Optical Localization for Robot Arms, Initial Experiments

 If this can be made accurate, anything can

Something I have realised is that there are no good open source robot arms in existence. Sure there are have been a few attempts (Oomlout,  TROBOT (kickstarter) but these are toy scale robot arms. What researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs need are arms of similar specifications to those used in factories. Unfortunately those kind of arms start at £10k and go up to £120k and beyond.

Now a common fallacy in build-it-yourself projects is cost savings. There are very real reasons why industrial arms cost so much. They are precision engineered, made out of cast iron and use very powerful actuators. The high cost is attributable to the quality of the engineering used to achieve a strength and accuracy specification. However I think I have a shortcut to precision.


Global Game Jam 2012

Global game Jam was held at Napier University for Edinburgh this year. I took part with one of my friends, Tom Joyce. We had previously taken part in a game jam before. The theme for the 48h game development event was a picture of a snake eating its tail laid out in a circle.

Our interpretation for the theme was the circle of life, but we also took more literal elements in the form of snake poison. Our game celled Apoptosis (official term for the cellular mechanism of programmed cell suicide) follows the journey of a poison acting on a body, at the cellular level (level 1), the arterial level (level 2) and organs (level 3). Hacklab is kindly hosting it here (Chrome recommended).


Learn to program – Code Year

Computers are the most flexible tool in the engineers toolbox. When I grew up I think I was lucky to be born into the start of the home computer boom of the 80s. Computers like the BBC micro and spectrum were very easy to program, and because computers were so novel, our expectations of what could be achieved were easily within the reach of single programmer. Now were in the millennium, and PCs do so much more, the methods we use to program them are much more complicated. Learning to program has become very difficult on standard computing kit found in the home. So how should the next generation learn how to program?


Edinburgh Hacklab’s First Birthday Party, Sat 24th Sep 4:30-9pm

Update 23/9/11: See below for EVEN MORE awesome raffle prizes! Edinburgh Hacklab is the city’s first hackerspace, part of a global movement of spaces created by like-minded individuals worldwide who love to make and hack things. By creating a shared space to do this, we provide access to better facilities than we could each have Read more about Edinburgh Hacklab’s First Birthday Party, Sat 24th Sep 4:30-9pm[…]