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Resolved Resolved by DJ Sures!

Distance Detection For NMS

I am slowly getting all the quirks with the T265 worked out by docking etc. We really need some distance sensing as well so we can get better detail of our surroundings. @DJ are there any plans in adding a distance sensor like a D435 (or D435i since we already have an IMU in the T265).   

Just trying to work out what I should purchase in anticipation of some future depth sensing capabilities.

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Synthiam
PRO
Canada
#1  
I am slowly getting all the quirks with the T265 worked out by docking etc. We really need some distance sensing as well so we can get better detail of our surroundings. @DJ are there any plans in adding a distance sensor like a D435 (or D435i since we already have an IMU in the T265).   

Just trying to work out what I should purchase in anticipation of some future depth sensing capabilities.
PRO
Canada
#58  
I thought the entire concept of ARC was you didn't need to know how to code but now you need to code to create a skill. Did I miss something?
PRO
Portugal
#59   — Edited
My thoughts exactly nink. The ARC concept. I can do some simple coding in python but modifying a skill or create one...nop
PRO
Synthiam
#60   — Edited
Check out synthiam.com to find out what Synthiam is all about :). Also, the about section is super useful. I personally make robot skills to contribute to the platform for people to use, such as your WebSockets that I thought would be useful to ya. Synthiam does the development of integrations for customers, such as the recent Tello robot skill, etc.. You can certainly hire us to create a skill that helps you achieve your goals. But if you're just using ARC to play around, it may not make sense to invest that much into it and keep experiencing robot skills as they popup. Generally, if you see a robot skill appear it's because someone paid us to make it.

If you can code a bit in Python, then you can also use the NMS to connect to any sensor or service as well. The NMS has python commands exposed:D



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PRO
Canada
#61  
Unfortunately this is a hobby so I don't have the funds to pay for custom code. If anyone wants (and has the skills) to create a plugin for ARC for a D435i I am happy to buy one and send it to you.  Thanks
PRO
Synthiam
#62  
You know I’ll end up making one lol. I ordered one but confidence is low for it. But we’ll see!

I think my priority for anything navigation related is some path planning embedded in The Navigator. I hope to have time to do that in the next month or two. If I can get a small break from customer support. That eats up most of my time in a day lately. 

I don’t really get a chance to play with robots ever. It’s kinda sad really LOL. I started this cause I wanted to build robots but now I just write manuals and answer support questions LOL
#63  
@Nink,   DJ has been trying to convince others to code plugins since he added the plugin concept to EZ-Builder/ARC.  Unfortunately, except for @PTP, most of the people with developer skills who were doing things with the SDK have moved onto other places for one reason or another before the plugin concept was created.   

I personally have been trying to find time to update my skills so that I can write my own plugins to share.  I used to be a decent Visual Basic 6 coder, but dotnet coding is very different, and I just haven't been able to spend the time to wrap my had around it.  Also want to learn Javascript since it seems that is the direction forward over EZ-Script.  Unfortunately, I just don't have the time to spend on that right now.  I thought not commuting because of Covid would buy me some time, but I found it quickly filling up with working on deferred maintenance of my almost 50 year old house, and learning guitar....  But I am finally getting a little bit back into my robots. NMS has been a big inspiration to get me back onto robot building.  It really is the key functionality I have been waiting for that changes mobile robots from essentially advanced RC cars to real robots.

I should point out that I suggested the plugin idea (I used slightly different words) in November of 2011.   Had @DJ created it then rather than many years later, I probably would have had the time to sharpen up my skills and would have been contributing:)   https://synthiam.com/Community/Questions/An-SDK-idea-7023

Although, @DJ.....  It doesn't help to get others to write them when someone does say they are starting one, or figures out another way to do an integration, and you turn around and publish one overnight.  I have seen this happen a few times and I think it may sometimes discourage others from innovating.  On the other hand, yours usually work, and some of the other ones out there that were developed don't and their developers have disappeared.

Alan
PRO
Canada
#64  
Hi @Alan I appreciate the input and I always appreciate the help you give me on the forum when I can't figure something out in ARC. I haven't written code in 30 years and I think I am a little past the stage to learn (can't focus and bad memory).  I agree on the NMS front. It works great for a Roomba or small wheeled robot with a bunch of ping sensors and it knows where it is going (for the most part) and doesn't smash into things (as much).  I guess we were suddenly given something that made our robots somewhat autonomous and now we all want more. It is a bit like giving a kid who has never had candy before his first taste. Now he wants more and to move onto chocolate bars and other confections.  We are hooked.
PRO
Synthiam
#65  
The thing about the NMS is that it’s only the messaging system for navigation. It’s only as good as the input and output. Interestingly, the NMS has actually been in ARC since around 2014 but it was only called Messaging Service until it was renamed and used with the realsense. 

The reason the NMS didn’t get any spotlight was because there haven’t been a lot of advancements in navigation sensors etc. I was hoping the realsense would ignite completion in that space, but sadly no. 

the main trouble stems about stagnant growth in robot sensors is the cost and application volume. You see, companies that invent a lidar or single sensor are so proud of it, that they feel it’s the heart of the robot revolution and they charge arm and a leg. 

so when you add up all of these inflated ego product prices of each sensor product to assemble a robot, you end up with a cost that’s unbearable. 

Take realsense for example. Not only is the price unrealistic as a BOM item in a product, but it’s unattainable to purchase. Intel discontinued the realsense after the first manufacturing run. It’s like they made 10,000 units and moved on to the next thing.

other navigation stuff, like industrial lidar makes me laugh. They price these units about the cost of a reliable used car. Meanwhile, selling 1 is a victory for them LOL. Sure, the single application gets some media attention and the robot report writes that the robot revolution is around the corner hahaha. That seems to happen ever few months. Usually when a floor cleaning robot comes out, but now it’s robot arms. 

Anyway - I should add that it’s not customer support on the forum that takes a lot of my time. The forum is just a few old schoolers like yourselves that I enjoy talking to. The customer support I spend a lot of time on are the volume license enterprises, like schools and startup accelerators and a few r&d labs. But they are the reasons behind many of the usability and stability updates that you’re experiencing in arc. Also, the support section continually grows based on their interaction. 

it’s a blessing in disguise because the manual section always needed some work:)
PRO
Portugal
#66  
Hey DJ, when you had time you could do a hack night with us about improving NMS, and plug-in creation. We could try to do something together. Just a suggestion. I have my beer ready.:)
PRO
Synthiam
#67  
Beer and coding always results in something fun:)

the trouble with coding on a live hack is focus and time constraint. It takes many many hours to write simple functionality. That’s why I avoid it for complicated things. Like, it would take a few days to code some path planning into the navigator. Or a week to code some map
editing snd saving features, etc..

I have to clear days of uninterruption to tackle development like that:)

also, since everyone is working from home for the last 13 months, we haven’t even been to the office in forever. I don’t even know why I pay tens of thousands per month for an office. It’s expensive and not even being used. So live hacks take the back burner LOL. I’ll probably shut the office down when our lease expires and move my lab back into my house. Probably do a lot more live hacks that way!
#68   — Edited
Wow 10,s of thousands! I do get it that you do best work when concentrating uninterrupted. When I had my huge Motor home out in nature, I got right into learning code for the old EZ scripts,nobody bothering me knocking on my door all the time and so peaceful,the good old days.
@Alan , hey I was trying to learn guitar last 10 years but I still suck LOL! I have an autograph Paul Stanley guitar from Kiss Fame. I mainly just do power chords and use my distortion box to make crazy death metal sounds.Or ACDC!
PRO
Canada
#69  
@DJ I wondered why you kept that big office after you sold EZ-Robot.  Seems like an expensive way to store pinball machines:)  Most software companies I know run their business off a laptop and move into shared office spaces where you can meet customers and book a board room etc when you need them, although you maybe better off in one of the innovation Hubs where startups hang out and collaborate and you can partner with other Tech Companies .  Good for visibility, Angel investors, VC's etc (but I assume you probably know everyone in Calgary anyway).
PRO
Synthiam
#70  
I love that office, that’s why. Designed it from a blank slate. If you had a chance to visit, you’d know what I meant that it’s a reflection of myself:)

But it doesn’t make sense if it’s empty / even from me. Especially when you consider how absolutely massive it is LOL!
#71  
I would always picture your office kind of like Willy Wonkas chocolate Factory-- except wandering robots instead of Midget people and chocolate rivers LoL!
PRO
Synthiam
#72  
It is a combination of both lol
PRO
Portugal
#73   — Edited
@DJ
I still remember when you moved to that office and had 3 live webcams and we could follow the remodeling process and later all you guys at work...
Love that space!
PRO
Synthiam
#74  
Sad that we had to take the webcams offline :(. There was a staff member who had issues with being broadcasted - even though the image resolution was 160x120 and everyone looked like a blurry pixel HAHA

I have the footage from the very first webcam all the way until today. They're stored on a server raid array. When the drive fills, we replace it with another and put the old drive in a storage box. I think each drive is around 4tb and there's about 4 or 5 of them. So around 20tb or so of video since 2013. I think it was 2013 when we moved into the first office.
#75  
LoL! I did feel like I was intruding when I could see people playing on the Arcade machines or eating food so I would try to never look,just go straight to Questions.xD
PRO
Canada
#76  
Thank you so much for doing this. My robot is in pieces right now but as soon as I get the parts I will put it back together and try this out.  VERY COOL THANK YOU