October 30, 2007

Headbot1



An interesting note about the solar panel used: I bought it from solarbotics, and the panel "burnt out" after a few hours in the sun. Several of the subcells were noticeably darker and the headbot will no longer activiate under my testing lamp. Changing the panels to one in storage fixed the problem and it was once again responsive under my normal test lamp. An email has been sent regarding these solar panels which don't seem to like the sun :P





Cheers,

Steve

October 22, 2007

Unexpected behaviour from photovore1

Someone whose name I can not recall once said there was no point in simulating robotic behaviour unless you can simulate everything. That is to say, you are better off building one to see what problems are instead of trying to find problems by simulation. I saw the wisdom of this today, when I took photovore1 to play in the Sun.



Photovore1 is slightly asymmetrical, that is it tends to go to the left. An interesting thing happens when its left FLED is in the shadows - it follows the edge of the shadow! This behaviour comes about because the FLEDs are inhibited by light. So the right FLED in sun light is inhibited from firing, so the left FLED fires and pushes the robot right (the FLED trigger motors on their own side). However once the left FLED has the shadow, the aforementioned asymmetry comes into play and photovore1 veers to the left again! Effectively photovore1 follows any shadow on its left.



Neat huh? Completely unintended consequence that arises out of its constructions and its interactions with the environment. Something simulation would not have found :-D




Cheers,

Steve

Scientific reasoning and poker

If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get very far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability. - Vannevar Bush



Cheers,

Steve

October 17, 2007

My First Pummer







Cheers,

Steve

October 03, 2007

Sciences

The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.

--Johann Von Neumann




Cheers,

Steve