Older blog entries for rex (starting at number 1)

Diary Tidbits at the Water Cooler

Oil cooler, oil .... robots ... oil ... got it.

steve Sounds like a challenging project, very worthy of a master. I wonder if it would make sense to establish a hardware exchange listing or parts bin where we help out fellow robot builder with cheap or free parts? Shipping & Handling might make this ineffective initially for widely dispersed teams or robot buddies for some kinds of parts. However, a lot of specialized parts that can get very expensive can be relatively cheap to ship.

Project leaders and development personal would have to get some parts lists or BOMs (Bill of Materials) put together and get them posted and linked to from the project pages or diary entries to make this effective.

The site might put together a list of commonly useful parts and if we can figure out how to fund it provide an actual physical "parts bin" that would be useful when our community chooses to sponser projects. Perhaps a reasonable markup on donated components sold through a site web store could help finance ongrowing growth and activites sponsored or undertaken by our community.

Let me know what you think, I am interested in learning what works and does not work in building community centered sites for businesses and public service organizations. OOPS! Gotta go check and make sure my home page link and email address are here. My new mail drop is lazyquasar( appropriate symbol )yahoo.com and it seems to be working. Although I have not gotten any spam yet so it may not be reliable yet.

I currently have access to quite a few obsolete motherboards and computer cards as my brother is rebuilding scrap systems for his Lions Club to donate around locally.

Also I know some engineers who might willing to approach employers about postage to get obsolete of past shelf life components to worthy projects in exchange for listing as donors .... PR? Something. For example a friend recently shipped me a micron portable pentium because he dropped it and cracked the screen ..... or his best half would not let him upgrade .... who knows? LOL I know it might be a good brain for a robot with a suitably stripped down and connected software suite. It is spoken for already but accident happen all the time and most professionals I know upgrade every couple of years. With proper software tools would make excellent software development station. I used to program PLC controlled pump stations ladder logic development on 286s. The good old days .... bullshit! Give me a dual Pentium III at 700 Mhz or better ASAP. Still it can be done with less in necessary, we used to.

edleighton I tried to check out mach II but I had trouble loading the site. I am stuck with a 28K modem for a few days so it could have been my problem. I will check back soon. : )

kerap shares a Gleeful Shout of Success. Congratulations! I look forward to a more detailed report after the initial adrenal surge wears off and further is experience is developed. Well done!

I am starting soon, honest.

This looks like it could grow into an exciting online virtual community site and I think I would like to be a part of it for a while. Did anyone catch the reference to Lester Del Rey's friendly robot Rex? If so, be discrete if sensitive about your age. LOL

Status Update on TBD Robotics Projects

Well I better go clear some space in the garage and look around for some scrap that might be useful for a robot. I am thinking about whether I will to start will a mobile unit or go with a stationary manufacturing arm and rig up access to a small machine tool platform. Either a small lathe or a milling machine. The idea would be to be able to have the robot automatically manufacture small plastic, wood or aluminum parts for cottage manufacturing of kits for sale on open engineering sites. Pros and cons both ways.

Oh yeah! Progress of sorts. This is the first online interaction I have had on a linux box. I am converting over to open source software where possible and this should greatly accelerate my learning for robotics since I intend to use realtime versions of linux for my operating systems. Now to find some decent free software CAD and other engineering tools. I will be using open office for my BOMs (Bill of materials, stuff needed to manufacture known configurations) so I am going now to download that and install it. Wish me luck! It is going well today. Who know what else might happen while the universe is smiling on me and my projects? : )

I have long been interested in robots but never really made the opportunity to pursue this interest. Perhaps it is time to change this. I have been investigating ways to tailor the open source software paradigm to engineering projects that might be useful in advancing technologies useful to future space settlements. A robot would certainly provide some hands on excitement and serve as a testbed for some engineering projects when I get an open engineering site up.

I have access to all the software tools I need and some obsolete 486s and even 586s available. I also spotted an open engineering site that may provide some software components that would be useful .... let me go get the link in case anybody is interested ...... opencontrol.org I would think the command processor and related realtime control functions for a spacecraft would be directly to applicable to a robot. Note this stuff is open source so if you have the proper language tools to compile it then it should be pretty inexpensive.

Anyway I have several slimline 486s that might make good chassis. I shall have to look around for servo motors ... my brother has been talking about a robotic lawnmower ... LOL perhaps I can get him interested in some prototyping?

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