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January 6, 2010
about 4 months ago
I wonder why the firmware only supports omni-wheel configurations but doesn’t also support differential drive (i.e. tank drive) for 2 wheeled or tracked vehicles. I see that you can control the motor speeds directly but that’s a bit too low-level. It would be nice to be able to upload some specs to the board on startup (i.e. wheel diameter, number of encoder pulses per wheel revolution, and distance between drive wheels) and then be able to give commands such as turn with r radius (0 for pivot turn) at speed v for d degrees (negative value for left turn, positive for right) to allow for nice smooth turns. Most differential drive robots I see seem to always use 0 radius pivot turns which makes for very, well, robotic motion, which is also probably hard on drivetrains when they have to suddenly reverse motors for a turn. I know it is easier to navigate by changing heading in a point, but it would lead to smoother motion if you could turn on the go, and if the radius is wide enough, you wouldn’t even have to reverse a motor.
Oh, if differential drive ever gets thrown in, might as well add some “dead reckoning” position tracking for both modes (omni-wheel and differential drive). Yeah, it won’t be very accurate, but it would give a bit more of a “leg up” to anybody starting a robot project. At the very least, you’ll at least be able to demo more functionality quicker as you build.
News - Qualcomm Says Wearables A…
about 5 months ago
I can’t see how wearables can be dismissed as a fad. When mobile phones came out, they were considered mostly a toy that pretentious people could flash around. Nowadays, just about everybody has one and most would say they are indispensable. I would say that mobile phones are a category of wearable, a phone isn’t much use to you if you don’t take it with you. I’m not saying that everything about wearable tech is or will be useful, in some cases they may even be hindrances, but I think it’s just another way to extend (augment) ourselves. Some wearables will be a fad, like mood rings were, and some will become things we cannot live without, maybe even literally, if it’s a device that can warn of impending heart attacks, epileptic seizures or strokes for example. As sensor tech improves, wearables will have more and more real uses and replace or enhance other technologies.
News - Your October Caption Cont…
about 8 months ago
Tower, this is Hot Rod requesting a flyby of the Dokter. Negative, Hot Rod, the pattern is full.
But they eventually crash and burn when there’s nothing to, um…. propel them.
Dang it. It looks like an “Under $10” category for the aerial portion of AVC 2015 just isn’t feasible with today’s technology.
It’s soooooooo beautiful, and it will fly the tightest loop ever, but I have to eventually launch it, and its one flight will end in a blue fiery death. Good bye Hot Rod, good bye.
News - The X900: A Teardown
No they didn’t, they just
News - Enginursday: Yeah, I foun…
about a year ago
How about using it to power the compressor stage for a real (axial) turbojet so you can actually get thrust ?
News - New Product Friday: Flex …
about a year ago
I think there are places where the word “pre-drilled” (always past tense) makes sense. An example would be if a seller provided etched but bare PC boards for some project that would take through-hole components. The seller may indicate that you’d have to drill the actual component holes or that it comes pre-drilled. If you are providing instructions and drilling is a step, then you definitely would not want to say “pre-drill the holes”. Now, can somebody come up with an example where you could legitimately use the present tense, i.e. “pre-drill” ?
News - Your SparkFun January Cap…
about a year ago
So for this Friday we got a batch of Actobotics kits with a slightly irregular processor module. It works just fine except it will NOT obey the first law of robotics and maybe not the other two either, but other than that it’s perfectly fine. So go ahead and pick up one of these kits at a reduced price.
No public wish lists :(
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