Older blog entries for rex (starting at number 3)

WhoPhlunPoo on certification wpp I think it would help some people get certified if they told us what they are interested in and posted any link useful online articles or papers they run accross.

At advogato where I am a vocal and very slippery but fairly slick paradigm of advocacy for freeing commerce so we can get some money for goodies, I found that making at least a small entry each day got me noticed. This signt is even better, link to a few sketches scanned in or diagrams on a home page at yahoo is a pretty cool way to exchange information. I think anyway, I am kind of new to the internet scene. Maybe everybody already knew that? Sorry! Some of us older dudes are pretty busy but can answer specific questions pretty quickly even if we do have to look it up after 20 years of project managment. : ) Does everybody here know how to use google? Realise that they can get downloads that read PDF papers put out by professionals at MIT, Nasa, private industry, etc.? I hope that does not sound condescending, it took me 2 years to learn how to use a wordprocessor and a spreadsheet after the six months it took to get the purchasing paperwork signed and processed. Worth it though, my next cubicle buddy at Edwards AFB, Ridley Mission Control Center used to do signal processing to find calibration settings for the analog tape drives a couple of times a year. Our processing data dropouts were far fewer after we had our zenith 100 (8086) online. lol kerap What kind of resources do you need kerap? I used to scrounge pretty good at Edwards AFB maybe if we discuss it back and forth here some of our buddies here will help us out with some ideas. It is amazing to see what 3 or 4 people can come up with in collaboration. We must have a couple hundred people here. Somebody will have an idea we can use if we listen intently. Take care guy.

Cool article. Tanks!

While I was looking this article over I thought initially of the pneumatic tank game my twin brother and I had as a kid. This led immediately to arcade competitions with little software tanks between me, dad, and Ray.

Then I got to wondering if this circuit could be used to control the big transporter crawlers they used on Apollo. Such a device might be useful in lunar mining remotely from earth via teleoperators .... wring word can not remember the preferred form. Of course all the hydraulics, joints, and exterior shell components would have to be ruggedized for the lunar environment but the electronics could live inside an environmental chambe provided for manual operation when desirable or necessary.

With the proper software safety interlocks we could charge Disney to allow customers at Disneyland to operate our lunar mines. Or we could establish our own lunar space camp training facility. A friend of mine might be interested in this. He has been tryig to get land developers interested in a space simulation neigbhood development right pioneering thinking people could live normal lives while participating in training drills and engineering development projects on the weekend or after normal work hours.

I bet a mockup of either (lunar mining crawler or Apollo transporter) could help him get a lot of public attention. Especially if it was scaled to match these guys prototype: VTVL controller prototype testbed.

I better send him an email with a link to here. He will like this site anyway. Coincidentally his name is Rex as well. I do not know if he ever read Lester Del Rey, he is a bit older than I and may have been scrambling to make a living when it came out. Maybe I will send him a copy for Christmas. I will send a copy of this email to myself to remember to put idea in my calender on linux desktop if I can figure it out.

Anyway I have not committed to a project yet, but I have visions of a couple of thin hp boxes on top of four tank tracks controlled by a derivative of this circuit link to a internet radio transmitter. ... Challenging, I would have to dig out some engineering books. I have not done serious electronics analysis since efundies.

Hey! Maybe I get my college roomie to check out this site! He is double EE PE! We see how much he actually learned while working at Oremet Titanium! lol Of course he same of me when we have to figure out the pneumatics. lol We could both journal here to exchange design information. I have to check out the project room or page but at worst we should be able to link to yahoo or space elswhere with our uploaded diagrams and specifications.

BTW I just dropped by to share with you all this OUTSTANDING tool I just found. It is called dia (for Diagram) and is found on the program/application item of the footprint. It looks fairly complete. It should enable some nice looking diagrams of all kinds to present designs to buddies for evaluation and comment. Not to mention help with the analysis. There are so many disciplines involved with space stuff that frequent coordination is required with trusted associates to verify designs are adequate in all aspects. Tradeoffs are often required to get a working system.

Rex, (my buddy not me) I am sure you will have noticed that as we discussed (I think) this could easily begin generating revenue from theme parks connected to a prototyping facility or even an actual mine via the Internet if proper safety interlocks and realtime timing constraint/handshake cutouts are present along with standard manual override linked to industrial emergency all stop.

Oh! Also, I think I found a revenue model that might work in the long term to allow the community to raise money for site operations and maybe even sponsoring selected team projects that will build our community prestige. This could eventually help our members with getting scholarships, help or sponsorship from various nonprofits or government grants, jobs in robots (Robots.net, Journeyer) look good to many companies if our robots look good in press, documentation and analysis is professional grade and useful, and our mutual feedback assessments of each other are obviously authentic, accurate, helpful training feeback in a variety of interesting areas useful to robots.

I will post a link here to the revenue model when I get it polished up.

Hope you guys had a good labor day.

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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