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[DPRG] ISDC Long Haul Report

Subject: [DPRG] ISDC Long Haul Report
From: dpa dpa at io.isem.smu.edu
Date: Sun May 27 12:53:45 CDT 2007

Howdy,

Packed up jBot yesterday morning and headed off through
the downpour.  (I've got two hoses running right now trying
to siphon off the rather large pool that collected in our
backyard.)  Arrived in Addison about 1:30pm equipped with tape
measure and a can of international orange spray-paint, and
proceeded to paint 10 foot circles around the LONG HAUL way-points
that S.Rainwater and I surveyed a couple of weeks ago.  Ran out
of paint before I got the 3rd way-point, but the start/end and
the second way-point were marked.

Then I pulled jBot out of the car, let the IMU and GPS stabilize for
a few minutes, and attempted to run the course.  jBot immediately
turned south and headed for the hotel.  The first way-point is almost
due west, so something is amiss.  After a few minutes I broke out
the laptop and looking through the code found the error, a pointer
not initialized to the latest way-point list.  A few minutes later
it was fixed and newly downloaded, and jBot ran the course in about
4 or 5 minutes, arriving within about 3 feet of the final target.

So, since nobody else showed up, I declared myself Long Haul World
Champion, packed everything away, and went looking for the DPRG.

A security guard stopped me and asked what I was up to, and when I
explained she said she knew nothing about it, this is an outer space
conference, no robots.  So we found the manager in charge of the
hotel and he told me the same thing --- space conference, no robots.

So, with security guard in tow we went upstairs to look for robots.
The Person-In-Charge of the exhibits also assured me that there were
no robots and was about to eject me when I spotted the DPRG booth
next to Carmack's Armadillo Aerospace exhibit in a separate exhibit
hall.

There S.Rainwater told me they'd been getting that all weekend: "Who
are you and what are you doing here?" and evidently the response "You
invited us" was not sufficient.  

Anyway, the Men-From-Austin also had a Long Haul entry and I convinced
them it was dry enough to attempt the contest, and we all retired to the
contest site where jBot ran the course a couple more times and the
Austin team got to do some testing and trouble shooting but, alas, were
unable to run the course.  So I won.  And they took second.

Here's a picture of jBot running the course for the final time.  Four
minutes total run time.  The caption of this image should read:

"RoboDave believes that dpa doesn't quite grasp the concept of RoboMagellan."

<http://www.geology.smu.edu/~dpa-www/robo/jbot/beldar.jpg>

Anyway, it started raining again shortly thereafter and we all headed back
to the hotel.  A good time was had by all.  Perhaps someone involved with
the DPRG booth might give us a report on the weekend's events.

best regards,
dpa

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