The Pulse - 2009w21
May 20, 2009
Famous last words
Some of the most promising of LMR projects withered into oblivion with these memorable closing statements. A short selection from the LMR video archives:
Zanthess: "... really simple, real easy, very cool. Bye!" (Bye indeed)
TheCowGod: "Let's Make Robots" (Lead on McDud!)
Chris the Carpenter: "Let's get some sensors on this baby!" (Never happened)
rik: "Maneuver This!" (Nothing stirred, not even a mousebot)
Nicola: "Kempoi Tu'la!" (Well, I think that's what he said anyway)
Thomas Countz: "The Cardboard Robotic Caterpillar" ( .. oh .. wait .. a .. second .. )
Cardboard does not melt
Too bad about the cardboard. I liked that stuff. And I liked that caterpillar. If you don't know the LMR caterpillar story, you have been asleep! It started much earlier than you might think. This thread is from last September, back in the day when LMR only had, like, four members. It discusses how cool it would be to make a worm bot that moves like a caterpillar, rather than like a snake.
And that's how DAGU Electronics entered the LMR scene. Jack and Claudia from Dagu contacted LMR via Frits and made us an offer we could not refuse. Fifty "Special Edition" Mr Basic kits were offered for a low price and affordable international shipping. And it came with a challenge! Out of fifty robots, we get to vote for the best three of them. These bots will win money prizes.
LMR and Dagu both win from this arrangement. Dagu is now a member of the community, in the lovely form of Claudia. She posted a few of Dagu's kits and parts in our component section. These are compelling alternatives for the better known components, like those from Solarbotics or Polulu. And of course, Dagu wins exposure for their merchandise. Maybe even across the blogosphere.
How Lude Aart!
Dagu may have gotten more exposure than they bargained for. The UltraSound distance sensor drew the attention of one pissed off guy named Aalt from Arexx Holland. He signed up for membership, just to vent his grievances with Dagu who published some (apparently) copyrighted material. Very uncool Meneer Aalt. Probably not the way you want to give your company some LMR exposure.
RobotFreak was kind enough to replace the offending material with his own, free, schematics. Then Aalt wrote a half hearted apology, thanking Claudia for RobotFreak's work. But that's OK. On behalf of the rest of us: Thank you RobotFreak!
And Aalt: it's never too late to make a proper community contribution. How about posting some of your stuff on your robot community website? All LMR are belong to us, you know. That includes you too.
Paper art robots
If you think that green little robot is cute, check out the rest of Gareth's bestiary! His latest project started out as a fairly simple solar driven FlutterBEAM. It now threatens to take over his entire backyard, with aerial cables and petal stations and everything. Join the breezy brain storm over here. This project stands to get as much exposure as Puff. Or more even.
Wonky is the new Thingey
As it turns out, Mr basic has some basic flaws. Not all the parts are top quality and sometimes they require some DIY improvement by the buyers. Not such a big deal for most handy LMR members. But also not a good show by Dagu. That was understood by Dagu (very quickly!) and Claudia came up with a creative way to make good with us.
Which led Frits to the conclusion that
So here's what you do. Mail Claudia (address in her profile) and tell her which parts you need replacements for. Do not list every single part in the kit. She is too smart to fall for that. Make sure your mail gets to her before the weekend (20090524), so she can start shipping those axles and fiddly bits by next Monday. Use the third page of the manual as reference. That way nobody can get confused about which part you need.
Tag! You're It!
For those of you who never used LMR tagging before: tags are a great way to keep track of a particular subject across the entire website. Like Internet keywords, but just amongst ourselves. Check the tag cloud for examples. The Pulse also has its own tag. That way you can quickly find every back issue since 2008w43. The Mr Basic LMR DAGU Contest also has one. Make sure to tag your robot page properly. That way we know exactly which pages to look for when the judging begins, later on.
Tag your contenders as "LMR DAGU Contest". Click that link right now if you need to check if your robot is an official contender yet. I noticed two Mr Basic robots already, but neither show up when I click the tag.
Both robots show a very basic (excusez le mot) setup. But don't let these shifty builders throw sand in your eyes! They are competing for the grand prize! Competing with you (and me). Anything they tell you about their creations may very well be one big ruze. We know, like no one else, what these people are capable of. For they are, indeed, very competent persons!
I say: beat them at their own game.
Let the subterfuge commence!