The big news today was that not just one but several robots completed
the DARPA Grand Challenge. Many Robonexus attendees were making regular
visits to the CMU booth where they had a live feed of the competition
status. One disapointment today was the cancellation of Phillip
Torrone's talk when he missed his flight. Lots of MAKE fans were looking
forward to it. A number of people noted that the MAKE folks have gained
a reputation for missing speaking engagements. Best talk today
was probably Joanne Pransky's on the
Frankenstein Complex. Instead of
one more talk about the best batteries or motors, she brought up some of
the big questions of robotics; free will, consciousness, emotions, and
rights. The day ended with all the coolest folks hanging out at the
Servo mixer. I've uploaded another batch of new photos to the
Actually they are pool balls. Sadly, all the balls were laying on the
bottom even though the elevator was running. Obviously a leak of some
sort. It looks like the way the elevator was made, it's designed to
have several (maybe 8) balls going at the same time. It's painted well
too. All welded metal rods.
That's odd that the balls were all at the bottom because it looked like
they made that RBS with 4 rails throughout the sculpture instead of 2.
2 rails is of course more elegant than 4 but 4 pretty much ensures that
no balls fall off. Yep, perhaps there was some track breakage somewhere.
In Canberra (the Australian capital) in the Kids science museum
(Questacon), they have something similar called the Gravitram, which
is 8-10 feet tall. You can't see too much detail, but you can get a
brief description by visiting their site (www.questacon.com.au) and
selecting the virtual tour, then after you enter the building, pan to
the left and it's there. The limited view doesn't do it justice
After a brief google there's more info from the guy who made it on:
When we saw it the previous night, most of the balls were zooming around
like they were supposed to. We noticed two balls on the bottom. There
are several points where balls jump over things or get launched through
the air, so they probably miss once in a while.