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Hacking the Tux Droid 87

Posted by Zonk
from the cutest-robot-ever dept.
Rockhopper writes "Ars Technica has a combo review/hack guide for the Tux Droid, a programmable penguin. 'Tux is completely programmable at practically every level, and all of the source code of the firmware and software used by the droid is available from Kysoh's version control repository. There are several ways to program the droid's behavior, ranging from modifying the firmware to coding a gadget in Python.' There's a sample Python script that will cause Tux to speak IRC messages out loud when the user's name is mentioned."
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Hacking the Tux Droid

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    attempt of Linux to enter the porn toy market. Sqwuaak!
  • Tux' voice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Saturday March 15, 2008 @07:38PM (#22762186) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if any hacks include changing the Tux Driod's idiotic voice. Imagine how much cooler the Tux Droid would be if it sounded like Clint Eastwood or even Shaft!
  • by sznupi (719324) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @07:42PM (#22762196) Homepage
    I, for one, welcome our robotic Tux overlords.
    • by Artuir (1226648)
      What, no Tux Racer overlords? You programmers need to get your acts together. We could turn this great game into reality! :D
  • Yes but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hatta (162192) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @07:43PM (#22762198) Journal
    Does it run Linux?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    But can it be programmed to teach a slashdot user to RTFA?

    or better yet, can it be programmed to RTFA for the slashdot user?
  • Dude, seriously?

    FTA:
    "After installing the packages, I had to reboot my computer to get the Tux software daemons to start."
    • by socsoc (1116769)
      I know people usually mock windows users for thinking a reboot is the first thing to do when things don't work, but when my freebsd and linux boxes act oddly, I reboot them. And guess what, it usually remedies the problem I was experiencing... So maybe the installation instructions didn't include manually starting the daemon, but it was added to the startup scripts... big deal.
      • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sumdumass (711423) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @08:21PM (#22762382) Journal
        Th problem with rebooting to solve problems is that it doesn't solve the problem, it just lessens the symptoms. In the windows world, the problem was typically memory management. But just like in the linux/BSD world, it can be other things like programs having rogue functions with unintended consequences when other programs or services are running.

        Anyways, Rebooting doesn't fix the problem, it only removes the symptom which mean you should still look for the cause whether your running windows or linux. In linux, or any *nix stile OS, there should be little reason to restart the system because of something your doing. It is just designed that way.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by grumbel (592662)

          Th problem with rebooting to solve problems is that it doesn't solve the problem,

          That depends on the problem, there are dozens of easy ways to mess Linux up in a way that a reboot will fix the problem.

          Simple example, take a USB harddrive, make LVM on it and then unplug it and then try to plug it in again. LVM thinks the thing is still at /dev/sde and reports read errors when you try to access it and even when you try to deactivate the volume group, plugin it in doesn't fix the problem because it is now /dev/sdf, sde is busy with being a dead zombie in the kernel internals. How to fix

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            Simple example, take a USB harddrive, make LVM on it and then unplug it and then try to plug it in again. LVM thinks the thing is still at /dev/sde and reports read errors when you try to access it and even when you try to deactivate the volume group, plugin it in doesn't fix the problem because it is now /dev/sdf, sde is busy with being a dead zombie in the kernel internals. How to fix the issue? Simple, you reboot. Maybe there are other alternatives on how to fix the problem, but reboot is by far the mos

            • by grumbel (592662)

              I imagine you would only have to wait a few minutes so as the mount process would time out.

              There was no mount process, because the drive was already unmounted long ago. It was LVM that still kept its old on the device and wouldn't want to let it go. And restarting that did to nothing to fix the problem. Might there be a way to fix it without the reboot? Maybe, but it simply wasn't worth to time to find out, because it was a clear problem with a clear solution: reboot.

              rebooting only clears the symptoms

              No, it clears the *problem*. The problem is that Linux has gotten into a confused state, reboot puts things back into order. Sure

              • by sumdumass (711423)

                There was no mount process, because the drive was already unmounted long ago. It was LVM that still kept its old on the device and wouldn't want to let it go. And restarting that did to nothing to fix the problem. Might there be a way to fix it without the reboot? Maybe, but it simply wasn't worth to time to find out, because it was a clear problem with a clear solution: reboot.

                Lol.. No rebooting isn't the solution. As soon as you recreate the situation, you have the problem again. So the problem is remo

                • by grumbel (592662)
                  Your car analogy misses the point, so here another one:

                  Your car runs out of fuel because you forget to refuel it. You already know that you should have refueled it earlier and your fuel indicator pointed out the lack of fuel correctly, but you forgot to do so for some reason. Now you can think about what that made you forget it, but none of that thinking will make your car drive again. The problem isn't that you forgot it, but that you are stuck with a car without fuel. You fix that problem by filling new f
                  • by sumdumass (711423)
                    Your missing the forest for the trees. In the running out of fuel episode, lets say the problem is that some one is siphoning the gas from the car as you sleep. So you get up in the morning thinking you have a full tank and it runs out on your way to work. Sure putting gas back into the car will get you going but until you stop whoever from stealing your gas, you are going to constantly be running out. The problem isn't that you running out of gas, it is that something is causing you to run out of gas. it h
                    • by grumbel (592662)
                      You still completly miss my point.

                      And no, rebooting didn't fix the problem.

                      Symptom: USB drive doesn't work after plugin it in
                      Problem: Linux device names got messed up and LVM got stuck
                      Cause: Me unpluging it without shuting down the VG
                      Fix: Reboot

                      Now of course a patch to prevent Linux getting into a confused state might be nice or me just remember to shutdown the VG, but none of that will make my USB drive work again. Reboot is the only that will bring Linux out of the confused state again. Reboot fixes the problem, not rebooting leaves Linux in an

                    • by sumdumass (711423)

                      Symptom C: USB drive doesn't work after plugin it in
                      Symptom B: Linux device names got messed up and LVM got stuck
                      Cause A: Me unpluging it without shuting down the VG
                      Fix: don't do A and Reboot to clear the symptoms B and C

                      There, fixed that for you.

                      Lol.. You are finally in agreement with me and fail to realize it. You incorectly listed a symptom as the problem though. You attempt to claim that rebooting fixes the problem when it fixes the symptom. That is the point. Now if you don't unplug the drive without s

                    • by grumbel (592662)
                      How do I execute your 'fix' without a time machine? 'A' already happened and there is nothing I can do to undo it, other then just accept that it happened and reboot. Even worse, there is also *nothing* I can do to make sure that 'A' never happens again. I can try to remember it, teach others about it, but as long as human do it, they will forget it sooner or later.

                      Now you could of course argue that the fix with reboot isn't a true fix, but more workaround, and I could agree with that, since it only fixes t
                    • by sumdumass (711423)

                      How do I execute your 'fix' without a time machine? 'A' already happened and there is nothing I can do to undo it, other then just accept that it happened and reboot. Even worse, there is also *nothing* I can do to make sure that 'A' never happens again. I can try to remember it, teach others about it, but as long as human do it, they will forget it sooner or later.

                      Lol.. You realize you are arguing something that has already been answered. Your reboot, as I originally stated only clears the symptoms, the

                    • Alright seriously. Yes, a reboot fixes it. Dictionary.com: Fix -verb (used with object) 1. to repair; mend. driving from that. dictionary.com: Repair -verb (used with object) 1. to restore to a good or sound condition after decay or damage; mend: to repair a motor. Not doing something in the first place is not a fix or repair. By the very definition of the word a fix or repair occurs after the damage has taken place. This is akin to telling someone that the best way to heal a wound is not to get one i
                    • by sumdumass (711423)
                      I have to ask, are you stupid or something? I didn't say nothing was fixed, I said the problem wasn't fixed. If you continue to remove the drive which is "the problem", the symptoms will continue to plegue you. While rebooting might fix the symptoms, You havn't fixed the problem. And when the problem is something you don't know about, you will be constantly rebooting to adress the symptoms- not the problem.

                      This is akin to telling someone that the best way to heal a wound is not to get one in the first plac

                    • I'd have to return your question, for the aforementioned reason- by definition, a fix occurs after the problem in question. Preventive measures are not, and never will be fixes.

                      As stated, a fix corrects a problem. Preventing a problem from occurring in the first place is a completely different topic. So no, not doing something in the first place is not a fix. Feigned intellectual superiority will not make you right. You are arguing semantics.

                      As stated, he knows what went wrong. Doing or not doing i
                    • by sumdumass (711423)

                      I'd have to return your question, for the aforementioned reason- by definition, a fix occurs after the problem in question. Preventive measures are not, and never will be fixes.

                      Reboot your life away. It won't do you any good. I specifically said fix the problem not the symptoms. The problem wasn't the system locking up, that is a symptom. Rebooting doesn't fix the problem. I'm not sure how much more plain I can make that.

                      As stated, a fix corrects a problem. Preventing a problem from occurring in the fir

                    • Just stop, you're embarrassing yourself. You're getting so flustered that you can't even type correctly. There is a preview button for that exact reason, you know.

                      You're wrong, your analogies are inaccurate, and your standpoint is inherently flawed. It's ok- it happens to all of us. Just because you're an arrogant elitist doesn't mean you will always be right. Carrying on like this won't change any of that, and I'm beginning to think we need to take measures to keep you from cutting yourself; y
                    • by sumdumass (711423)

                      Just stop, you're embarrassing yourself. You're getting so flustered that you can't even type correctly. There is a preview button for that exact reason, you know.

                      I only use the preview button for the posts I care about. And no, I'm not embarasing myself at all.

                      You're wrong, your analogies are inaccurate, and your standpoint is inherently flawed. It's ok- it happens to all of us. Just because you're an arrogant elitist doesn't mean you will always be right. Carrying on like this won't change any of that

                    • You do realize that the biggest problem in this industry would be thick-headed people, such as yourself, who think they know it all, right? Well, I apologize my good man, but you do not. I hope you're already well-settled into your career, because someone with your attitude couldn't land a minimum wage position, much less start a career. I don't think I want to know what's gotten you so jaded. Maybe you can track down the problem behind that symptom?

                      Still, you wouldn't be better than anyone else
                    • by sumdumass (711423)
                      Actually, the biggest problem in the industry is people like you who think rebooting is a fix and want to use word game to avoid the real problems. I can imagine your billing accounts, customer called with problem, I told them to reboot again, 10 minutes at $85 and hours. happened 3 times yesterday and 3 times today. with a comment somewhere about how hard your job is.

                      Still, you wouldn't be better than anyone else even if you WERE always right. The fact that you don't even understand what you are arguing o

                    • Is THAT what your whole attitude problem is about? Then I think we do have a significant misunderstanding here.

                      I never meant to imply that a reboot was the preferred solution for every computer related problem, nor really the solution for any problem in general. I took issue with your attitude, arrogance, and how condescending you were being- I thought maybe that was evident in the tone of my posts, but I suppose a text medium internet doesn't portray that too well.

                      As far rebooting as a 'fix' goes, in m
                    • by sumdumass (711423)

                      Is THAT what your whole attitude problem is about? Then I think we do have a significant misunderstanding here.

                      I never meant to imply that a reboot was the preferred solution for every computer related problem, nor really the solution for any problem in general. I took issue with your attitude, arrogance, and how condescending you were being- I thought maybe that was evident in the tone of my posts, but I suppose a text medium internet doesn't portray that too well.

                      Dude, my only point was that rebooting

                    • Alright, now we're getting somewhere and it's interesting to read. It seems like you're in a pretty good position as well, given that you can actually focus on addressing the issues without being swamped with the standard set of issues all day long. In a sense then, I suppose that the exact type of user that drives me nuts is the kind that makes up a good chunk of your livelihood.

                      Sometimes you need to do a workaround just to keep things rolling, but I agree that this type of customer does tend to just pi
          • Yet another example: Xorg freezes, locks up or otherwise becomes unresponsive, even to console switching. Now I can of course boot another computer and try to ssh into the machine to fix it, but reboot again is the easier alternative.

            All that said, if something goes wrong in Linux repeatably it can be worth to investigate, but if the computer just started to craze out a reboot is often the easier alternative.

            ctrl+alt+bkspace, restarts x
            if that fails
            alt+prnt scrn+r switches keyboard to raw mode, so you can get to consoles
            if all else fails
            alt+prnt scrn+k reboots the tty (although you probably shouldnt use that one as it can damage your system i think your supposed to use alt+prnt scrn+{S(ync your disk), I (kills some stuff) then K}

            sure these are technically restarts, but they are quicker, safer, nicer to hardware and help give an indication of how far the problem goes.

          • by Comboman (895500)
            Other example, every few dozens reboots my computer tends reorder the USB device names . . . Fix? Again, reboot. USB just happens to be not 100% deterministic and when it does something different, reboot can fix it.

            Wow, that's the worst example ever. A reboot is what caused the problem in the first place. Yes, another reboot may fix it (but as you say, USB is not 100% deterministic, so it may not fix or may even make it worse).

          • by sukotto (122876)
            > take a USB harddrive, make LVM on it and then unplug it and then try to plug it in again.
            [snip]
            > Next time one should of course remember to vgchange -a n the volume group before unplugging

            No. It should just work. The user shouldn't have to remember anything. Just pull the drive out, and later put it back... and the system should be smart enough to figure it out.

        • by lazyron (1051796)
          Isn't that kind of how medical doctors work?
          • by sumdumass (711423)
            If we cold understand the human body like we do man made logic circits and software that runs on it, we would have no disease without a cure. The problem is two fold here, One is that the human body is intricately more complicated then a computer or software that runs on it, the second is that medical professionals make more money with you coming back instead of curing you and sending you on your way. How much of each is at play is subject to interpretation.

            But on another note, Medical doctors only do this
      • by Hatta (162192)
        So check your /etc/init.d for the startup scripts. Anyone who runs linux should be able to do that.
  • Can you make it speak swear words? That'd rock.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tablizer (95088)
      Can you make it speak swear words? That'd rock.

      Why the hell would you wanna do something shitty like that, fucktard!

      -1 Flamebait

               
  • by bobdotorg (598873) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @08:14PM (#22762340)
    When I told it to get the Gentoo wireless drivers to work properly on my old laptop, it ran across my desk, and flipped me off as it started humping my Opus doll.
  • Anyone thinking what I'm thinking?

    One more way to have phone sex.
  • I expect a tux druid to be armored with big weapons ready to kill everything that looks or smells m$-like.
    But well someone had to make a first version...
    • by hitmark (640295)
      nah, it just installs linux from scratch on any wintel or mac you plug it into ;)
  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @08:39PM (#22762440) Homepage
    "Your plastic pal who's fun to be with!"
  • Non Programmer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Barkmullz (594479) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @08:53PM (#22762490)

    Being a network and security kind of guy, the first thing that went through my head was:

    - Finally, a fun way for me to really learn some Python


  • by gradedcheese (173758) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @09:32PM (#22762614)
    I was curious so I looked up the embedded system inside the robot, it's an 8-bit Atmel AVR with supporting hardware. I figured that the Tux-shaped robot would at least be running Linux internally, for example they could have used a Gumstix board or the like. That said, AVR development is pretty fun (and you get to use gcc rather than some vendor tools) and this thing looks like a neat embedded toy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jbpro (1244018)
      Gumstix boards are expensive. Their online store sells the cheapest barebones one for $99. ThinkGeek sells the Tux Droid for $99. The goal of an embedded system is to use the resources as efficiently as possible, with the smallest footprint possible. Embedded linux for this application would certainly have the *WOW* factor, but would be overkill and the additional hardware requirements would raise the price of the Tux Droid.
  • Looks like the open source world's answer to Microsoft Barney for Windows.

    We need to do better than this.

  • The damn thing doesn't even move around. It just pivots in place, etc... There's absolutely no way you can mount a megawatt laser to this thing, and get the respect of your enemies.
    • by triso (67491)

      The damn thing doesn't even move around. It just pivots in place, etc... There's absolutely no way you can mount a megawatt laser to this thing, and get the respect of your enemies.
      You could attach a mini cattle-prod to one of those flapping wings. Ouch!
  • sing? That's something cool to do. All they have to do is make the lip also a moving part since it already has a speaker. One can then analyze the spectrum of the mp3 file or something and program the lip to moving in sync.
  • by madsdyd (228464) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @02:14AM (#22763624)
    And, have it scream, while flapping its wings, "Dudes! <devname> broke the build with commit <svnrev>!", whenever appropriate.

    I reckon it will be no problem getting the bosses to pay for that :-)

    Or, "its time for lunch", "remember the team meating in 5 minutes", and other stuff.

    I am halfway serious, actually. :-)
  • I need something to entertain my very energetic cat. Something like:

    #!/usr/bin/python

    fakemouse = Tux()
    fakemouse.speak(TUXSOUNDS.squeak)
    fakemouse.runAway()
    fakemouse.hideBehindCouch()
  • What would happen if you instruct it to core dump?

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