10mV 2-The measurements are linear 3-LM35 has three connection pins. These are positive, negative and signal pins (first pin is positive, the middle pin is the signal pin, and the third one is the negative). The positive and negative pins are fed directly through Arduino. The signal pin is connected to the analog 0 byte of Arduino UNO. The calculation part is actually very easy, as you will see shortly. The values that we obtain from Arduino are between 0 and 1024 and the maximum voltage value is 5 volts. When the analog value equals 1024, we can understand that our voltage value is 5 volts, 5000Mv, in other words our heat value is at its maximum. This is the way we follow in order to measure the heat.

If the 1024 analog value is 5 volt, (5000 mV), then the value we read from analog 0. byte is how many mV? Here after finding the voltage value as mV, then we make a simple proportion. We know that our LM35 heat sensor makes 1 Celcius measurement at every 10mV, therefore we can calculate the new temperature value based on the voltage we read. If you like, instead of viewing the temperature values on the monitor, you can use a 2x16 LCD screen. In the future posts, we will also teach the same application using LCD. Below see the codes that were used.



A robotic bat wing has been developed by the researchers of Brown University. Thanks to their research, a great deal of information was gathered about the flight of bats. Bat flight is quite different from that of birds and insects. The role of bows, the stretchiness of a bat’s skin, the muscular and skeletal structure, and the moves are rediscovered in this research. There is a broad archive based on the data gathered during experiments in wind tunnels and outdoors. Test results showed that the robot wing could overcome retarding force and carry the mass of the test model. So effectively, it was successful in replicating a bat’s flight. With this knowledge, designing smaller aircrafts will be possible, for instance. The project was funded by the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation for this reason. It is basically a physical model of a bat’s wing with its shape and movement. The wing is attached to a force transducer. This force transducer can store the information about the aerodynamics data during a flight in a wind tunnel. Looking at the aerodynamic forces, researchers assess the energy that the wing requires to move. The robot is 8″ long. There are three servos and seven joints on the wing. The bones are made of plastic and was made with a 3D printer. The skin is a silicone elastomeric material. Although it is not possible to imitate a bat’s wing exactly, it is not necessary either as the current model is sufficient with its features. Experimenting with different materials for the wing is considered as the next objective by the researchers. More information is available about the research in the journalBioinspiration and Biomimetics. Obviously, there will be more papers about the experiment on the wing soon. Photo Credit: Breuer and Swartz Labs / Brown University


DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) program


nder its Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program, DARPA is trying to achieve advances in robotics that will enable better design and fabrication of robots, which will have enhanced mobility and manipulation in natural, undefined environments. Another goal is improve the capabilities of robots by better design tools, fabrication methods and control algorithms.

More details about the program can be found here. By its DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) program, all these goals will be put to test. This is a competition where robotics companies will compete to come up with the best robot control system, in order to satisfy the requirements set by DARPA, for a better robot that can respond to disasters, can be manipulated by untrained people, can work in undefined natural environments with ease, and at the same time manipulating objects and even use other tools around them while performing their tasks. The timeline for the competition started in October 2012 and will continue for 27 months. The first track of the robotics challenge, track A, is a virtual competition, will take place in June of 2013. Later will follow tracks B and C in December 2013 and December 2014 respectively. Currently, Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) is being developed by Boston Dynamics Inc. and the platform will be provided to qualifying competitors for later phases of the competition. (Tracks B and C). This GFE is basically a hardware, in other words the various components of the body of the robot, the torso, arms, legs and the head, which will be given to qualified competitors who do not have enough capabilities to come up with their own hardware. In addition, the teams will have access to an open source robotics simulator furnished by the government, in order to test the robots. The hope here is that the availability of an affordable and open source virtual test environment will contribute to the development of robotics technology by allowing the new hardware and software designs to be evaluated without the need for physical prototypes. Here is the GFE that is currently being built by Boston Dynamics, which was chosen among the other proposed humanoid platforms.


UPCOMING ROBOTICS EVENTS ICRA 2013—International Conference on Robotics and Automation

Robocup 2013

International Conference on Robotics and Automation is an annual, worldwide known robotics event, sponsored by the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.) is a non-profit, technical professional association of more than 377,000 individual members in 150 countries. ICRA 2013 edition will take place for five days, from May 6th to May 10th in Karlsruhe, Germany, the city in which Heinrich Hertz discovered the electromagnetic waves in 1888 and which gave birth in 1844 to Karl Benz – the inventor of the gasolinepowered automobile. The event will include two days of workshops/tutorials, three days of technical presentations with six plenary talks, exhibitions, technical and non-technical tours, attractive social events, as well as RA society meetings.

Robocup is one of the most famous robotic soccer competitions around the world. The event has the goal of making a soccer playing robot team which will be able to beat human world champion by the year 2050. The use of soccer as the means to improve technology helps many people get interested in the subject. The event hosts a Soccer League, which is divided into Small Size, Middle Size and Humanoid events. This year's Tournament will take place in Eindhoven, Holland, between 26 -30 June 2013, with over 2500 participants. Logo Credit: Logo Credit:

AAAI (Association for the Advancement ICAI'13 - The 2013 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence of Artificial Intelligence) 2013 The 27th AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) Conference will be held July 14–18, 2013 in Bellevue, Washington, USA. The goal of this yearly event is to promote research in artificial intelligence (AI) and scientific exchange among AI researchers, practitioners, scientists, and engineers in affiliated disciplines. It is one of the most widely accepted organizations in the world in the field of Artificial Intelligence. AAAI-13 will have various technical subjects, student abstracts, poster sessions, invited speakers, and exhibit programs, all selected with great scrutiny and strictest review standards. The event welcomes submissions on mainstream AI topics as well as novel crosscutting work in related areas.

One of the most noted conferences on Artificial Intelligence, ICAI 2013 will take place between July 22-25 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Congress is the largest annual gathering of researchers in computer science, computer engineering and applied computing. 2,100 or more attendees from over 85 countries are anticipated to be there. A wide variety of subjects will be discussed such as:  Machine Learning,  Expert Systems,  Brain Models / Cognitive Science,  Knowledge Discovery and Problem Solving,  Intelligent Tutoring Systems,  Neural Networks and Applications,  Intelligent Databases,  Emerging Technologies,  Decision Support Systems,  Natural Language Processing, conferences/icai13 Logo Credit: World Academy of Science, Worldcomp


Diego San—The infant Robot to study cognitive


is name is Diego-san and he is an android infant developed by the Institute for Neural Computation’s Machine Perception Laboratory, based in the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit). Taking a year old baby as a model, the head was designed by Hanson Robotics which sells a line of expressive robots called Robokind. The body of Diego-san was designed by the Japanese Kokoro Co. which built the android infant CB2 for Osaka University beforehand. The purpose was creating a research platform in order to study the cognitive development of children while reading and mimicking facial expressions and how children learn to use their body and to communicate with others. Dr. Javier Movellan sums up the objectives in the Japan-based PlasticPals blog: “The project’s main goal is to try and understand the development of sensory motor intelligence from a computational point of view. It brings together researchers in developmental psychology, machine learning, neuroscience, computer vision and robotics. Diego-san with different facial expressions Source: UCSDNews PressRelease Basically we are trying to understand the computational problems that a baby’s brain faces, when learning to move its own body and use it to interact with the physical and social worlds.” Diego-san is designed to learn and develop sensory-motor skills such as reaching, grasping and communicative skills such as pointing and smiling similar to a year old infant.!.

With its 4 feet 3 inches (130cm) height and 66 pounds (30kg) weight, Diego-san is obviously bigger than an infant due to the fact that being small size would have cost much more. It has 44 pneumatic joints altogether while only its head has 27 parts that enable different facial expressions. The sensors and actuators enable the complexity in dymamics of human muscles. Thanks to these characteristics, Diego-san is one of the most realistic robots of its kind. This project is very important considering its potential contribution to computational study of infant development and the understanding of developmental disorders such as autism and Williams syndrome. Machine Perception Technologies (MPT) is now looking for undergraduate interns and postgraduate programmers in expression recognition technology. There will be more information about the research in scientific publications soon. Furthermore, there will be friends available for Diego-san within a few months such as Roboy.


Robotic magazine issue 1  

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