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Catch up…


Looks like it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but not to fear – my projects never cease.  In fact, they seem to spread faster than lice on Kashyyyk.  Here’s what I’m up to right now, and what’s coming up for those of you who have been following the ZephyrEye project.

First, here’s what I “have” to be working on right now.  I’ve enrolled in the ME414 “Mechatronics” class here at OSU, where interdisciplinary groups of three CS, ECE, and ME students have to put together a checker playing robot.  Seriously!  It has to autonomously play checkers not only against humans, but other robots.  At the expense of my other relatively boring classes, this one gets most of my spare time.  I’ll keep you posted on how it’s coming, as there’s some overlap with other projects – in particular, I’ll be using the XMega controller on this project and I’ll be posting some tips on how to get started (as I’m figuring it out, no less ;).

Back to the ZephyrEye.  I’m currently working on the project with a kit manufacturer and we’re making good progress.  No promises of any kind, but I’m currently estimating they will be on shelves by this summer.  Oh, the heaps of gold I could have made if only I hadn’t open sourced this project ;).  Can’t wait to start coding this sucker up, make sure and sign up for the Google Code project if you’re interested in helping out!

Hopefully my summer schedule lets me work on the project!  It’s getting full.  I’ve landed an exciting internship at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, so I’ll be racking up frequent flier miles going cross-country to Pittsburgh.  Exciting stuff, I get to work with and get to know some crazy smart people who design bleeding edge robots.  I’ll be looking for the secret to the universe in the bookshelves, for sure …

And, the missus and I are expecting baby #2 in September.  Yay!

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  1. 22 April 2010 at 9:59 AM

    Great project, I have been looking to do this for an awfully long time. Main issue is that for 100 and some dollars a person can get a wi-fi gps windows mobile phone and run a full mapping software like battletek. Maybe we need to look into a cheaper radio units or something? Hope to see some software updates.

    • 22 April 2010 at 10:14 AM

      Yeah, I know what you mean … when I built my MP3 player, it cost me way more than an iPod ;) But, I’ve pulled out my color screen MP3 player with a transparent, self-machined acrylic case in interviews, and in talking with professors to get out of pre-req’d classes, etc… It’s more than paid itself off in job opportunities and classes I haven’t had to take. There’s something to be said for the value of “maker” style projects.

      Beyond the fact that I like to start from bare metal up on projects, you’d have a hard time spec’ing a smart phone that is readily available and would work well and consistently for a lot of people (enough to make teams). WiFi range is too short – you’d have to hack on another transmitter. Also, they’re all touch-screen interface, so the LCD would have to be exposed to paintball hits – which could put you another hundred bucks in the hole ;)

      Thanks for the comments, bro! More posts to come soon…

  1. 12 May 2010 at 5:58 PM

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