Older blog entries for zeevon (starting at number 5)

Exams are almost over now with only one remaining (software engineering on Wednesday). I still need to go out and pick up a few solar cells and a few motors, probably the only things that I'm missing before starting to work on the projects from my new book.

Oh, and I have to find time over the next week to move all my possessions to a new apartment. Never a free moment to just sit down and play...

I bought Junkbots, Bugbots & Bots on Wheels yesterday after going through the archived articles on this site and reading the review. It's a little basic but as someone who has really only worked with an FPGA robot and microcontrollers, it's nice to now have a nice, gentle intro to some simpler designs.

Unfortunately, it's exam time and I'm already regretting the little time that I have spent reading the first few chapters (instead of studying).

It has been 10 months since I last posted anything here. I have been pretty busy finishing my degree, but fortunately I had a chance to build some robots in class this year.

In the fall semester, I was part of a group of 6 people that built an object-picking robot. It used a Polaroid sonar sensor to detect an object from up to 10 meters (35 feet) away, and then used a Sharp IR sensor (mounted on the arm) when it got within a fairly close range (I think 30 cm, but I can't remember). All of the motors and sensors were controlled by an Altera UP-2 board mounted on the robot, which we programmed using VHDL.

The project turned out to be a great success for us and we aced the class. This was my first real robot building experience and I'm quite pleased with it. I am also glad that it happened in a classroom setting because I was (and still am) pretty new to this, so at least I had some knowledgeable people around me to answer some of my questions.

So now that I have that behind me, I'm looking forward to starting a project of my own this summer. I still have a Motorola microcontroller (M68HC12) sitting in my office from last year which I could put to good use.

9 Jun 2002 (updated 9 Jun 2002 at 12:52 UTC) »

Having little building experience, I ordered Robot Builder's Bonanza (2nd Edition) this week, as well as another beginner's building book.

Tenacious C: I think it would be desirable to have one microcontroller doing everything, because it might make it easier to coordinate movement between different parts of your robot. (Disclaimer: I am not an expert.)

I was planning on doing an independent research project next year (being my fourth year in computer engineering). Since there is no thesis to write in your fourth year, they offer a "Project" class, which means you get a prof to supervise it and then you do a short presentation and write up a report by the end of the semester.

Previously, I had thought of doing on project on AI robotics, but I think I'll be doing it on cryptography instead (most likely eliptic curve cryptography). I figured that I would rather work on my robot stuff on my own without having to worry about making it work within 4 months.

29 Mar 2002 (updated 30 Mar 2002 at 01:18 UTC) »

Got an account here on robots.net, so I'll try to keep my AI robotics diary here, and keep my Free Software-related diary on Advogato.

I won't have much else to report until May, when I have a bit more free time.

(Evening Update) The whole trust thing seems a bit weirder here than on Advogato. Someone with a single cert from a Journeyer for Journeyer level attains that level. Weird. Is the trust metric actually different on this site or is just because there are fewer people here than on Advogato?

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