Thursday, March 31, 2016


Another word to add to your vocabulary... Read about what a  "Roboteer" is at the Wikipedia article  - here.  Are you a roboteer? *

See here and here for more info on the great photo above.

* Yes - I believe I am!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Just Fun to Watch!

Who wouldn't want one of these? Thanks to Parallax Forum pal, erco or Eric Ostendorff for pointing to this. Seems like they would cost thousands of dollars...

Grand Endeavor

I recently posted a video on facebook about Antonio Gaudi's Sagrada Familia and it's projected completion.

In reply, I had the following discussion with my friend and fellow roboticist, Carol Lynn Hazlett

Reprinted here - so you can read it better...

Carol Lynn Hazlett It is quite a stunning project but why do the people think they need such an elaborate and expensive building to worship in? Wouldn't all the time and money be better used for hospitals, schools, libraries, day care and such things?
Thomas Whitfield Stodghill III "Wouldn't all the time and money be better used for hospitals, schools, libraries, day care and such things?" Carol Lynn Hazlett - This is (of course) the exact same question that many ask about the space program and the exploration of our universe. I believe we are fundamentally explorers. We are in search of answers. Grand endeavor - in what ever form - helps us in that quest. We learn not only about the unknown or unknowable, but about ourselves.

My reply really encapsulates my personal creed - Our questions drive us to do great things!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Pulling Together

From the smart folks at Stanford University's Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab (lots of fun stuff to look at on their pages). Thanks to erco over at the Parallax Forums for pointing this video out to me and others. Another great article over at Hack-A-Day too - it is here.

There is a sermon in there somewhere too!

Friday, March 18, 2016

LED Dot Matrix Printer for S2

I've been working on something like xanadu's cool light printing (Parallax Forums) with the S2 using only an unmodified S2 and the GUI (tape to cover the Power LED and DB9 for Light Bleed) - Two column LED pass for the top of letters, a 180+ degree with correction turn and alignment, and a Three column LED pass for the bottom of letters. I am working on alignment now and then will shoot a long exposure photo - fun stuff (trying to do more with less via erco!). I was also going for HELLO! - 5 LED high (column) X 4 LED wide (row) matrix per letter, two column gap between letters.

Okay - here is the best effort yet on the EXTREMELY low-tech LED Dot Matrix printer for the S2. Again, the only modification to the S2 is tape over the programming port and Blue Power LED to stop light bleed.

Code is written entirely on the GUI and uses Sub-routines for different LED configurations. The time-lapse photo is a bit shaky because it is over 2 minutes long. Remember to that this is a pass left to right for the top of each letter, a turn and a pass right to left for the bottom of each letter - alignment and rotation of that critical turn are done by trial and error - only in the GUI!

See photos. (Software version 2, Trail 3.1).

Edit: Just noting that the gap on the "O!" is on the side following the turn - so, to fix this - the turn should be tighter and less final rotation - that way, the "O!" should be more closed and the "H" will not be compressed. Otherwise - alignment is pretty good.

Light Pen Design for the S2

Light Pen for doodling from my friend Carol Lynn Hazlett - makes mine look cheesy!
Finally doing the light pen!

Beginning build for an easy to use light pen for the Parallax Scribbler 2 robot.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Robots, Robots, Robots!

Amazing... Thanks to my pal, Eric (erco) for posting this video of Tesla's robotic assembly over on the Parallax Forums here.


Got to get me one of these... What say we class up next year's pancake supper?

Monday, March 7, 2016

What is a Roboticist?


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

roboticist is a person who designs, builds, programs, and experiments with robots. Since robotics is a highly interdisciplinary field,roboticists often have backgrounds in a number of disciplines including computer sciencemechanical engineeringelectrical engineering,physicshuman–computer interaction and interaction design. Roboticists often work for universityindustry, and government research labs, but may also work for startup companies and other entrepreneurial firms. Amateur Robotics is also a growing hobby all over the world.

See the full article here -

Note: Two of the hyperlinks above and here - robots and robotics are especially interesting and worth spending some time studying.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Musical Robot?

You can see how this a just a programmable musical instrument - sort of like the first looms that were really the first kinds of computers/robots. Really cool!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

More S3 Info - The New GUI!

Parallax CEO, Ken Gracey posted, 
"The initial software release will consist of the S2 GUI for Windows updated for the S3. This spring we will initiate a totally new S3 GUI project for Mac, Windows and Linux (the current S2 GUI is written in Perl and doesn’t port easily to other operating systems). The new S3 GUI would likely be designed in the open source Qt tool suite. More on that software to follow - for now we simply need to let you know that the S3 hardware will be released in a backward-compatible format until we have the software that will really show off the S3’s new features properly.
We also have in development an iPad version in design. The iPad would require the installation of an XBee WiFi module for programming. Here’s a sample in-progress video:

Here is a little tease on the new look too...

Encouragement and an S3 Update from Parallax

By: Ken Gracey Published: 01 March, 2016 0 comments Scribbling in the Dark with the S2 Robot Recently I…