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How To Attend Next Week's Robotics Show Robotically

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the from-the-confort-of-your-own-chair dept.

Robotics 38

DeviceGuru writes "Suitable Technologies is offering $50 rentals of its Beam mobile telepresence robot, allowing 50 robotics enthusiasts to remotely attend the RoboBusiness conference in Santa Clara, Calif. on Oct. 23-25. The Ubuntu- and ROS-based Beam will be available to the first 50 applicants, letting them explore the show at up to 1.5 meters/sec and interact with others via video conferencing. The bots will be allowed everywhere on the show floor as well as in conference rooms, and the show will be open late to accommodate remote users from distant time zones. The Beam is a good choice for remotely exploring conferences, saving users the cost and time of traveling to an event, says Suitable Tech; for example, RoboBusiness registration costs $1,595, not including hotel and travel. A list of the conference's keynotes, which include one by Christ Urmson, director of Google's Self-Driving Cars project, is available here."

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38 comments

Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45150199)

What a perfect time to have a Goatse picture displayed on the robot as you travel around the show room!

For the uninitiated, here's a link of the Goatse: http://goatse.pro [goatse.pro]

Brings a whole new definition (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 9 months ago | (#45150497)

To attending in spirit.

speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (4, Informative)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 9 months ago | (#45150201)

speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45150243)

speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h

Thats 5.0 * 10 ^-9 c for those of you who like non arbitrary units.

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (1, Troll)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#45150415)

Thats 5.0 * 10 ^-9 c for those of you who like non arbitrary units.

Relative to what?

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (1)

mic0e (2740501) | about 9 months ago | (#45150581)

That was not specified in the article, and depends on where you are, but I'll assume the earth-fixed rotating reference frame.

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45150665)

Would it be nitpicking to point out that c is expressed in metres per second?

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (3, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#45150713)

I don't know; is it still nitpicking if it's wrong? c can be expressed in m/s, but it can also be expressed in feet per minute or rods per fortnight. A metre is defined in terms of the speed of light (and the length of a second), not the other way around. The speed of light is 299,792,458 metres per second, but it is not defined as such. As a physical - as far as we can tell - constant, it can't be defined - it can only be measured.

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 9 months ago | (#45165811)

I don't know, it depends on the strength of the gravity well you are in when doing this metres per second analysis.

Unless you are near a super massive black hole, your nit is going to be less than .00001 microns. Not even a full sized nit you are picking here.

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#45150717)

Hmm. Can one definitively determine any velocity relative to a rotating reference frame, except for 0?

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (1)

mic0e (2740501) | about 9 months ago | (#45157541)

Your velocity relative to the frame itself is undefined. However, your velocity relative to any point in the frame is very well defined. Usually, you use the velocity relative to your current position in the frame.

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 months ago | (#45150471)

Except mph and km/h are units most people can relate to.
It's pretty much walking speed, perhaps a bit slower.

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (1)

niftydude (1745144) | about 9 months ago | (#45150407)

In other words, a slow jog.

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45150721)

Or a brisk walk. Enough to knock strolling pedestrians over, not enough to actually catch the (train|flight|...). The latter is fine, since that isn't the point here. The former might turn out to be problematic in this scenario.

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (1)

fred911 (83970) | about 9 months ago | (#45151083)

Or roughly the speed of a 6" man walking briskly.

Re:speed: 1.5 meters/sec = 3.3554 mph = 5.4 km/h (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45151339)

I think that would be a 6" man running like the clappers. Perhaps you meant 6'

Gotta love /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45150441)

First post is about the units of measurement so we can all argue.

I love you guys...

Windows or Mac Only?!? (3, Interesting)

bjwest (14070) | about 9 months ago | (#45150475)

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these companies? They use Free/Open source software and/or hardware to build things, then don't offer the controlling or interactive software to those of us using the same damn OS on our desktops that's used in the thingyMaBob. Get the fuck out of Visual Basic, C# or what ever toy development environment you're using for cross platform, and use a real cross platform library. Qt will do all three platforms, and AFAIK, all it takes is a recompile to get it one of the others. And I'm sure there are other true cross platform libraries out there as well.
What cross platform development library are they using that is so frigging awesome, you have to leave out the Linux's? Fuck, if nothing else, use Java.

Re:Windows or Mac Only?!? (1)

paskie (539112) | about 9 months ago | (#45150813)

I share your frustration. However, even if it "just takes a recompile", you also need to test it under that target platform (so you also need at least one of your developers somewhat familiar with it; you need to install it on some test machine if none of the developers have it installed; etc.), fix any issues etc. - that takes extra resources and that raises the cost of development and then you need to take a look at whether the returns justify that. Anyone who used Java apps doing non-trivial audio I/O on Linux can realize that even Java is not a silver bullet in trouble-free total portability in all aspects.

An ideal solution from cost efficiency standpoint (if you decide that making it available on Linux on your own is not worth the investment) would be just making the app opensource, then others can port it to Linux if they really care. Heck, you can give them a free pass if they do.

Re:Windows or Mac Only?!? (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 9 months ago | (#45155081)

That is what makes WebRTC interesting, just test it on a few differrent browsers to see how they handle the rest of your code. Nothing platform specific, done.

Re:Windows or Mac Only?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45154411)

I take it you have never seriously used C++/Qt, Java/Swing, and C#/WPF for developing a real UI application. The difference is night and day. Microsoft really has made great tools for developers no matter how horrible of a company and how much I refuse to tie myself to them in products going forward.

First off C# is a significantly cleaner, easier, and faster language to develop for in than Java or C++. Note I am not saying it is better performance than C++ as interpreted languages with a memory manager aren't going to be, but development is way faster. If you have never used LINQ or lambda functions, you wouldn't understand, but it makes code that is much fewer lines and way more readable. (Ie. numbersArray.Where(x=>{x%2=0}); will give you an array that only contains even numbers of numbersArray). They make the basic things simple, so when you need more complicated things like threadpools they aren't difficult or confusing in the slightest. You can do everything in C++ and Java, but it's not nearly as easy to develop or maintain.

WPF (the graphics framework) is also simple, really easy to use, and makes complicated UI development about 100x easier. Some really basic easy things in WPF are nearly impossible in other frameworks. For example I have a application right now that you choose a different language and every text box in the application changes, the font size changes, the UI elements scale, without me really doing anything special. It's those sorts of things that end up taking 75% of my time in other frameworks just work the first time in WPF that set it apart.

Honestly, I am a huge proponent for using linux, especially in the embedded world, but don't think for a second I wouldn't choose C#/WPF if it was even an option in Linux. Qt doesn't compare. Many web frameworks for HTML5 do come close, and allow for similar development times, but don't let people lie to you. Javascript is still about 5x slower than C# or Java.

many thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45150533)

many thanks
http://www.trojanvirus.org/

3D print yourself there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45150553)

Until they offer that, they are Luddites stuck in the stone age.

the pricepoint is a nice firewall. (5, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about 9 months ago | (#45150709)

As the cost of technologies like this comes down i can only see several outcomes in the future.

1. robotics show restrooms closed due to denial of service attack by 4chan. robots screaming lady gaga cannot be evicted from the loo.

2. first presentation ruined by six wiseguys who refuse to stop racing their telepresence robots up and down the aisles

3. while everyone else has mastered the robots for some time, the recent uptick in management attendance is now correlated with the recent number of nearly suicidal robots that attempt to go down stairs and into pools.

4. ending the yearly conference means everyone has to return to the rental station, as every good engineer knows. C-level attendees have however been spotted trying to hail cabs and merge onto freeways.

5. although considered polite to use a business-friendly avatar, most attendies have adhered to an unspoken rule of using cats.

Re:the pricepoint is a nice firewall. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45152253)

>5. although considered polite to use a business-friendly avatar, most attendies have adhered to an unspoken rule of using cats.

Well played..

As is custom, I am adding nothing to the conversation. Too busy perfecting my fembot...

Re:the pricepoint is a nice firewall. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45157207)

are you going to use said fembot as YOUR avatar, or to do things to said avatar.

Either way, Have fun!!!

Re:the pricepoint is a nice firewall. (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 9 months ago | (#45165875)

I was actually thinking about the lawsuits from Booth Babes getting probed by remove devices chanting; "Johnny Five is alive!"

The other thing is that I can imagine someone named "God Mode" is going to use a remote robot to hack a terminal that breaks into a laptop on the show "The Big Bang Theory" and uses that laptop to hack another drone. After that point, nobody is going to know who buzzed the tower at JFK airport.

robot orgy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45150759)

what could possibly go wrong?

Should be robots only anyway (1)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 9 months ago | (#45151217)

Why humans should be allowed into the robotics show in the first place is beyond me.

Re: Should be robots only anyway (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 9 months ago | (#45154163)

Racist

Re: Should be robots only anyway (1)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 9 months ago | (#45154775)

That may be the case but at least I'm not human!

Everywhere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45151343)

Who will be the first to pilot one in to the womens lavatory? /AC

Yes, but not with this company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45151351)

I'd like to attend via robot, but not using a robot that hijacked an existing, defined term in the robotics community. BEAM robots were inspired by work in the late 80s and defined in 1990 by Mark Tilden. The most well-known example these days is the Hexbugs.

Wikipedia actually has a decent description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BEAM_robotics

Re:Yes, but not with this company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45152083)

Hear Hear! Nice to see recognition of Mark's work!

Re:Yes, but not with this company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45153095)

"Beam" is a noun/verb: as in beam of light or "beam me up," "BEAM" is an acronym. If anything they hijacked the term from Startrek.

Let's inspire people by charging $1500+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45152857)

I'd love to attend for maybe $40 or $50. The typical cost of a convention through reservations. For $1500 I better get a robot that wipes my ass and cooks for me and I'd be damned if my stay there didn't come with complimentary wifi. But I suppose RoboBusiness is for corporations looking to invest in robots so I suppose that's why the registration fee is upsetting. Given the current state of economy, there won't be any robotic overlords to welcome in the near-future. =(

Re: Let's inspire people by charging $1500+ (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 9 months ago | (#45154313)

Robot is $16,000, not $1,600, although considering its just a cheap i3 laptop on top of a cheap r/c car I think even $1,600 is too much. Put a $100 ptz surveillance camera on a $100 toys r us r/c car with $100 in batteries and you have essentially the same thing, actually better because the beam robot doesn't even offer zoom

This only works at shows like this (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | about 9 months ago | (#45154589)

Such shows allow them to control what happens to the robots. Try going down the street with one of these, it'll get stolen immediately. At the very least it'll need cameras in all directions in order to not be snuck up on and shanghaied, plus it needs to weigh at least as much as a Segway.
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