Amccutchen is currently certified at Apprentice level.

Name: Allan McCutchen
Member since: 2004-10-23 17:52:23
Last Login: 2004-11-27 19:46:30

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Hello, I have been working in the medical instrumentation field for many years. I was around during the early days of the PC and was interested in kit building since then. In the 1980's I started a company, using networked PC's to build Laboratory Information Systems which I sold to hospitials and commercial labs. I believe that the Automation industry is following a similar path as the Computer industry. I have been very active in robotics for several years and have developed skills for constructing circuit boards and robotics. I have used this to build a prototype, low cost xyz robotic platform. It uses a 4 channel stepper controller of my design coupled to an embedded processer from Jkmicro. It is functional but I am now developing the control software for interaction via TCP/ip. The control software is developed in C and assembly. My motor control development uses the PIC Microcontroller.

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Here is an observation: I was around during the early days of the "personal computer" and I mean Altair. Those were the days of the Heathkit builders. My feeling is that the early Cambrian period of PC's was driven by the desire to have something that was not available, the computer at work that was too expensive to have at home. I built a kit, SWTP. It didn't do much but I really enjoyed it. Then, as microprocessors became more powerful and less expensive, more features and speed became available. Then there was WOZ and Steve. I understand that WOZ build the Apple using the 6502 because he couldn't afford the Intel brand. But they they made it interesting and marketable. This may not be a new idea but, I believe there are similarities today in robotics to the environment that brought out the PC. The microcontrollers are becoming more powerful, and cheaper and there sure a lot of Generous Energetic Evolutionary Knowledge Seekers around. (Since that is such a large phrase, maybe I will find a short acronym for it.) At any rate, I can FEEL it. It is happening. You probably heard the latest market predictions, forecasting a seven fold increase in growth. The predictions are for a $ 50 billion/yr market in 2010 but it could be way bigger. So, do you want to guess what the Next Big Thing will be. We are looking at it.


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