Let's Make Robots!

Reflections on Hoff

I haven't been able to substantiate or dispel the note about our friend and my likely relative hoff70. What I can say is that repraff.com lost its place on the web two days ago. It's safe to say that if hoff isn't dead, in some sense he's killing his online identity.

Clever f*ckers...

I've never been a fan of the "Turing Test" as a measure of machine intelligence-rather I think it exposes stupidity in humans.  The recent victory of Eugene Goostman over the actor who played "Kryten" in Red Dwarf and Lord Sharkey says more about the people that the Royal Society thinks are qualified for this kind of science than it does about the programming of intelligent machines.

Trash of the Titans

Catching up on old TV I realized what my attitude towards technology, building and all of my hobbies has been lately:

(Except for sleep. Does sleep count as a hobby?  Can it be a vocation?  Next to my wife and dogs I think sleep is the thing I love most these days.)

Gee Thanks, Google...

I went to Google looking for an image of a particular kind of diagram to use as an example for the flow of a process I was working on today.  It took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on:

Not what I had in mind.

(this was NOT the kind of "State Table" I had in mind, but now I have to make one of Iowa to keep in my cubicle.)

REVIEW:Arexx Yeti Chassis

This isn't the robot project yet, just the review of the kit that makes up the first part of it.

You can get the full version of this product with the Yeti microcontroller from Newark, but I wasn't interested in a full kit.  No, I just wanted it for its body:

I hope it's a phase

Lately I can barely bring myself to look at the lab.

Eggbot may not go further

Here's the first hardware run on the next project-just a big cheap egg platform. I was hoping to make this my first Propeller robot but I'm not sure if this is worthy of such an elegant processor.  Think I'll get better traction and balance out of those little black ducks with more weight over the center?  Such small wheels-I don't know if encoders are an option, and that one side is going about half the other. Right now the steel castor in the back weighs more than the rest of the platform combined.  Gotta come up with a good battery solution too.

GOTO FAIL:The next time you feel bad about coding, refer to this.

I hope I'm not the only one who spotted this on Wired.com, but it's nice to know that even the biggest baddest a$$es in coding make mistakes.  This isn't one that would throw a compilation in xCode though-or even get noticed.

Do you see it?  Here's how Wired explains it:

Stupid robot trick I've never seen...

We recently had a spate of doodle bots entered as projects for various reasons, and we never have a shortage of line followers in the queue. I have never seen anyone attempt to make one follow the other. It would be amusing to me for about 39 seconds I think. Especially if the doodle to were programmed to draw its line in a random way and if there were multiple line followers-kind of like a row of ducklings. Video would be great with an electronica version of the "Bridge Over the River Kwai" march.

(This is a 2 am post. I bet I regret it when I wake up tomorrow.)