Let's Make Robots!

The Pulse - 2008w47


Sensing the living LMR community since 2008w43.


Walter is the new name for Chris the Carpenter's really big bot. It is so big, its development takes up at least four pages on the site. But we don't mind that at all. The videos alone make it all worth while. Hilarious stuff for generations of Carpenters to come. Watch out for the bit where junior scolds his mother (who is coerced into riding the robot under Chris' control): "Don't do that Mommy!" as Chris sends his wife crashing into a piece of hifi equipment.

Chris was probably even more exited about the whole thing than his kids, who were serving as the film crew at one point.

(Oh, I almost forgot: the robot is cool too.)

Can you say TING?!


The Pulse

Another renamed project on LMR this week is the very periodical you are reading now. It used to be "Cool Happenings", but I searched for something a bit more, I dunno, stronger?

BTW: You really should take that word periodical with a grain of salt. This is never going to be a daily newspaper. Not even a weekly. It's just a recurring item in my blog. Maybe not even mine.

Big applause for the laser writer builder who will replicate my photo fake for real. Extra points for actually hooking up a micro controller to your chest!



New features

This week brought some major new features to the site. Frits is experimenting with two wiki-style pages that everyone can add stuff to. One is about sensors and the other on about actuators. Being the artist that he is, he chose two very illustrative images to illustrate the new pages with. One with a pretty girl (which resulted in a few oooh's an aaah's in the shoutbox). And another one with two male wrestlers (which resulted in a flurry of exited responses in the shoutbox).


The Polulu Components "Incident"

I think the idea of a general overview of practical actuators is a great initiative. But the fact that these wrestlers are scantily clad, drew away any or all attention from this fine initiative. Dan found a sure fire way to divert the thunder storms in the shoutbox. He provided us with over 300 lightning rods! The debate on alleged homosexual pornography on LMR ceased instantly!

With the front page unexpectedly flooded by more than 300 new component pages, people started wondering if the site had been taken over by a Polulu SpamBot. In fact it has not. LMR invited Polulu to supply their entire catalog for posting on our site. And our site this is, as Frits keeps emphasizing.



The purpose (1)

Frits writes in his blog that letsmakerobots is a place to watch, learn, debate, and show off. The about page mentions the purpose of LMR as sharing knowledge. Most people regard this site as an effective place to ask their burning questions. That is indeed a good purpose for the community, and for the Forum in particular.

But I would like to mention a purpose that not everybody has in mind: reference. I want to be able to look stuff up! I am tinkering under the assumption that somebody else already learned valuable lessons relevant to my current project. And that he/she shared these lessons with the community earlier. That's what Tips & Walkthroughs are for. And Robot project pages. And sometimes Blogs. And most definitely Components.

Of course, the accumulated knowledge is limited, but it is ever expanding. People are adding interesting and inspiring material to this site every day. (Check out my previous writeups for a very incomplete summary.) If only all those contributors would have future reference in mind while creating these nuggets of gold. Simple brain dumping in the forum won't help me much. The forum just is too volatile, too temporary, to have a lasting value.

I want to be able to find the existing knowledge without asking for it in the forum. Because that would be like asking a stranger in the library where all the good books are.

Here the purpose of an indexing system becomes clear. LMR already has a system using tags. But the system is hardly visible and underused. I hope to change the visibility of the tags soon (in cooperation with Frits and Dan). And I hope this will invite all of you to make (better) use of tags in the future when you write. And when you find yourself lost in the ever growing library again.



A for The Z-Team!

Speaking of references. Zanthess politely inquired if she would be allowed to use letsmakerobots.com as a reference for her portfolio. More specifically her Mr Tea page. Of course she is allowed! We would be so honoured to have an A grade student of ITT in our midst! Please link back to your homepage Z!

Zanthess went on to demonstrate her blood sucking bot at school and Aced her graduation project. Alas, the feared demo effect demanded one final sacrifice and as a result, Mr Tea was rendered a pitiful, caramelized fool. 8-(

bot draws first blood


The Purpose (2)

Chris proves to be a Carpenter and a Philosopher. He asks a very fundamental question: what would you have your robot do? In other words: what is its purpose? How should it behave? What is its place in your home?

Mind you, this question reaches deeper than a simple definition of the word robot. Or summing up the required qualities before one can call ones creation a robot-proper. This is a very fundamental issue and you are all invited to join the ponder over yonder.

bot draws first blood



This little bot is one more variation to a very well known theme. The maker is Calculon320. He was forced to clip the drumsticks which resulted in a drummer that hauls its own intrument around. And the very short sticks allow for very fast drumming. Check out the rock'n and the roll'n on this one! (video down below)

can you say prrrrrr?!


Final tip



The previous "Pulse" was 2008w46. All Pulses (now) tagged as "thepulse". Feed your RSS muncher with this.


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Haha! I shall give you an "A" as well!

Love your pulse blogs :)

More than 500 regular readers! Congrats :)

I'm a sucker for stats. Where did you get these? Are they publicly available somewhere?


Working on it!
great first official pulse. Keep it up!