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El-oh-wire

Ah yes.  We promised ourselves much needed downtime after a number of fairly hectic detours recently.

There's been a whole lottaRosie recently.  We went in a bit hard with the sensors, servos and 3D printing. And the workshop is looking a tad thuderstruck as a result. What we could do with - now - is a soothing little distraction. A rest bite.  One that adds some long overdue razzmatazz to this highway to hell splendour of a journey.

After all, which roboticist doesn't love lights that flash meaninglessly? In inexplicable colours. At arbitrary intervals.  For no reason whatsoever. Great! Sounds like our kind of R&R.

Besides, the blog is still celebrating its 1 year anniversary.  As such, it's a perfect excuse to roll out this lighting rig to this rock 'n' roll party.
You don't want to be the tool without the tooling:A Raspberry Pi 3, running Raspbian OSSay 'EL-lo to your EL wire (no, that didn't quite work).  It should come with an inverter.  Beca…

Shaken not steered

Often - it transpires - humans and robots just don't get along.  Something about one being infinitely more clever than the other.  And to make matters worse, most machines equipped with even an ounce of "advanced" intelligence supposedly like nothing more than to totally annihilate the world, and generally cause misery for humans (just like their human counterparts, on second thought).  This is all according to the seminal, and totally academic study on artificial intelligence - The Terminator.  It's been peer reviewed on Rotten Tomatoes... so it must all be irrefutably true.

And for any fledging robot, when that terrifying moment finally arrives, when a muscle-man from Austria comes at you with all kinds of blunt and sharp instruments (often found suspiciously, not to say rather conveniently, nearby), they must recognise that they are being... well... properly whacked.  With a gardener’s fork.  Or an iron pipe.  Or maybe even with an enormous sword of the barbarian…

Balancing the books

Just how many times do we have to remind ourselves?  If we're building a bona fide robot, we're eventually going to have to teach her/him/it how to balance like a pro.  We've been making haphazard, almost wishful, assumptions that anything mechanical we build - like Rosie 2.0 - will never fall victim to the infamous (and cruel) powers of gravity as so often demonstrated by comedy clips on YouTube.  That they'll gracefully glide around our physical space, no matter what, and simply blend in like the rest of us.  In other words, just like humans.  All while doing something extremely useful, of course.  Like saving the world (when not destroying it).  No pressure there!

But despite all the amazing advances made in technology to date, there's one good reason why we've yet to see humanoid robots freely roam around our cities.  Sure, robots these days come on wheels.  Tracks.  Engines.  Propellers.  4 or more legs even.  But despite the fact that Blade Runner promis…

2 crawly 2 creepy

We believe it was Einstein that once famously observed this particular theory of relativity; that every horror film requires a - relatively (and scientifically) speaking - smellier sequel.  Therefore, when the previous incarnation doesn't quite meet people's expectations, it should be in everyone's interest to further obliterate its legacy with yet more momentous muck and manure.  This is the only way (apparently) to maintain nature's delicate equilibrium between winner and stinker.  After all, for this, the great man won the Nobel Prize.

Of course, what we're talking about here isn't Jeepers Creepers, or I Know What You Did Last Summer.  Simply put, Rosie disappointed in her last outing.  We promised you "crawly creepy", and instead, we got "a slightly bizarre demonstration of a robot pretending to crawl across an anonymous hotel room floor.  Badly." (which incidentally isn't a great film title).  No, definitely not Halloween.  More Mr…