20060314

SAIL Automatic Mode

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SAIL Automatic Mode

After some (near) random searching, I came across this page. This is a robot I worked on for my Masters project. It's hard to see in the picture, but next to the orange robotic arm is a black turntable with two pen sized cameras on pan-tilt controllers. I was responsible for developing a programming API and a GUI interface for that component. I see that Dr. Weng has bee quite busy the past few years.

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20051103

New Scientist Breaking News - 'Gadget printer' promises industrial revolution

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New Scientist Breaking News - 'Gadget printer' promises industrial revolution: "The idea of printing a light bulb may seem bizarre, but US engineers are now developing an ink-jet printing technology to do just that. The research at the University of California in Berkeley will allow fully assembled electric and electronic gadgets to be printed in one go.
The idea was revealed at a December workshop on robotic algorithms in Nice. Instead of creating a casing and then laboriously filling it with electronic circuit boards, components and switches, the plan is to print a complete and fully assembled device."

I once had a dream as a child of a paint by numbers set, where the paints had electrical properties. By sending electric currents through such a painting, you create a simple electric circuit capable of doing anything simple circuits are capable of. A few layers of the right "paints" would make a resistor, capacitor, or transitor. Light emitting diode paints could even light up as a display for a clock or a simple computer. I had even considered the possibility of putting these paints in a printer. Sometimes I think that childhood imagination is wasted when it isn't pursued.

I am glad to see that I may have been on to something really cool.

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Robot builder could 'print' houses

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New Scientist Breaking News - Robot builder could 'print' houses: "A robot for 'printing' houses is to be trialled by the construction industry. It takes instructions directly from an architect's computerised drawings and then squirts successive layers of concrete on top of one other to build up vertical walls and domed roofs.

The precision automaton could revolutionise building sites. It can work round the clock, in darkness and without tea breaks. It needs only power and a constant feed of semi-liquid construction material."

This type of automated construction technique could be vital to a space colonizations effort. Many of the hazards of construction on Earth can be avoided. Those hazards are multiplied in an environment exposed to hard vacuum and radiation.

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20050512

New Robots Clone Themselves

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New Robots Clone Themselves: "Mimicking reproduction in living organisms, researchers have built a simple self-replicating robot out of automated blocks.

Machines that can copy themselves have been built before, but the earlier experiments were limited to two dimensions or confined to a track. Hod Lipson and his collaborators at Cornell University have designed modular cubes, called molecubes, that can assume a range of three-dimensional shapes."

This is cool! I want a kit of my own!

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