Older blog entries for phooky (starting at number 9)

In this troubling economy, who has the resources to build a hexapod? Thus, I'm building a pentapod-- the people's robot.

The skeleton is up on thingiverse. I'm using one of Raph's awesome, hacked-up twitchie boards to carry the chip. Some observations so far: I need a shorter thigh member, and I'm going to need more powerful servos for those joints-- hs-311s aren't cutting it.

Reminder: robot workshop tonight, at Eyebeam, for those of you in NYC.

Mindstorms Workshop - This workshop, intended for ages 12 and up, will teach participants of all ages how to build and program their own robots using LEGO Mindstorms (small computers with programmable behaviors) in order to address a specific challenge. Participants will work with an artist to learn the Mindstorm programming language, experiment with the design of a physical computing project, and test the results in their own mini-robot "runway show".

Feral Robotic Dogs - The Bureau of Inverse Technology will lead a workshop on building feral robotic dogs. These semi-autonomous activist robots are created by disassembling and rebuilding commercially available robotic toy dogs. The toys are 'upgraded' by installing a new nose (data collection sensors), a new brain that programs the dogs to "sniff out" contaminants in the environment and by mechanically improving them so that they can traverse outdoor terrain.

New York-Tokyo robots tomorrow at the same venue, followed by a robot-DJ'ed party.

simonthehappy: this is creepily similar to what I'm working on, only I'm only dragging the paper in one direction, and using several head positioning assemblies from hard drives to actuate the pen...
hudson: thanks. A friend of mine has a running installation; I'll give backchaining a try. Until then, I guess I'll stick with eagle.
hudson: how on earth did you get ExpressPCB running under Wine? I've had no joy. What version are you using? Are you linking against an existing windows installation?

Finished my stupid electroluminescent handbag today. People seemed to like it. I am rapidly turning into a fashion designer for Mondo 2000. Ugh.

Maxim's site has some very good tutorials, and you can now order parts directly from them online. Got myself some MAX712 chargers. Will see how they work out.

Can't post on the front page, but a friend bought this to my attention: autonomous robot water spider ballet, this weekend in Boston. From the page:

Eight giant robotic spiders, programmed with artificial instincts (and painted in Beetle colors by Scott Volkswagen), will dart about a Charles River cove in a spirited ballroom dance of avoidance. Pioneer cyberartist, Remo Campopiano, designed and built the spiders with the help of the Robotics Art Club of New England, a group of 10-13 year olds. The spiders will be dancing to an original composition by critically-acclaimed composer/conductor, Ernesto Klar...

Urgh. Last night's lesson: just because your old servo can deal with a very low current on its control line doesn't mean your new, beefier servo can. Replace that resistor with something reasonable.

On that note, does anyone know where I can find resistors with the values silkscreened on the side? Being partially colorblind makes coping with color codes (especially in poor lighting) a wearying task...

You know those buttons that have that big red heart on them that say "I GAVE BLOOD TODAY"?

They're kind of morbid, aren't they? I mean, it's like wearing a nametag that says "Hi, My Name Is BOB and I opened a vein for an utter stranger this afternoon". But that's besides the point.

The point is, that if they made buttons that said "I ANNOUNCED MY RESIGNATION FROM IDTTV TODAY" on them, I'd be wearing one right now.

Only a month more and then I have nothing to do but hack. Sweet.

Perhaps this is as good a place as any to mention that I've put up a PalmOS port of blitzer. So now next time you have to reprogram a Ubicom ┬Ácontroller in a tight crawlspace you've got the right tool for the job.

I'm sure secret agents have to do that all the time.

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