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[DPRG] RE: SWARC at RoboRama

Subject: [DPRG] RE: SWARC at RoboRama
From: rten at new.metronet.com rten at new.metronet.com
Date: Fri Sep 12 11:59:00 CDT 2003

I can't argue with that definition. I guess I don't see which phrase
indicates radio control usable for other than communication with an
off-board programmable controller.

I can certainly see using radio for hardware test functions without
special test routines.

However, in can-can no autonomous robot could possibly beat a
radio-controller can fetcher. All it would have to do at RoboRama is be
able to move faster that SR04.

In line following, sensors must find the line and follow the varying
curves. Feedback to the operator would be complex at best. I seriously
doubt any operator could begin to avoid wall contact. Human response time
is perhaps 100-1000 slower that a microcontrolled autonomous device
equipped with good sensors.

For the same reason, no human operator could possibly (probably even with
MUCH practice) judge when to stop in quick trip and t-time.

I quite possibly have the wrong idea(s); enlighten me!

I'm really enjoying this discussion; it would be even more fun

On Fri, 12 Sep 2003, Chuck McManis wrote:

> I'll keep this at a high level because it tends to digress into a
> flame-fest of opinions. Bill feel free to tell me to take it offline.
> At 08:45 AM 9/12/2003 -0500, rten at new.metronet.com wrote:
> >Before beginning any discussion on a subject not completely understood,
> >one must define and agree upon terms.
> >When you say "robot", what do you mean when you identify a mechanism as a
> >robot?
> >Ralph
> I tend to use the definition  #2 that comes with the dictionary:
> Main Entry: ro·bot<javascript:popWin('/cgi-bin/audio.pl?robot001.wav=robot')>
> Pronunciation: 'rO-"bät, -b&t
> Function: noun
> Etymology: Czech, from robota compulsory labor; akin to Old High German
> arabeit trouble, Latin orbus orphaned -- more at
> <dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=orphan.htm>ORPHAN
> Date: 1923
> 1 a : a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex
> acts (as walking or talking) of a human being; also : a similar but
> fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often
> emphasized b : an efficient insensitive person who functions automatically
> 2 : a device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks
> 3 : a mechanism guided by automatic controls
> However, the fact that you start here is illuminating.
> In our club, and probably yours as well, many people arrive with only one
> of the three skills needed to build a robot (programming, mechanics,
> electronics). They seek out the club to develop expertise in the other
> areas in order to build robots. These potentially new members have often
> developed that skill either in school, at work, or perhaps in some other
> hobby. That their "other" hobby was directed at a different goal (R/C,
> robotic combat, etc.) is irrelevant to your club but it is a piece of where
> they came from. So when you exclude folks like SWARC and the R/C community
> from your events, you exclude people who might become wonderfully
> productive club members.
> My message was meant to ask the question, "Why turn away people on the
> path?": If you feel that denying SWARC a table at Roborama will somehow
> help change or stop a movement toward combat robotics (which you clearly
> disapprove of)  then you are mistaken. They have many venues and they have
> television shows that are attracting their new members. If you believe that
> allowing them at your event will be perceived to imply your club supports
> robotic combat then you need not worry as people talking to DPRG members
> will find that is not the case. However, you may also find new people who
> have come two steps along the path and open their eyes to the fun/challenge
> of making autonomous mobile robots. If you do this you will have new
> competitors in your events, new dues in your treasury and new brains to
> bounce ideas off of. That is a complete win for the club.
> Starting the conversation by putting stakes in the ground about what's a
> robot don't advance the discussion. They distract it. Instead you should
> consider asking the question "Are people who belong to <organization name>
> likely to become DPRG members?" Clearly SWARC and R/C club members are,
> whereas say real-estate marketers are not.
> Its all in how you look at it,
> --Chuck

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