Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Interest in "Robots I Have Known"

It appears that the word is getting around about my presentation "Space Robots I Have Known".  I've had e-mail inquiries from three different elementary schools, wanting to know when I can give the talk.  I'll keep you posted on how that goes.  SA BEST is in full swing, so Fridays are limited.

Day 2 - Moving!

In this week's lesson, we worked on moving the robot around, combining the MOVE block with things we already knew.  It was interesting to see the different teams' approach to solving the problem.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 1 of RFG 2011

Today's class went without a hitch.  All seven students showed up, and I think they had a good time playing with the robots.  Everybody got the bot going and made it beep and talk, which is a great start.  I think they're already having as much fun as the 5th graders!

One thing that's a problem is the lighting in the room.  When we switch from looking at the projection screen to looking at laptops it is a problem for some.  I'm going to close the blinds next time.  I sure wish the Mindstorms brick had louder audio.  Maybe I will do something about that.

Next week we'll try to get the bot to move and turn.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dextre robot works aboard Space Station

This article,,

tells about some recent activity with Dextre, the special purpose end-effector that's now in use on the Space Station.  When I first heard about it in 1977, it was thought to be something more complex than just a gripper, but this is *amazing*!  It can ride around on the tram while the Canadarm2 does other things, and it has small tools that it can use to fix things.  It is also capable of teleoperation from Mission Control!  The only limitation I see is that only one of Dextre's arms can be moved at a time, with the other locked in place.  That's a minor limitation in my opinion.  Good work, ROBO team!