🐛 flatcat updates and more

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.

Box of 18650 batteries, three for each flatcat

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.

Sensorimotor PCB with new chip package visible at the far end
Sensorimotor PCB with new chip package visible at the far end
Multiple sensorimotor PCBs lined up for further processing
Multiple sensorimotor PCBs lined up for further processing

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.

No one took a photo on the day 🥶 have to use this one instead

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.

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