Hi all, dumping a stack of updates from the last few days
flatcat PCBs in the house
The manufactured PCBs for sensorimotor & energymodule arrived at the lab yesterday. This lead to the first run of component placement and baking in the oven today, to obtain the fully assembled electronics boards required for making a flatcat. This seemed to have worked reasonably well and the first sensorimotor was put into operation successfully.
Another fur has arrived this week from the prototyping done by our collaborator Karen Ellmer. The amount of available fake fur materials is pretty stunning. Right now we are working with a selection from the samples we have, to find a minimal functional design that we can ship with. Something that feels amazing and allows the cat to move freely.
Bakiwi workshopSept 2021
The first Bakiwi workshop after lockdown took place on Saturday, quite successfully with nine (9) Bakiwis walking out the door on their own for nine teams of builders. It was great to have all of you and we hope you enjoyed as much as we did. To be done again, watch out for upcoming dates.
These are two examples of RTFM
We had a baby rat (some say it was a mouse) coming in for a visit. It then had to be removed from the premises via this contraption.
jetpack cognition wear
Our apparel campaign is coming along quite well, and like all that we do, subject to heavy development on the go. We now have demonstration exemplars for all three base colors. This is the black one, the lilac one will be posted soon.
But then taste this full use case as a robot pet holder, observed recently outside our lab.
For those of you who having one of the shirts, here is the true samples for the shirt’s base color. The jetpack tee two there is all of them in sizes S, M, L (limited quantities). For the direct-to-garment corporate insignia prints, we will only do anthracite and white. Go check.
We installed open graph and Twitter card plugins for our wordpress so social sharing is much improved with nice automatic summary previews.
Thank you, that’s it for today. As always, feel free to be in touch about your questions and comments, we hear you.
Wearing it looks like this, in front of the lab, and inside.
Is available in three base colors dark blue, black, lilac. Size can be chosen from standard size table, see campaign page for a size chart.
In addition to the amazing sweater designed and manufactured in cooperation with Elle Janssen / hit-in.tv, two types of printed t-shirts are available, the jetpack tee two (2), and the jetpack tee one (1).
We have been making up, writing, and expounding our story over the months and years. Spontaneously, this seems to be a very short version of the bigger arc in very simple words.
for several big global problems (humane elderly care, regenerative agriculture, cleaning up the garbage planet) we need really cool robots that are cheap. for this they have to be able to learn properly. this is difficult but we (as a community) know how to do it. everything we do is for the plan to build cool self-learning robots that you really want to hang out with and that don't need help all the time :)
für mehrere grosse globale probleme (humane altenpflege, regenerative landwirtschaft, müllplanet aufräumen) brauchen wir richtig coole roboter die billig sind. dafür müssen sie richtig gut lernen können. das ist schwierig aber wir (als community) wissen wie es geht. alles was wir machen dient dem plan, coole selbstlernende roboter zu bauen, mit denen man auch wirklich abhängen möchte und die nicht andauernd selber hilfe brauchen :)
Very nice piece in German on Heise by Hans-Arthur Marsiske on robots as play companions. The article is part of a series on robots in everyday life and titled Robots in everyday life: The playmate. We are very excited to see flatcat discussed extensively including a video interview with Jetpack founder / CTO Matthias Kubisch, among coverage of Playful machines by Ralf Der ad Georg Martius, as well as a good sample of other playmate robots available on the market. In relation, this highlights the unique approach and character of flatcat within the larger robotics ecosystem.
Quoting as a teaser
This thing is a robot, is called Flatcat and does – nothing: It just wants to play. It is not capable of doing anything else at all. Its developers at Jetpack Cognition Lab, a Berlin-based company founded in 2019, have not equipped it with displays or other means of data input, nor with visual or auditory sensors. Flatcat only perceives forces acting on it, reacts to them and gradually develops a behavior from these experiences.
Anyone who brings this techno-pet into their home or laboratory will have the opportunity to follow the development of its thinking ability and thus of an artificial personality up close and in real time – just like a biological pet.
Hans-Arthur Marsiske, Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Another day, another overdue update. What is happening at Jetpack Cognition Lab since we last wrote?
Main prototype flatcat2 is running smoothly on the new energy module for days. Last week we ordered the Lipo batteries to be used in your flatcats. They are standard cells (18650) that can be easily replaced in case of a battery failing. In the house already.
Same goes for the motors, order has been placed with the manufacturer and we are waiting for the shipment, expected to arrive in a few weeks.
Development currently focuses on extending the basic behavior we have right now with more elaborate exploration algorithms which will lead to more diverse episodes of different things it does.
What started to impinge on us as a flickering halo quickly turned into a full out real global phenomenon, driven by our ~friends~ of #automotive: a global semiconductor shortage. For several flatcat related PCB designs we could not acquire the required chips and packages anymore. Too bad, so we turned forward and redesigned the boards to accommodate available packages. These will be sent to manufacture soon and comprise the last big chunk of supplies we need before we can finish the hardware aka flatcat chassis. This is how we roll.
The flatcat endurance poster is WIP and we will at some point come back with this specifically to get your early feedback on a few design variations.
On tangential notes, we had a TV crew in the house last week for shooting an episode to be included in the “Einfach genial” (Simply genius) format of German public channel MDR. The piece is going to be aired September upwards, keep you posted when it’s hot.
A new application for flatcat was discovered recently in the lab, which is realtime control of musical parameters through the force sensitive interface that the robot is. Here, we are sending 2 x 4 state variables from the joints to a digital sysnthesizer using OpenSoundControl. It works very well and was used in a public performance at the legendary and exclusive NNOI festival an hour north of Berlin on the weekend July 2-4, 2021.
Finally, if you want to read more, we have a fresh piece of techno-philosophy posted on the blog here.
Always love to have your feedback and learn what you are up to.