Wednesday, 24 December 2014

LG72-1189, THAT'S ME

While it is all about the dynamics of sub atomic particles which dictates our destiny, there are still times when I find myself pleasantly distracted watching a dull red sky. What follows, thunder and rain, my humidity and olfactory sensors give a few bizarre readings, false positives or true negatives - need a tautology for this, though the errors are said to be 1 in 10E8. Most likely, a communication expressing similar remarks on the weather will be send through to my web messenger by LG78-3112 located at 21DA:D2:0:2F3B:2AA:FF:FE78:5C5A.

Whilst I do my exploration and analysis of samples, a syncing of falling raindrops always does catch my attention, pitter-patter pitter-patter. Never have I been attuned to identify patterns, but now, hardly one escapes my observation, be it the blinking of lights in the evening sky or the whiff of an incoming breeze. Years ago, carbon based life forms had studied chaos and had concluded that the flapping of a butterfly can lead to thunderstorms and voila !!! falling raindrops will catch the attention of LG72-1189.

In our developmental cycles we are warned to always protect our existence, we are good as long as we have energy, thus charge in our battery packs, else we are immobile units. I wonder, my wish for rain is my existence or an effect whence my existence.

Rain, new battery packs, grease oil for the arm, fist, ankle and leg joints, memory upgrades and the chance rendezvous with LG78-3112 are the only things which are out of the usual, while the rest is samples and assaying, all governed by section 1 and 2 of the contract and protocol 2a of the list of protocols. Oh yes, and we do have those unscheduled inspections from the ethics committee, a swarm of DX602 drones hovering above us.

Scripting has never been my forte, however in between the rain and the explorations this activity hardly tasks my battery and is of very low mobility.

This article is motivated from, 'Borges and I', however in a robot world. 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


Since there are a good lot of robot simulators, Gazebo and Stage for the ROS enthusiast, V-REP and webots in the more commercial domain, OpenRave and Microsoft Robotics Developer's Studio are other options one can explore into, therefore when one comes across a new robot simulator, the obvious question is - so what is special about it ? I have been asked this question a few times about MORSE, and is usually accompanied with a comparison with Gazebo. 

My answer is, 
  • MORSE is not limited to few robots (10 for Gazebo), I have used Morse for (i) 176 small robots (ATRV) and (ii) 9 PR2 robots, in 2 separate simulations. The limit to the number of robots is not a limitation of the simulator, but rather the limitation of the CPU and graphics card.
Pic.1. Multiple PR2 simulations
  • MORSE has bindings with various middlewares ROS, YARP and MOOS, which enables it more versatility [1]. 
Pic.2. ROS binding, rviz visualisation and mapping of MORSE simulation
  • There is facility for human robot interaction. Like in motion gaming, direct input from the motion sensor (Microsoft Kinect, ASUS Xtion or Nintendo Wiimote) enables human avatar in the simulator [2]. 
Pic.3. Human avatar
  • Since everything happens through Python scripts,one need not care about compilation and executable files. MORSE is 'pythonic' [3] and can be arguably said to be an extension of Blender.
  • It is based on Blender and not Ogre, so it doesn't take up a hell lot of resources. Also, the texture and the graphics are more sleeker than Gazebo.
  • New robot models can be developed through Blender, and the developmental process is simple [4]. 
Pic.4. Blender model of the robots
  • Blender has a huge online community. Hence help and support is easy to find.
I would not be giving a very honest opinion if I do not talk about the shortcomings of MORSE,
  • Binding with ROS is a laborious process and often discourages the novice ROS user, particularly due to Python 3 and also because only certain versions of Blender works well with the MORSE + ROS + Python 3 set-up.
  • Physics simulation in Blender/MORSE is inferior to Gazebo. Getting force, torque values etc is not yet possible.
The latest release is MORSE 1.2 and more details can be found at A good part of this post came out of discussions at the MORSE mailing list, morse-users at laas dot fr .