Older blog entries for Timster (starting at number 10)

VIA has our robot competition underway with a banner ad on the Robots.net website here that links to the contest entry form.

The competition has a lighthearted "Robots in da house" theme and is based around a short proposal and a couple of multiple choice questions to be answered. Winners will receive VIA Mini-ITX mainboard to build their dream robot proposals.

You can visit the entry form directly by clicking here

Some of the DARPA Grand Challenge teams have started their blogging at the Robolog

Part of the Mobile Robotics website

The MobileRobotics.org website VIA is sponsoring is going live tomorrow and it looks not bad. Apparently they will be adding in how tos and more of their own content as they get started.

VIA is going to start a banner ad campaign to promote ourselves in robotics, probably something that revolves around a contest of sorts, so we can give away some Mini-ITX kit and see what great stuff the community comes up with.

We're having a bit of trouble deciding what the perameters for a contest winner would be, but were working on it:)

1 Aug 2003 (updated 4 Aug 2003 at 01:48 UTC) »

Of course I'm impressed with the Open Automaton Project because Dafydd Walters has so wisely selected the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX to build his platfrom :) but what really really impresses me is his documentation. Clear, comprehensive, the chart that shows where to buy everything and the pricing, makes this project a real resource for those who want to learn more about building robots.

31 Jul 2003 (updated 31 Jul 2003 at 08:12 UTC) »

As you can see from the front page robots.net story today VIA will be demoing with SRI their Centibots at LinuxWorld. You can read more details there but I think one of the really great parts of this project which they don't highlight enough is that the Centibots are made entirely of off the shelf parts. Very Cool!


I have tried to reply to your email address and the editor@ address and both have been returned to me as blocked for SPAM.

Any ideas?


VIA I mentioned in some of my earlier posts, is taking a much more active role in the Robotics area this year. As with any company we follow the trends that lead us towards new business opportunities, and particularly in what is primarily the PC industry for VIA. This year with the messaging about our small and low powered VIA EPIA Mini-ITX series of mainboards getting quite a bit of attention, we've attracted a whole host of different device types and also the robotics community.

Between companies like SRI International and their Centibots project, and some "unable to mention as yet;)" partners, as well as the enthusiast community, we began to develop our strategy. It's a continuously evolving one but it allows us to explore a whole host of areas. The best part is that I get be a driving force internally:) wuhoo!

A couple of updates for those who are interested:

We're sponsors for LinuxWorld this year and together with SRI we'll be doing a demo of their Centibots.

We've sponsored Viriginia Tech's "Team AUVT" as the "PC Brains" behind their autonomous submarine in the upcoming competition put on by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). Once again the EPIA Mini-ITX platform was a good fit.

We'll also be sponsoring a community website (sorry Robots. net :) that should be starting soon. I will continue to participate in the robots.net site, its just that Mobile Robotics gives VIA a little more flexibility and control in how we show our content, hopefully without sacrificing the integrity of the site. It would be nice if you would give it a look and feedback on how it should shape up.

We've also started to express our Robotics Initiative on our corporate site. Its not much at the moment, but look for it to grow.

My personal goal is to get on Robots.net weekly and give an update, as well as chime in anytime something interesting pops up that I can't keep my opinion to myself about.



Appropriate links:

SRI http://www.ai.sri.com/project/Centibots

Team AUVT be sure to visit their website: http://www.fbox.vt.edu/eng/aero/AUVT/index.html

The VIA Robotics Initiative http://www.via.com.tw/en/robotics/robotics.jsp

Mobile Robotics http://www.mobilelinux.com

After reading Donald Dixon's Diary entry "Alphabot", I thought I would take a moment to reveal a little about VIA robotics strategy. We see beyond the industrial, health and saftey and military uses for robots a future commercial use that I would say a few other companies are probably positioning themselves for as well. That use is for the robot as your single point of contact personal technology manager, assistant and filter.

We have a concept internally known as "Technology Spam" whereby added to the communications spam we know today there will be hardware spam (too many devices or "intelligent nodes" as William Gibson calls them), mulitimedia spam (too many movies, music, sports etc) and while we will want to use all of these technologies, we wouldn't want to be continually interacting with them.

An intelligent device that with some adjustable preset configurations or could act as the intermediary between you and your technology so you can use it effectively and also separate yourself from it.

Tried to submit a story today about organic robots, rat

brains and wetware but the submit story email address kept

bouncing back?????

Organic robot mixes rat brain with silicon

17:19 Friday 13th June 2003 Rupert Goodwins


A new experimental device combines biology and electronics

to investigate the wetware in our heads.

16 Jun 2003 (updated 17 Jun 2003 at 02:28 UTC) »

Read an "interesting" article on the Inquirer about the

Roomba robot vacuum cleaner. Its a little unclear whether

or not the woman who wrote the article actually likes the

Roomba. Its an interesting concept at least and good to see

a robotic device in the consumer space thats not just a toy.



I'm also interested to know what peoples opinions about projects like OROCOS are. It seems that its a noble idea but I wonder about the challenges of coordinating such cutting edge research into a freely available package. I would guess there is a lot of academic and commercial interest in keeping the latest and greatest developments in-house. Is OROCOS the answer for widespread Robot development? Or will it result in an educational tool or a hobbyiests basic development package?

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