The Pulse - 2009w05
January 30, 2009
Happy Birthday To Us
You may have noticed: we are one year old. So blow out your candle and make a wish. Or make a robot to do all that for you. Or wish for such a robot.
Looking back (I personally joined somewhere in August), makes me wonder what has been the best day for LMR in the past year. I will leave this up to all of you to determine. I am writing this from a cheap, cold, Internetless hotel room, so forgive me if this Pulse does not include the usual level of research, illustrations and links. Use the search page and your imagination this time!
From memory, here are a few likely candidates for "Day of the Year" in random order.
Yellow Drum Machine Day
Back in the day, when tracks could still be purchased in a variety of colours, Frits posted a video on Youtube of a robot that would drum to any beat it heard. This video became very popular and made the visitor numbers jump from almost none to more than we see even today. Not only is YDM a very cool robot, but Frits told anyone who would listen that you could build one yourself! Many people apparently got intrigued and some actually built one. They all visited LMR.
All LMR Are Belong To Us Day
Remember this day? It was the moment when The CowGod (Dan) offered Frits to host LMR on his own machine and Internet connection. It was the day LMR became truly free because the it was no longer depending on a hosting company. Also, we no longer needed to send Frits a text message to tell him the server went crazy again, and please, would he reset the darn thing?! It also offered new opportunities that were unthinkable before.
The Polulu Incident Day
Or rather, the day that the components section got expanded with all Polulu has to offer in robot parts. Some people were impressed, others confused. Had LMR been taken over? Was it a hostile act? Did the site sell out to "The Man"? Who was in control? Are we still belong to us? Yes we were and we are.
The flooding of the components page was only temporary and soon got back to its original state. With user contributed reviews from products all over the Internet. Every now and then the list gets updated with the latest from Polulu. And maybe some day, a second and third vendor will offer their entire portfolios for inclusion in our database.
Stay Close To The Wall Day
The Wall Racers. Yet another brilliant project by Frits. Wasn't that also his last project posted to date? Anyhow, he hoped that many would follow his lead and transform the living room into a race track. Spectacular videos made a great impact on the audience, but so far, nobody recreated these overpowered mobile ultrasound sensors. Who has that much Jozo KokkeSalt around the house anyway?
Not The Fun Kind Of Ride Day
Chris is not a shy carpenter - full stop.
His videos not only demonstrate, beautifully, how his robots perform (or fail), they also let us take a peek into his family life. The culmination of both came the day when he convinced all members of his household to take turns riding his big bad Walter bot. Hilarity ensued. Benny Hill style. If this is all news to you, go check it out now. Instant LMR Famo.
The Day You Found LMR
Maybe your personal highlight is the day you stumbled upon this site. I apparently am unable to recall how that happened to myself. So I fabricated an anekdote in my memory and I am sticking with it. Thanks Dan!
The Day We Wrote "LMR"
The challenge to have one of your bots spell out "LetsMakeRobots" or even just plain "LMR" still stands! Despite a flurry of entries. I believe the ability to write is a great challenge indeed because it requires the best of all The Four Elements: Idea, Mechanics, Electronics, Programming.
Closest to winning came Oddbot with a robot that is intended to splat (with just water!) cats or other pets. His "Wizzbot" may not have been awarded the official title, but the grand prize (eternal honor) already found its way to the sun laden beaches of Australia.
The Day The Big Blogs Found Out About LMR
There is no exact date for this, but quite recently the big blogs (engadget, hackaday, makezine, hackedgadgets, etc.) discovered our community and our constant stream of cool, inventive and creative projects posted here. We now get so much press (and we are so impressed by it) that we started a digital scrapbook in the forum. Filled with links to sites that link to us. Ohhh, if only we had an official logo already. ;-)
Another enigmatic crumb in the spacetime continuüm. "Now" is such a volatile yet persistent concept. But so is LMR. Yesterday's Hype is Tomorrow's Bird Cage Liner. The "unread posts" page gets almost all attention from us, LMR regulars. Too many posts or comments, once they are read, go by forgotten, ignored, unanswered, under appreciated, never remembered. This is the fate of the medium. We frantically try to hold on to our collective knowledge, but only rarely do we succeed. Therefore only "Today" can be truly triumphant. Check back tomorrow and you'll see what I mean.
Final thoughts: did we start an official "Show Your Cat on LMR Club"?