Here is a neat look at the technologies, prototypes, and innovations of the company behind the Roomba: iRobot.
For a mobile robot, the measurement of distance is an important piece of information needed for it to help determine where it is in the world. It is also very important to keep it from running into things. Gamma can now measure the distance in front of it to the nearest object. It does this using the Ping))) sensors mounted on the front of it. Since Gamma uses the Propeller as its processor the code for the ping can be found in the OBEX. This takes the complexities of converting microseconds between pulses to lines as simple as "range := ping.Inches(PING_CENTER)" where "range" is the variable for storing the distance, and "PING_CENTER" is the IO pin that the ping is connected to. Click "Read More" to see (and download) a sample program that reads the distances from 3 pings and displays them on the terminal. Note: this requires use of the Parallax Serial Terminal library.
The Stingray platform is a robotics development platform from Parallax. I will be using this platform to expand my knowledge of robotics and explore my interests in mobile robotics and mapping. In order to do that Gamma (as every good robot needs a name) has been equipped with 3 Parallax Ping sensors. These sensors use ultrasonic pulses to measure distance to other objects. More about this as the investigation continues.
Do you wonder how the internet works? How your computer finds a site that's out there and brings the information back for you to consume? It's a tangled web of computers, servers, switches and cables. To fix an issue I was having with my website today I used a command line command called "tracert". This command can show all the points along a path from your computer to the website you specify. If you want to try this command out for yourself follow these steps.
1] click the windows orb
2] type "cmd"
3] type "tracert" then the website you want to trace the route to.
Now you know the steps it takes to get from your computer to your favorite website (and back).
The Javelin Stamp was the first real microcontroller I used. It ran a subset of Java and was able to be programmed using standard Java based programming structures and syntax. Today I was poking around the manufactures website and noticed it no longer exists for sale. It had been EOLed a few years ago, but now it can be officially reported as retired. I have created a few different products (for example Bell Controller 1.0) that use them as the brain of the device so they will continue to live on in them. So long little Javelin Stamp, I for one will miss your simplicity and ease of use.
Has Windows reported that your hard drive is failing? If you have, heed its warning and backup your files immediately. I am currently trying to recover files from such a device. It's difficult, to say the least. One of the most difficult aspects of a failing hard drive is recovering the files from the user folders. Copy these files to your backup choice as quickly as possible. These files are password protected so moving the drive to a new machine and attempting to copy them is not as easy as copy and paste.
If you ever find yourself trying to copy files from an old hard drive that is failing, or otherwise has files tucked away in a user account folder, here are a few tricks you can use to unlock the files for access, after all, it's your data anyway.
1] Install the "Take Ownership" Registry hack and use as described.
2] Use the security tab to give the administrator access.
3] Copy files in as small of groups as possible to reduce load on the failing HD.
This blog covers a multitude of up and coming technology, as well as how to guides, tips and tricks, and other interesting technology related items.