On Saturday I went to Goddard for their open house, to show off the school's FIRST robot. We also brought some
of our Lego robots, and I brought PalmBot, which was unfortunately out of the action because of the null modem
adapter (which causes most if not all of PalmBot's failures). We had a pretty good crowd. The coolest thing that
Goddard strated was a system where they had you pop a balloon, the pop was picked up by a microphone
connected to a laptop, which was dialed into a satellite ground station, sent a message to a satellite, which talked
to another satellite, which sent a message to a separate ground station, which sent a message over the Internet
over the Net to a laptop which happened to be on the other side of a room, which was connected to a camera,
which took a picture, all in four seconds. This was to strate satellite to satellite communication. What they
want to happen eventually is for a satellite to pick up gamma rays, and then tell another satellite (which has a
better imager), "I just found gamma rays! Point yourself at these coordinates and take some pictures."
I sent out another message to our homeschool group at church, and I got a huge response, so we're going to do
the program, (teaching kids engineering fundamentals and eventually robotics fundamentals using Legos), but we
might have to go get another set.
Today I had my first day at NIST. They're doing some really cool robotics work in the Intelligent Systems Division,
I'm just not sure what I'm going to be doing exactly. Today was mostly orientation, and hopefully tomorrow I'll
actually meet my supervisor and get my marching orders.