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[DPRG] Work with researchers?

Subject: [DPRG] Work with researchers?
From: Redouane Boumghar redouane.boumghar at magellium.fr
Date: Thu Jan 7 08:43:09 CST 2010

Hello all,

Yes good discussion, funding really becomes a problem when one needs to
build a robot with high quality sensors and other specific hardware, but
for "simple" robots I can manage to build for "free" or "look like free".

The only thing I need is time :)

I wouldn't need hundreds of robots (swarm) but "only" three. (thank you
for the formica link). For now I need Wheeled or Winged robots, with one
or two cameras in visible wavelengths and communication devices.

The problems we want to solve in my lab could look very simple like
"Robot R1 : get to point B"

and RoboMagellan is a simplified view of this problem because
the robot already knows three ways and doesn't have to deal with
dead-ends other than following another way.

I work with totally unknown environments and with equal or more than 2
robots. Thank you for the "RoboMagellan" name because I found
interesting pages on robots schematics like the 'sputnik' vehicule.

Our problem becomes very tricky when we start to add :
"Robot R1 : get to point B"
"Robot R2 : help R1 to find his way to point B"

Hobbyist researchers and rehobbeachers all need a framework in order to
not rebuild the wheel.

Here at LAAS we have GeNom in the OpenRobots framework that you can find
here :

http://softs.laas.fr/openrobots/wiki/

All our robots works with that framework, wheels (ground vehicules) and
feets (humanoids). It is certainly not the simplest framework everdone
but we need user's feedbacks.

We are also building a brand new Open Robot Simulator and I know that
Gilberto Etcheverria who is the main contributor and maintainer would
love see some fresh users try to use the simulator and provide
feedbacks.
Having an open source and free simulator help us researching efficiently
with no fundings.

We use blender and its game engine for physics simulation and rendering,
you can see more here :

http://edge.launchpad.net/openrobots-simulator
or
https://edge.launchpad.net/openrobots-simulator

Feel free to browse the code install Blender 3D (blender3d.org) and load
the scenarii (*.blend files).

Feel free to ask more questions to me or to Gilberto...
if you could put in your email subject "Question about the world wide
	OpenRobot Simulator" that would be fun :-D

The goal of using blender is that everyone can build his/her own robot
and sensors and publish them.

Have a good day,

Best Regards
Red.
--
PhD.

On Wed, Jan 06, 2010 at 06:15:21AM -0600, Quinones, Jose wrote:
> This is a good topic!
> 
> 
> 
> My question is, why separate the hobbyist from the researcher? In essence, a hobbyist can be a researcher! A rehobbysearcher!
> 
> 
> 
> Yes, you did mention the lack of funds and resources, but there is a ton of stuff we can research on for which you require zero funding. WHAT??? ZERO FUNDING??? AM I NUTS???
> 
> 
> 
> Take for example, the fact that robotics is a lot of hardware, but what it is the most, is software. You can come up with a gazillion techniques to do dynamic PID algorithms, computer vision, neural net or adaptive networks. Why do you need funding for this? You can take your nights at home, code different sets of algorithms and quantify which one works the best.
> 
> 
> 
> Then you can take those findings and post them on forums so that the entire planet can benefit from them (including the open source material so other rehobbysearchers can expand on it). There is a fair number of forums out there for robotics, although the great majority of them concentrate on trivial things like "what board to buy" and "why my driver is not working". So that is the problem we should solve first. A forum for rehobbysearchers!
> 
> 
> 
> Funding should not be an excuse. When a PhD at a university gets a few hundred thousand dollars, this is not just used to buy fancy and expensive equipment. A good chunk of this goes to pay a "dinky little bit" to the professor himself as well as the research students.
> 
> 
> 
> So I think that with minimal cash we can become researchers as well. Am sorry, rehobbysearchers ;-)
> 
> 
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> 
> 
> JIQ
> 
> Texas Instruments - Applications Engineer
> 
> 13560 North Central Expressway
> 
> MS3744
> 
> Dallas TX, 75243
> 
> Office: 1-214-567-7275
> 
> Mobile: 1-214-240-3179
> 

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