December 01, 2002
More ER1 Publicity

Evolution was on slashdot again, after the Associated Press syndicated a review of the ER1.

It's slashdot, of course, but I don't think I saw more than one or two comments containing 100% accurate or insightful information. The two most significant things that seemed to be missed by the slashdotters are

  1. Evolution has a linux version of the software.
  2. Computer vision is not easy.

While it's true that at the moment you can't buy an ER1 and have it work with your linux system, nobody even noticed that we have been selling a linux version of our software for some time [actually it looks like the next day someone did finally mention this]. In fact the linux version predates the Windows port by many months.

I love the poster who said you'd save a lot of money if you just bought a bunch of resistors and diodes and put it together yourself. Well, yeah, I guess. If you ignore the issue of software to run the thing. The Evolution Robotics Software Platform (ERSP) is a nice, powerful, portable robot programming architecture, and it took a lot of effort to develop it. And not just in terms of time; I will go out on a limb and say that no hobbyist is going to have the ability required to code up object recognition with the same performance that ERSP already has. But hey, "it's just software".

The ER1 certainly has faults. It's a complex product, and Evo tried to pack in as much as it could and still keep the price reasonable, which involved all sorts of tradeoffs. It is cool that as the control software has been improved it has been made available for free on the Evo website.

ER1 missile duel

Here are two things that slashdotters might have found entertaining:

  1. The videos of ER1s with mounted model rocket launchers using vision to detect and fire at other ER1s
  2. The video of an ER1 reenacting a scene from the battle for Hoth, circling an R2D2 robot at high speed, entangling it in a cable, then dragging the poor complaining R2 unit around the room.
Posted by jjwiseman at December 01, 2002 05:25 PM
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