Older blog entries for Pontifier (starting at number 12)

I enered the DARPA challenge again. This time I actually converted a pickup truck to steer to waypoints, but I neglected to include the work I had done on my vision system in the video I had to submit, and I didn't advance to the next round.

I'm starting again, and I feel as though this time I am going to go about this thing with a more able strategy.

I wrote up a history of my work in this field, and it is at www.FutureNowa.com

7 Apr 2003 (updated 7 Apr 2003 at 13:32 UTC) »

It is up as prommised...my solution to spam. I have done tons of research, found some places where the idea could have come from with a little more nurturing, but there it is... for the world to see, at my website. and you heard it here first.

the first page is the implimentation, and most of the interesting stuff is down deeper.

I have decided that I will open pandoras box. on monday I will announce this new idea to very outlet I can find.

I see before me an opportunity to change the world.

I hope I'm not insane, because if i'm not, spam will die forever!

it is too good to go public with... i had it up for about 5 minutes, i hope nobody saw it.

5 Apr 2003 (updated 5 Apr 2003 at 21:47 UTC) »

I was just reading some discussions on slashdot, and i think i came up with the perfect solution to spam! I will work out the details shortly, but i think i've got the solution, and it should work for the next 10 years at least. (because all systems can be deceived eventually)

I sent in an application for the darpa grand challenge. I seem to work best when I have a deadline. i'm going to make lots of deadlines for myself. I removed my whole website and replaced it with a progress report. I have thought a lot about what i want to do, and my previous projects have prepared me a little for the complexities of the task, but i think i might be in over my head. I wrote a whole list of things i want to take into account, then i spent 3 hours fleshing out an overall control flowchart. it might work, but then again the nitty gritty has a way of tripping me up. we'll see

I was thinking about an ai program i want to write, and I realised that every single person on this planet that can write is a cyborg. part of your mind has become fixed to something outside you. I then extrapolated this to programming... programmers design systems to make desisions automatically. the programmer/program group is a kind of symbiotic inteligence. without the program the programmer is less... and tasks must be done manually. Without the programmer, the program doesn't exits at all.

My webserver is a part of me. it is like a mouth through which I can speak.

My webpages and notebooks are a part of me. they are like my memorys that i want to think about.

My robots are a part of me. they are like limbs i can use to work.

I would not be complete without the things I make, and should i loose them, they will live in me.

I love technology.

I have set up an ftp server in my house! I can host my own files now! A link on my website points to a folder with a video of the robot arm I built! more videos to come as this is just a start. unfortunately the file is in WMV format, but i'll try to use mpegs instead. I also set up an apache server and am testing it out.

I just got back from the MURC competition on the 18th of jan. the robot i built for the competition... "Sharp Tooth"... lost both of the 1 on 1 fights, and was knocked out fast in 12 pound rumble #2 , but i did have a wonderfull time meeting all the builders and seeing all the awesome robots.

I got a few comments about my unique weapon, it is a spinning disk powered spike that fires automatically when a robot is in the path of the weapon. it has the advantages of both kinds of weapons... high speed spinning power storage, and a directed penetrating output for all the force instead of a glancing blow. unfortunately it didn't work all that well. steering was a problem, and the arena floor was slippery, i was going for car style drive and steering, but it didn't work very well. next time i will do 2 wheel differential steering.

I did a lot of work on my robot at Jerome Miles's house. he really helped me out a bunch. His robot named "It Doesn't Matter" won a rumble and he got a trophy. I had a great time, the whole thing was awesome.

An update about the robot arm i built: It was SWEET! all the little kids loved it, all the adults were facinated. it was a total success! everyone that has seen it has thought it was amazing, as soon as I can figure out how to set up a linux server i will have some videos of the arm, and the competition to show all y''all!

I have over the past few day built a master/slave arm set. the master is 4 100k potentometers mounted on a frame to fit my arm, and wired into a joystick port. 2 pots in the shoulder give elevation, and rotation. 1 pot for the elbow. and one for the gripper. 4 sevos make up the arm, 1 coresponding directly to each potentometer, and making an arm that is roughly the same dimensions as my arm, and has nearly the same degree of freedom, though it is somewhat weak.

the interface is an ifi robotics issac16 setup, the operator interface takes joysticks as input, and gives a wireless link to the robot controller. the robot controller is a basic stamp 2 or something, and has 8 PWM outputs.

I am planning to use it to hand out candy for halloween.

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