Friday, September 21, 2007

The Spider by the Bathroom Window

This morning while I was brushing my teeth, I saw a little spider by the bathroom window. It was very small, maybe a sixteenth of inch long. I put my finger down next to it and it backed away. That little spider is more complex than the most sophisticated robots around today. It is completely independent and responds to all sorts of conditions in its environment. It feeds itself. It has multiple and sophisticated sensors and is even able to reproduce. Will we ever achieve anything so fantastic or beautiful?

Friday, September 7, 2007

It's Alive!

This uOLED from Parallax (4D Systems makes the unit) is really cool. The demo programs are amazing and the color is brilliant. My only surprise was that when I had the uOLED plugged into the breadboard on the Basic Stamp BOE, the display was upside down. You will see the rigged-up connection I made so that I could really watch the screen. Hook-up was a breeze and everything worked perfectly the first time (except the upside down part ;-p ). The connection diagram pdf is here. Now on to figuring out some details. It is hard to get a photo that shows how great and bright this little display is!

Robot Face

I just started a new project. I want to make a robot face using the new Parallax's new uOLED (micro OLED). I will draw bitmaps and will switch between bitmap drawings of a face as relates to what is happening with the robot. Say the robot bumps into something, it looks startled or it blushes.

For my proof of concept project, I am using Sonny's face from iRobot. The bitmaps will be 128 pixels square (screen size). I chose a black background to minimize power usage. I may mount it to a bracket with a Ping))) ultrasonic sensor, so it turns and looks with the Ping))). You could even add speech with a synthesizer and match it with mouth movement.

Here is a copy of the blank face. I know I want to make one where Sonny winks, and the blush. A friend suggested that it yawn when inactive for a bit. Other ideas?


Three Laws of Robotics by Isaac Asimov

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Jesus’ Summary of the Law

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

There's a sermon in here somewhere...