mark-eichin-blogspot-com: Mon Mar 1 12:36:00 2010

Mon Mar 1 12:36:00 2010

tiny little robot army

(Yet another client: kblogger crashes on config under Karmic, but "bilbo" (now called "blogilo") seems to have a useful feature set and working autoconfig - entity quoting in titles seems wrong, but it gets a spin...)

As mentioned, I'm working my way through "Learning Computing with Robots", using the accompanying Scribbler/Fluke bot/bluetooth combo. The first chapter ends with a set of exercises, the first six of which are essay questions; while I don't have a grader, essay writing isn't that far from blogging, so I worked through them... and it was actually worth the time, it got me to actually think through some basic assumptions. Maybe later on I'll actually start blog posts off of them, either on general robotics or as a review of the textbook.

In the meantime, I spent the afternoon doing actual robotics - replacing the bump sensors on my Roomba. Mostly tedious mechanical work (20+ screws and some pressure-fit plastic - they're not quite far enough along to be entirely non-servicable, but they're not particularly designed-for-repair either. At least manufacturing evolution puts pressure on having most of the screws be the same kind :-) and a little soldering; I just swapped in the parts themselves, rather than repair them. This article had good detail on the specific steps, and this one had a useful set of pictures with screw locations and such (for a cliff sensor repair, but the initial steps are the same.) I like hands-on work, it's a good contrast to the time I spend in front of ASCII characters...