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From Mars Missions to Robotics Competitions: Latest ‘Ubuntu in the Wild’

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Ubuntu: Going Where No OS Has Gone Before

It’s a strange turn about. As the popularity of Ubuntu has increased the novelty of seeing it used “in the wild” has decreased. 

For us the heady days of getting excited about ‘developer uses Ubuntu to make X‘ or highlight ‘project Y built on Ubuntu‘ are long gone. The use of Ubuntu in certain sectors is no longer notable or exceptional but the norm.

Ubuntu not being used in, say, the development of a notable Android app or being used to power an impressive robotics project would be a more jaw-dropping fact these days!

Spacebuntu. Sort of.

Reader Jordan S. was doing some a spot of extra-curricular research on the Mars One project — a Netherlands-based non-profit with the broad aim of establishing a human colony on Mars by 2024, with manned space flights and robotic reconnaissance missions planned in the interim — when he came across a familiar sight: Ubuntu.

In a video overview of the project produced by TIME magazine we’re treated to a glimpse of a Mars One employee using Ubuntu to…surf the web.  That’s it; it’s not particularly intrinsic to what’s going on, but it’s still cool to see that some of the folks involved in the ambitious project are Ubuntu users.

The video below is 5 minutes long. Ubuntu’s Unity desktop can be seen at the 1:08 and 1:56 minute markers.

Tangobuntu

Ubuntu plays a more integral role in the following video detailing Google’s new ‘Project Tango’. The 2:08 minute mark shows one developer rocking out with the Unity desktop on his Macbook Pro.

Again, this appearance isn’t a shock. Ubuntu (rather, Linux if you want to be pedantic) has grown into the choice du jour for many cutting edge development projects, particularly those based on Android.

Boston Dynamics Robot

Another cutting-edge project, another head-rearing moment for Ubuntu (1:52). This time it’s being used in the development of an entry to a recent DARPA-funded robotics competition.