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DPRG: All robot builders know this....

Subject: DPRG: All robot builders know this....
From: David Beckham dbeckham at bectec.com
Date: Thu Jan 1 13:56:23 CST 1998

Roger Arrick wrote:
> There are those who DO, and those who TALK about doing.
> We could all benefit from more posts to this list from
> and to people who are actually DOING, and less from
> those who ONLY want to talk.  I realize folks
> must come up to speed a bit before actually doing something,
> but the amount of poppy-cock on this list is quickly
> approaching that of comp.robotics.misc where endless
> debates about fractal-this and harmonic-that hog the
> neurons of would-be robot builders.

Thanks to Roger for stating a position I also support.  While it doesn't
take TOO long to determine if a Post is of interest, and requires only a
couple of key-strokes to delete the ones that aren't about Personal
Robotics, it's effort that wouldn't be necessary if the vaporware
posters posted to a vaporware list, and the "(do something with/learn
about) existing technology types" found that kind of information here
(as indeed we did up until a couple of months ago).

I, for one, am not much concerned with pushing the envelope of computing
technology--I don't have the background, resources, or interest for
that--I'm interested in creating little machines that can find their own
way around in a seemingly autonomous fashion.  The relatively simple
hardware and software involved are challenging enough, and the rewards
>from success are plenty gratifying.  Finding DPRG on the 'net was a very
happy occurrance for me, because it seemed that like-minded 'bot
enthusiasts with varying levels of skill and experience were pursuing
similar objectives, and were willing to share tips, experiences, and
even brainstorm ideas that came up.  This was exciting stuff, and I
seldom deleted a post without reading it (even the ones devoted to
organizational issues :-).

I'm all for freedom of speech, but I agree with Roger that this was and
should be primarily a "Doer" list.  Certainly we form friendships within
the group, and I take some encouragement from "progress report" posts,
even very general ones, from people I've come to "know" on the list. 
Jim's "wheel-less" 'bot is a work-in-progress on which Jim has "DONE"
some work that is of interest to me.  While his initial "reports" on
this were pretty vague about what had been done to date, and more
specific about the "current problem" they generated responses that were
of interest and potential value to me as an Amateur Roboticist.  I too
have some platforms in various stages of development that are going to
need wheels and the various suggestions Jim got will help me with that
problem.  Likewise I'm following the H-Bridge developments with interest
against the day when my larger base with motors I can't drive with an
L293D is ready for that bit of interfacing (don't know yet whether that
will occur before or after wheels get attached to the motor shafts :-).

I used to read a lot of SciFi, and if I wanted to read about
hypothetical processors that program themselves in uncountable
quantities of non-addressable memory, I'd probably go back to SciFi to
find it.  The "suspension of disbelief" is a willing one in that case,
and the quality of the prose is almost always better than the vaporware
posters provide.  Meanwhile, I'm stuck with reading the first few lines
hoping to find a useful bit of information, feeling cheated when I don't
find any, and doing the "Delete Dance" on the keyboard.

I don't know if Roger's proposed solution is the best one, but I
certainly agree with the sentiment that provoked his post (and this far
too long response :-).

Meanwhile, a Happy New Year of "DOing on the 'bots" to all the DPRGies
who read this far :-)
- -- 
	David Beckham
	Home of ARBE-ONE the "Model T" of Mobile Bases.


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