Category Archives: Robots

instantFeeds: real time notification of RSS updates via Openfire

I wrote a long winded post a couple months ago with a nebulous title called “IM and RSS: Rome is on Fire” where I talked about the feed bot that I wrote for Wildfire (which is now called Openfire). It’s been up and running now for a couple months, giving me a chance to work out some of the bugs and add a couple features and I think it’s ready for you to look at and use. The project page has all the details.

Also, I updated the client-side sign up form to use Prototype / rather than the YUI stuff (which ended up costing somewhere north of 200k in JavaScript). Since you can run your own Openfire server and you can download and use the instantFeeds plugin, feel free to rip the JavaScript off this site if you want to enable your users to sign up to receive your blog updates via IM.

Google IM Bots

I picked up the Google Hacks book tonight at the brick and mortar B&N. Hack #85 talks about googlematic, which lets you search google through your IM client. Turns out this has been a done a couple times (YIMGoogle, AOGoogle) but I can’t find any that are online.

Googlematic is offline right now because it became too popular, which resulted in the bot exceeding the number of searches allowed by google through the Google Web APIs. Matt, the guy who wrote it, was cool enough to release the source to it though, which you can download here.

Futurama: Using Java Technology to Build Robots That Can See, Hear Speak, and Move

Fun article on called Futurama: Using Java Technology to Build Robots That Can See, Hear Speak, and Move. It explains how to use the Java speech API to capture speech, the Java Media Framework to capture webcam images, and the open source leJOS environment for controlling Lego Mindstorms robots.

On a semi-related note, if you have an MP3 collection (um… yeah I guess that’s all of you), you should check out the .NET application that Joe just released called LANMP3. Pretty cool stuff.

Modular Reconfigurable Robotics

Modular Reconfigurable Robotics, “… an approach to building robots for various complex tasks. Instead of designing a new and different mechanical robot for each task, you just build many copies of one simple module. The module can’t do much by itself, but when you connect many of them together you get a system that can do complicated things. In fact, a modular robot can even reconfigure itself — change its shape by moving its modules around — to meet the demands of different tasks or different working environments.” [via]

Constructing Intelligent Agents Using Java: Professional Developer’s Guide

Couple tidbits from Constructing Intelligent Agents Using Java: Professional Developer’s Guide.

Page 3, an Alan Turing quote: “.. if a machine is expected to be infallible, it cannot also be intelligent.

On the classifications of agents (agency, intelligence, mobility): “…Agency deals with the degree of autonomy the software agent has in representing the user to other agents, applications and computer systems…. Intelligence refers to the ability of the agent to capture and apply domain specific knowledge and processing to solve problems…. An agent is mobile if it can move between systems in a network.” [page 10]

On processing strategies: “… reactive or reflex agents, which respond in the event-condition-action mode. Reflex agents do not have internal models of the world. They respond solely to external stimuli and the information available from their sensing of the environment…. Deliberative or goal directed agents have domain knowledge and the planning capability necessary to take a sequence of actions in the hope of reaching or achieving a specific goal…. Collaborative agents work together to solve problems. Communication between agents is an important element, and while each individual agent is autonomous, it is the synergy resulting from their cooperation that makes collaborative agents interesting and useful.” [page 10]

…intelligent agent software is practical software. It just gets the job done. If intelligent agent software introduces another level of complexity that the user has to deal with, then it will be a failure. Intelligent agents must be enabling and automating, not frustrating or intrusive.” [page 13]

ActiveBuddy and the BuddyScript

Same issue of New Architect (also apparently their last): virtual elves: A write-up on ActiveBuddy and the BuddyScript SDK. “BuddyScript allows developers to create interactive agents either for internal use — an agent might be used to answer common human resource questions or for Internet marketing and promotion.

“AOL must give permission before outside bots can be launched on its network, because ‘they have to flip a switch to let an unlimited number of messages go to one screen name,’ says Murray. This is referred to ‘provisioning the bot.'” If you have AIM, you must try out RecipeBuddie or you can use the MSN version of RecipeBuddie. 🙂

Also, check out the list of active and retired agents.