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[DPRG] Work with researchers?

Subject: [DPRG] Work with researchers?
From: Rud Merriam k5rud at arrl.net
Date: Tue Jan 5 21:04:07 CST 2010

It sounds intriguing to me. I'd love to work with someone.

Another disadvantage is bringing the hobbyist up to speed on techniques. For
instance, with my ham radio background I've done some research into forward
error correcting codes but ran into a blockage. I couldn't manage the
breakthrough without some instruction. Similarly I am starting some vision
handling with robotics and will surely need some assistance at some point.
Is it worth their effort to work me through the issues? Bear in mind that I
am a retired software developer so understanding requirements and techniques
is part of my experience so they wouldn't have to hold my hand much. 

 - 73 - 
Rud Merriam K5RUD 
ARES AEC Montgomery County, TX

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Randy M. Dumse [mailto:rmd at newmicros.com] 
> Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2010 8:14 PM
> To: dprglist at dprg.org
> Subject: [DPRG] Work with researchers?
> Hi gang, toss one out here, some blue sky thinking, here. 
> Inspired by listening to David Hanson's interview on KERA.
> Do you suppose there's any purpose in trying to align hbbiest 
> with robotics researchers? 
> I know we've all got our heros in Robotics. We read about 
> their work, and think these guys are on an interesting path, 
> and we might even try to emulate their work. Many of these 
> are in academia, and so they have a supply of students to 
> work on their projects. But what they don't have are steady 
> workers who stick with them more than a semester, to a few 
> years, before they graduate and move on. Well, that keeps 
> fresh blood rolling in. But it also may mean people with 
> developed skills might not be available, and they have to 
> keep "rebuilding their human tools" every time they get a 
> new, unexperienced student. 
> I guarantee you, every one of these researchers will have 
> some odd ball idea or other for robotics projects they'd like 
> to explore if only they had the time and personnel to put on it. 
> Now it may be they'd not be receptive to outside help for a 
> number of reasons. Primary being it if took more of their 
> time than it saved. But there are other reasons. Lack of 
> control. Lack of funding. Lack of availability of critical 
> equipment. Lack of time to give guidance. But it also might 
> be, they'd love a volunteer hand, and have never considered asking. 
> To give myself as an example, my students did a bit of 
> playing with the CMUCam. They got a sumo that tracked a 
> color. But the search algorythm only turned one direction if 
> it lost the object. I'd love to see that algorythm extended. 
> I have one of those expensive IMU's dpa used in his robots. 
> I'd love to see the software interface worked out. I posted 
> about my "Mind over Matter" experiment ideas, where we take 
> two identical sumos, give one a physical advantage and test 
> to prove it became superior, then give the other a 
> programatic change and see if it could overcome a physical 
> disadvantage. That would prove what we all suspect, but no 
> one has ever proved, that "mind" alone in a robot can 
> overcome "matter". It's one of those ideas that might lead to 
> a pivotal paper oft quoted in the industry.
> So if we had a mechanism of hooking up dedicated hobbiest who 
> like to tinker anyway, and would like some ideas to work on, 
> with reseachers who might be able to use the help, and maybe 
> offer some credit in the literature for their volunteers... 
> Does that sound like a useful path anyone would like to pursue?
> Randy
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