Who is New in Google Summer of Code - Part 7

Friday, August 2, 2013

We are halfway through Google Summer of Code 2013 and with the three projects below, we have now highlighted 20 of this year’s 40 new open source organizations in our weekly blog series.

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) is a leading digital humanities center that pursues disciplinary innovation and institutional transformation through applied research, public programming, and educational opportunities. Jointly supported by the University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities and the University of Maryland Libraries, MITH engages in collaborative, interdisciplinary work at the intersection of technology and humanistic inquiry. MITH specializes in text and image analytics for cultural heritage collections, data curation, digital preservation, linked data applications, and data publishing. 
We have two students working with us on Google Summer of Code projects. One student is working on a JavaScript library to engrave MEI-encoded music notation using VexFlow. Part of the work will be dedicated specifically to support variant handling, a distinctive feature of the MEI data model and an essential component of critical editions of musical works. Our second student is creating a set of demonstrations and coding infrastructure for MITHgrid, a JavaScript library we’ve been developing to support graph-based JavaScript applications in the browser, such as a video annotation toolkit and a Shared Canvas viewer
By James Smith, Organization Administrator for MITH 
Motion planning is a key area in robotics that finds feasible paths for a robot from some initial state to some desired goal. Over the last couple of years we have developed a standard library for sampling-based motion planning algorithms, a class of algorithms that has been shown to work well on a large variety of systems, ranging from car-like robots to humanoid robots with many degrees of freedom. The Open Motion Planning Library (OMPL) is designed to be very general; the library makes no assumptions about the type of robot or how the environment is represented. This allows it to be integrated into a larger robotics software system such as ROS
Manipulation Planning - An example of using OMPL on the PR2 from Willow Garage. The robot is asked to move and manipulate the objects on the table. The demo is using ROS. 
We are excited to have two very talented students working with us this summer. Caleb Voss is developing a plugin for Blender (a 3D modeling program) that allows one to plan motions for robots in environments drawn within Blender. The project integrates many different components, it relies on the Blender Game Engine to simulate physically realistic robot motion, on MORSE for robot models and high-level controllers, and on OMPL for planning. 
Luis Torres is working on a core future within OMPL - the representation of costs and the way planners optimize costs. There already exists some functionality in OMPL to optimize path length and some other common path properties, but in the redesign that Luis is working on this will be done in an abstract way so that the user can specify almost any kind of cost function. 
By Mark Moll, OMPL Organization Administrator
Today, August 2nd, is the deadline for midterm evaluations for students and mentors for Google Summer of Code 2013. To view a complete list of the 177 open source organizations that the 1192 students are working with this summer you can visit the Google Summer of Code program site.

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs