Welcome to Cyber Dump number 28, your weekly look at what's happening in this insane age of technology that we live in. As always, all source links mentioned are below.
Andrew Vavrek announced the alpha version of Open Assistant, an open source AI assistant that you can talk to, and issue various commands. It currently works on Arch Linux, and is coming to Ubuntu and macOS soon.
NextThing announced the CHIP PRO, a new linux based board designed for embedded hardware projects. It boasts a 1GHz ARM 7 CPU, 256 or 512MB RAM, Wifi, and Bluetooth, and tonnes of GPIO pins. The little board will be released in December, at a price of $16.
ModalVR showed off their enterprise VR system aimed at enabling virtual reality, and tracking over large areas. Co-founded by one of the creators of Atari, this could develop into something very interesting.
Speaking of tracking, VR Tracker recently announced what they say is the worlds first open source 3D positional tracker for VR. All the code is available on github, and they have a dev kit available in their shop.
Youtube user AltaPowderDog showed how to create electroadhesive using tinfoil and some tape. When thousands of volts are passed through the tinfoil, it sticks to different surfaces, and the idea is to use it for things like climbing robots.
Jack Lewis also wrote an informative article on how to create your own keyboard from scratch. I thought this could be handy for the folks out there who like building and modding computers, and I think I may use it myself in a future project.
Online education site Udacity is aiming to build a fully open-source self-driving car, and this week they released 223GB of driving data for anyone to look over. Along with image frames, this dump includes positioning, gear, brake, throttle, steering angles and speed data.
Researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology have created the crank rover, a curious robot design that can traverse a bunch of different terrains, and even climb over small obstacles.
In other robotics news, students at the University of Michigan released a video showing how a change in the software of autonomous robots can help them better navigate amongst humans and other moving objects.
This week Techcrunch released a new video series about Bitcoin, its Blockchain, the history and the implications of the technology.
Last week was the first Cybathlon, held in Zurich, Switzerland. The event set up a bunch of different games which paired humans, with technologies that could help them overcome various disabilities. This included robotic arms and legs, exoskeletons, brain controlled interfaces and more. Pretty cool.
THIS WEEK ON NODE
This week Josh wrote an article on augmented nutrition, Soylent, and the movement behind creating tailored synthetic foods.
Two more videos this week. The first is the latest Dead Drop, and the next is a look at the MemType, a cool little device which stores passwords and other data, mimicing a keyboard to type it out on your system.