Let's Make Robots!

H Bridge Trivia

Sorry guys-constipation and the iPad have me pondering the imponderables again. Can anyone explain to me why there are or why there need to be four f*€k!ng ground pins on these DIPS? They all run to the same point-it's not like ins 1-4 get a separate ground.


tl;dr version: Go take advantage of a screw-up in store while you can.

In the days leading up to Exmas, I found myself wandering around the nearby shopping mall wistfully trying to get into the spirit by watching the better-than-average Santa deal with behavioural problem kids.  Of course I stopped in at the Shack to see if there were any clearance bargains or deals I couldn't say no to.  I noticed this:

The commercial forces driving robotic development

I'm sure you've heard the news.  Or seen the video.

The future of robotics is the mailman.

Wired had this article on the subject, and Amazon trolled Charlie Rose into presenting their delivery drone as the real thing.

For all you guys with "Iron Man" Projects

I'm just posting this to disturb the young'ens.  I found this video today.  I've always liked George Michael's music (but I don't think I'd want to see him at the urinal next to me.)  Anyway, this is proof that he was Iron Man (or something) a full six years before RDJ.  That probably means that some of you were conceived while your mums and dads were listening to this tune!  This is just slightly risqué but very sci-fi.  

Personal Libraries

As I work with K-9 the code gets longer and longer and more and more compartmentalized.  It occurs to me that a lot of the functions could be hidden in a library that would only ever be used for one project.  For example, his audio cues reside on an ISD 1760 chip and are controlled via 132 lines of code broken out of 5 functions (Arduino.)  That's a long sketch to scroll through on its own, and could easily be hidden functionally from view by creating a library and including it.

Soft Robots:FinGripper (3D printable project?)

Found this video on Dailymotion while watching old episodes of Dr. Who.  There are some interesting ideas about the safety jacket for example, but what really got my attention was the bio-mimicry and soft-gripper design (at about 3:50-4:30)  I"m not sure I see quite how the internal hinges on the finger are connected-they may be fixed and they may be moving along the walls somehow.  It's a fascinating motion to watch.

Bay of LIES

I don't know if those outside the US experience this as much, but often I'll choose a part or board off of eBay based on the "Ships from" geographical location if I want it sooner than I care about price, but Occasionally something that is shipping from Texas or New Jersey will arrive with a Mandarin shipping label, quite a few days later than the USPS maps indicate it should take it seems. How often do you guys experience this?

Duino-Robotics T-Shirt Saftey Tip

As many times as my wife has snuck up on me while I was soldering, perhaps I should have suggested this when it initially came up:

Me in my sick threads

It doesn't actually fit as well, but if you wear your new T-shirt backwards it may save you a burnt nose.

Multiple similar distance sensor use for Obstacle Avoidance and Approach

Related to my post this weekend about Robot Size and Methods of Obstacle Avoidance but not limited to larger robots, does anyone's experience with use of multiple distance sensors (either US or IR) support concurrent use or alternatively suggest that the complications caused by their installation, interference with eachother and programming are not worth their addition?