Let's Make Robots!

The Joy of Logic.

There was an excellent program on BBC 4 last night - The Joy Of Logic, introduced by Prof Dave Cliff (the guy who wrote the 'Zip' trading algorithm, if that means anything to you).

It follows the development of logic from the ancient Greeks up to the present day in an intelligent but acccessible form with a great demo being a computer made from children (without removing their brains) performing an addition function.  It also highlights the major figures in the development of logic, and the trials and tribulations along the way (curse you, Godel!).

Great programme on automata on BBC4

I've just watched 'Mechanical Marvels : Clockwork Dreams' on BBC4; Excellent programme about the development of mechanical automata in the 1700's.  Absolutely incredible engineering going initially into the timekeeping instruments and then into the design of automata for the entertainment of the gentry.  It also discusses the impact of precision mechanics on the political situation at the time.

Pololu Plastic Gearmotors and PWM.

Does anyone know what's the best frequency to switch at when you're driving the 120:1 Pololu plastic gearmotors with PWM via a L293?

These motors : http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1125

Nascar / Google - Autonomous racing.

Google have developed an autonomous vehicle for Nascar racing - Click "I'm steering lucky" on the Google search page or go to  : http://www.nascar.com/video/none/none/120331/cup-mar-google/

(And remember the date #;¬)

Picaxe M2 series 'multitasking'.

The M2 Picaxe series has multitasking (time slicing) to allow up to 4 tasks to run simultaneously which the manual says is to make monitoring switches and flashing LEDs etc, easier to program.  I was just wondering has anyone explored how far you can take the multiple tasks idea.  Has anyone, for example, tried controlling a servo, monitoring switches and varying PWM on a motor?

I've got a feeling that everything will get a bit glitchy, but perfectly happy to be proved wrong.

Palocell - 8 x 1100mAh AAA NiMH for under 6 quid!

Just come across these very cheap, high capacity AA and AAA NiMH cells on Amazon - 8 x 1100mAH AAA for under 6 quid delivered.  UK company - Worcester based, but I can't get much sense from their website ( http://www.palo.co.uk/ ).  I can't find any independent test data on them - The only promising link is a 404. Anybody had any experience with these?