Wednesday, November 14, 2018

R.I.P. HAL: Douglas Rain, Voice Of Computer In '2001,' Dies At 90

Sad follow up to some previous posts...

Douglas Rain, a Shakespeare actor who provided the eerie, calmly homicidal voice of HAL in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died at the age of 90. See NPR's report here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Mechanical Seven Segment Display

Published on YouTube by "The Q" on October 25, 2018 (shared by Martin_H on the Parallax Forums). The Q says,
How to Make Mechanical 7 Segment Display from Cardboard 
In today's video I want to show you 7 segment display with unique machenism that is our own invention. There are 7 circles inside. Each circle has it's own trigger that read circle program and responds for opening/closing specific segment. Full assembly instructions are includede in the video!  
Materials you need: cardbaord, paper, rubber bands, springs and popsicle sticks. Enjoy :)
This is well done...

Robotic Ornaments

Hallmark Robotics’ Christmas Ornaments- 2018

And then, the scariest thing on the Christmas tree this year at Hal-Mark - Yikes!

For a little history on this - see this earlier post.

Monday, November 5, 2018

FLiP for SumoBots

Ken Gracey at Parallax recently posted
"Parallax's customers have been asking for a Propeller Multicore version of the SumoBot. We plan on using the same chassis design with a new board on top, with the FLiP Multicore Module. This will be entirely programmable in BlocklyProp. The robots will be sold in pairs, of course. Once we get these prototype PCBs built we'll share some features, get your feedback, and move a step closer to production."

Great news! The original SumoBot set is a classic.

UPDATE! - Ken posted a great new video on the Blockly for Microcontrollers Facebook Page. This bot looks great.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Roboticist Jun-Ho Oh and HUBO

From IEEE Spectrum Video Friday - Jacob Templin from Quartz put together this great video interview with the always entertaining Jun-Ho Oh at KAIST. Robotics pioneer believes machines will make us happier. I love his attitude! He says, "robotics is 99% failure and 1% success!"

Thursday, November 1, 2018

E(ngineers) Too?

National Academies Report Says Sexual Harassment Is a Threat to Engineering - see the full story at IEEE Spectrum -

The article by C.D. Mote Jr., Sheila E. Widnall and Ed Lazowska, begins with this...

"The engineering community has been working for decades to increase the representation of women in universities and in the profession, but progress has been slow. In the United States, just 21 percent of engineering bachelor’s degrees go to women, and only 11 percent of practicing engineers are women. While the problem is complex, we must recognize that one significant factor is sexual harassment, which creates hostile education and work environments and pushes women out of the field."

C.D. Mote Jr. is president of the National Academy of Engineering. Sheila E. Widnall, Institute Professor and professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, and Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, are two of the authors of the National Academies report Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween from R.U.S.

Most of you know that I grew up in the heyday of Sci-Fi and Horror Films and the very beginning of the space program. So, I've always loved space exploration, robotics, and monster movies! 

Not long ago, I posted a photo of me from Christmas of 1967 (9 years old) with the Zeroid - Zerak robot. The photo came in the form of the screen capture from an 8mm home movie from that year! That post is here.

A few years later in 1971, my sister, her best friend, and I made this silent short film on the same 8mm camera. 

Happy Halloween from Robotics Under the Stole!