Creating Autonomous Flying Robots with the CogniFly Project

The CogniFly project is a foray into combining autonomous drones with AI vision, allowing for novel solutions when tackling tough problems.

How It Started

Smart agriculture is vital for making farming more efficient and thus more sustainable. This includes tracking crop yields, water usage, and weather over time, all of which requires ample amounts of data and powerful processing to make it useful. Some data scientists use satellite imaging to gather information, but it can tough in certain locations. The alternative is to use UAVs to get images, which is what the MISTLab postdoctoral researcher Ricardo de Azambuja set out to do in his project called “High Fidelity Data Collection for Precision Agriculture with Drone Swarms”. He originally wanted to use off-the-shelf DJI Tello drones and customize their control software, but since they had to be connected to laptops the entire time and with new Canadian UAV restrictions, a new solution was needed. The next idea was to combine an open source design with AI capabilities and a customized battery holder for an ultra-versatile platform.

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Zach Frew’s Liquid Lite Brite creates low-res art out of liquid dye

As a child, chances are you came across a Lite-Brite at some point. The toy consisted of a light box with small plastic pegs that fit into a panel and lit up to form a picture. Drawing inspiration from that, mechatronics engineer Zach Frew thought “it would be cool to make a robot that consumes a digital image and outputs a watercolor painting.” What he came up with as a “first step along that path” is a homemade liquid handling workstation to dispense and mix a CMYK dye solution in a 384-well microplate “canvas.”

Liquid distribution is calculated with the help of a Python script that takes a 24×16 pixel image as input and assigns each pixel an RGB value. The “printing” is handled by the common RepRap configuration of an Arduino Mega and a RAMPS 1.4 shield, plus a PCA9685 expander chip. The X, Y, and Z axes move via stepper motors and rails, while color mixing is accomplished using five servo-actuated valves. A stepper-driven peristaltic pump is employed for liquid placement, producing low-resolution yet no less beautiful art.

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Fabricating fully functional drones

CSAIL’s “LaserFactory” system automates the full process for making functional devices in one system.

From Star Trek’s replicators to Richie Rich’s wishing machine, popular culture has a long history of parading flashy machines that can instantly output any item to a user’s delight. 

While 3D printers have now made it possible to produce a range of objects that include product models, jewelry, and novelty toys,we still lack the ability to fabricate more complex devices that are essentially ready-to-go right out of the printer. 

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Design and Development of a Robotic Hand

Over the few years, there have been great steps in the development of functional prosthetic hands. However, even the most advanced hands lack a combination of high functionality and affordability. A new prosthetic hand has been designed and developed combining high functionality and affordability thanks to rapid prototyping techniques. This video presents the design of a five-fingered prosthetic hand that can be programmed to have multiple grip patterns using force myography (FMG) as a control signal instead of electromyography (EMG) signal. A novel FMG sensor was developed using strain gages and a high resolution ADC to detect mechanical muscle contractions from the residual forearm of amputees.

“Snap Instabilities,” Which Make Popper Toys Pop, Could Let Future Robots Propel Themselves

Having watched a gel strip dry, researchers have found a way to harness snap-buckling without the need for a manual reset phase.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Delft University of Technology, in partnership with the US Army, have published a paper detailing a way of giving materials the ability to propel themselves using only environmental energy flow — something the military is looking into for future robotics applications.

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Akira Kaneda’s Bike – Arduino & 3D printing

– 3D프린터와 아두이노를 이용해서 제작한 아키라 바이크 입니다.
– RC BIKE V1을 기반으로 디자인을 변경한 버전 입니다.

BLE MotorShield http://www.3demp.com/product/productD…
RC BIKE STL & Arduino code http://www.3demp.com/community/boardD…
Controller App : android : https://play.google.com/store/apps/de…
ios : https://apps.apple.com/kr/app/3demp/i…

This pen plotter draws detailed maps the size of walls

Christopher Getschmann wanted a wall-sized map of the world. He soon realized, however, that it’s tough to actually buy such a map that’s both beautiful and detailed enough to satisfy his cartographic tastes. While many would simply move on to the next “thing,” Getschmann instead took things into his own hands, and built a pen plotter specifically to draw a massive 2×3 meter map for his wall.

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Electronic transfer tattoo with a crease amplification effect

Electronic tattoos can have applications during health and movement sensing on human skin. Nevertheless, the existing versions are nonconformal, sticky and multi-layered. In a new report, Lixue Tang and a research team in biomedical engineering and nanoscience in China achieved the multilayer integration of an 800 percent stretchable, conformal and sticky electronic tattoo. The construct allowed the crease amplification effect, which amplified the output signal of the integrated sensors by three times. The team showed the possibility of transferring the tattoo to a different surface to formed a firm attachment without solvent or heat. The researchers used a straightforward method to fabricate the tattoo based on a layer-by-layer strategy with two materials used to fabricate the circuit mode within the tattoo. The three-layered tattoo integrated one heater and 15 strain sensors for temperature adjustment to monitor movement and to remotely control robots.

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