kelaar is currently certified at Master level.

Name: Murray Sampson
Member since: 2003-11-23 08:47:38
Last Login: 2008-06-22 21:31:53

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My interest in robotics started as a kid, at least mildly. I always wanted to build one but never had the resources. The same was true with electronics, though I did do some work with kits in that field. Now I'm in college studying multimedia design and have discovered the Parallax Basic Stamp. I'm in a class this term working with it to create art, and next term will be pursuing independent study with two other students. I hope to begin building robotic puppets with computerized interfaces, as well as autonomous models that are influenced by and perhaps even interact with their environment.

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My marionette came today. FedEx is cool and actually brings stuff when I'm home, unlike UPS who comes three times when I'm not forcing me to go pick it up in time I don't have. So yes, Marionette and no servos. And now that I have the marionette, I'm not quite sure how to attach the servos to it. My original idea looks like it won't work. I'd hate to change tracks entirely, but I just might have to.

Well, no luck getting Proce55ing to work with my stamp yet. The serial connection just doesn't seem to be initializing. I guess it's either back to Director, on forward to C++. But that's daunting. Of course, it would be a worthwhile language to learn. Anyway...

Ordered my marionette yesterday, as well as four servos to control it. They will hopefully all show up middle of next week. Then I can at least get some push-button controls working. 'Bout time, I think.

Next step is to go pick up some scrap metal to build the framework with. Drew some rather sketchy plans to get an idea of what to do. I'm going to include slots on the top so the servos are adjustable. But I'm waiting for all of this until the parts show up, so I can build it to correct proportion.

I am back now, ready to get started on my project. Addie and I haven't had time to meet in person, but have talked a bit online. We are hopefully meeting with our professor next Friday. I might have had time for more this week, but I just finished eight days in a row of work, with school on top of that. While working at the school bookstore has its perks, the first week of the term is definitely not one of them. It was amazing to find myself trying to find ways to avoid being around people and hide.

But enough of that. I'm ready for serious robotics work this term. Anyone have suggestions on where to pick up supplies for building armatures?

Yeah, break time for now. Time for a visit to the family and a random trip to Canada. Then it's back to the grindstone at work and school. I'll hopefully have some pictures to at least link to of plans for the puppets at some point soon.

6 Dec 2003 (updated 16 Dec 2003 at 05:48 UTC) »

I succeeded in having my stamp interface with Director. I used "mini snap action" switches from LKG Industries to control a search routine my friend Chris wrote using Lingo. Each button determined a different area of the U.S. to search for data. T'was quite fun, despite the amount of time Addie and I spent debugging things (digging through Chris' code). Or maybe because of that process. Ah, critical thinking.

Over my winter vacation, when I'm not working that is, I'll be learning PHP, MySQL, and Proce55ing. I think we might try to write a program in Proce55ing to interface with the puppets we'll be building. It would be nice to run them with something less bloated than Director.

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