Every robot builder has been faced with needing (or wanting) parts that
don't fit the budget. What's the solution? We try to improvise by
building a homebrew replacement. Jack W. Crenshaw has
written an amusing
in Embedded Systems magazine on this subject. He tells of an obsession
in his college days
to have (then unaffordable) seven-segment displays to play with. First he
struggled to build a seven-segment display out of things like ice cube trays
and light bulbs. He followed that up with a plan to build a circuit full
of oscillators and counters that could generate the waveforms needed to
oscilliscope into a seven segment display.
when I built my first digital wristwatch.
Let's see, that was about 1973, and it cost $88.00 in kit form.
You had to solder and assemble it. At the time the cheapest store
bought one was around $600 or so.
I used it for about a year, when I discovered that you don't expose
the primitive LCD display to direct sunlight for too long.
Unfortunately that killed the watch as you couldn't get parts for them
anymore. Primitive LCD's didn't last long in direct sunlight way back
Humm, around that time I also built my first digital 4 function
calculator kit too. Four functions not five. It even ran off of some
AA batteries and had a LED display too. If I remember right it cost
less than $100 too.
mechanical displays that worked like flash cards, rolodexes etc.
and those weird stacked displays that were nearly unreadable
under some lighting conditions because reflected light would
show all the other numbers waiting for their turn to be illuminated.
Makes one wonder, will their be a final type of display after all the
current marvels are gone, or will the "parade" continue on and on?
Actually, I think the ultimate wave of the future display will be a
retina based display system. You just think about it and a computer
display will be presented right in or on your eyes directly.
Of course they might go for a direct brain feed display system too.
No keyboards, no mice, we simply think about it and it gets done.
We'll all be standing in line to get computer system emplants when that
day comes. You won't be able to work live or survive without them.
Remember Arthur C Clark's last Space Odyssey Book? 3001 The final
They all had metal skull caps on. You'd remove all your head hair
permanently, and they'd fit you for a skull cap. After all the tests,
it became permanent and little hair like electrodes would grow into
your brain, connecting you to the world network.
It seems Arthur C Clark has a good track record on predictions.
I'd rather have implants internally myself (at least under the skin).