Category Archives: Video

Presentation BHT 2016

I will hold a small presentation about Low-Cost in a Robotic-Context at the BHT 2016. It will start at 17.00 at the Helmut-Härtig-Building of the Technische Universität Bergakademie in Freiberg.



in german, due to copyright, I removed some of the pictures:

Controlling ws2812b with an esp8266 by open-pixel-control protocol

Harder than it looks but controlling an 5m led stripe using the esp8266 by the open pixel control protocol took me a night (and might be the reason for extra bad english as i write this post directly after it). But it’s real fun!

There are several ways to make the controller blink, the easiest way is shown here:

while true; do ( echo -en '\x00\x00\x02\xA6'; dd if=/dev/urandom bs=678 count=1 status=none ) | ncat --send-only --udp 2342; sleep 0.1; done

For the duration of infintiy, it sends the static header consisting of 4 bytes ( prio, command and checksum) followed by 8bit red 8bit green and 8bit blue for each led of the stripe. It gets the blinking values by asking the source of random in linux.  It lacks a bit of white as my power source got to its limits, so if you reimplement this use 5V and 1A per 30 leds.

Another thing to mention is the data length field which are bytes 3-4 of the header or \x02\xA6 as in the command above. This length needs to equal the amount of leds times three, so in this example 226 Leds where controlled as the bytes in network order end up to be 678.

This results in that little animation:

Youtube Video

Another possibility is to send these packets by a small python script like that:

import socket
import time

from struct import *

HOST = 'your-hostname'    
PORT = 2342              
colors = [(255,255,255), (255,0,0) ,(0,0,255), (0,255,0)  ]

for color in colors:
        print "sending color {} {} {}".format(color[0],color[1],color[2])
        data = [pack('b',0),pack('b',0), pack('!h',678)];

        for i in range(0,226):

        s = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_DGRAM)

        for i in range(0,1024):


import pdb; pdb.set_trace()

Code for the controller at github.

Complex Low-Cost Robotics – Lighting Talk at Datenspuren 2015

Hi there, I did a small lightning talk at the Datenspuren 2015. I expect the talk to be recorded but not published yet. All videos will be available at the Dataspuren Recordings Page. But in case you want to show the slides to somebody download them here.

Talk is online (my part starts at min 37:45) . Because linking didn’t really work, I cut the original video and uploaded my five minutes to youtube. The talk is in German, but I’ve added english subtitles:
Youtube Video

To see the mentioned robot in action, you can see this little video I posted some time ago.

Youtube Video
Do not hesitate to contact me, I am kinda available to hire and traveling through vienna the next week 🙂

Making Robots Talk and Video

Today I watched a really nice talk about making robots. It’s worth every minute and ideal to dive into the current issues of current robotics by showing different approaches to solve common problems. Therefore the participants are:

  • Russ Tedrake Director, Center for Robotics, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab
  • Sangbae Kim – MIT Biomimetic Robotics Lab
  • Mick Mountz – Founder, Kiva Systems
  • Gill Pratt – Program Manager, DARPA Robotics Challenge, DARPA Defense Sciences
  • Marc Raibert – Founder, Boston Dynamics
  • Radhika Nagpal – Self-organizing Systems Research and Robotics Group, Harvard University

Youtube Video

Six legs two Motors

Hexbug 477-2423 – Scarab XL

Youtube Video
available on amazon for 25€ 🙂

Cheetah – Jumping the obstacle

In a leap for robotic development, the MIT researchers who built a robotic cheetah have now trained it to see and jump over hurdles as it runs — making this the first four-legged robot to run and jump over obstacles autonomously.

Youtube Video

See more on:

my first Thinkpad T450s experiences

tl;dr probably my device was laptop version of a lemon car, which took me nuts, but still I want to have (a properly working) T450s again


I recently got a brand new Thinkpad T450s, which I was waiting for since December and yet I am writing this post from my old sloppy Asus F3JA. You might just ask yourself why – well, the reasons are multifarious, but in the end lead to send it back to the producer. First the positive things: the 14” FullHD display is amazing, the magnesium case very stable and nice – the background led keyboard really impressed me and increased my coding experiences. Both of the integrated and the external battery held longer than every device I had but still…

iwlwifi drove me mad, unable to hold a connection longer than a few minutes – it interupted my workflow significantly. Furthermore several parts like brightness, power saving settings didn’t work properly and blended me at night while burning power. Last but not least, the squeak of doom:

Youtube Video

Every time you put your hand on the laptop it groaned as like it didn’t like to be used. After two days I shred the 320Gb SDD the times by overwriting it with random data and sent it back as a warranty case. Hopefully this device will be replaced as all of the errors I had didn’t occur on my colleagues T450s, who has got it in the same order and time.

But still and in conclusion: I really like the T450s, it is very light, feels right, is really powerful and mobile. Its 14” fit perfectly into an usual european A4 (default paper size) bag and its case keep it intact. Overall I really look forward to get a properly working version of this little fellow soon.

Goliath tracked mine – one of the first mobile robots

During my thesis I did some research about mobile robots.  Therefore the Goliath tracked mine, or the ‘Leichter Ladungsträger Goliath (Sd.Kfz. 302/303a/303b)’ in German as one of the first mobile robots always fascinated me. Created in the late 1940 and mass produced between 1942 and 1944 about 7500 of this remote cable controlled mobile bases could carry up to 60kgs of high explosives. Way before modern Robots like the iRobot BigDog or its successors this equally sounding robot is powered by two combustion engines.

After some research I figured out that in my area there is the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden, which is presenting one of this impressive machines. Therefore I went to Dresden an took some photos, which I want to share with you:

Some people also present them in action:

Youtube Video

In case there will be an bigger version of the aMoSeRo this robot might share its physical dimensions with it. Also the track system is impressive and in case its operable upside down really well suitable for heavy duty terrain.