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[DPRG] Work with researchers?

Subject: [DPRG] Work with researchers?
From: Randy M. Dumse rmd at newmicros.com
Date: Wed Jan 6 16:06:15 CST 2010

Quinones, Jose said: Wednesday, January 06, 2010 6:15 AM
> This is a good topic!

Thanks, I'm glad you think so.

> My question is, why separate the hobbyist from 
> the researcher? In essence, a hobbyist can be a
> researcher! A rehobbysearcher!

Well, I cannot argue, because I consider myself at that
crossover point myself. I am a professional programmer, hardware
engineer, entrepreneur. I have taken up part time teaching at a
university. I've even built a few robots for money. But most of
my building is for fun. 

There's no doubt we have had rehobbysearchers in our group. I
think we can all agree dpa falls in that category. His robots
are actually the talk of many researchers that only wish their
contraptions performed as well. I myself have often refered to
David's web sites to see how he has done things. So yes, we have
examples of exactly the person you rename here.
	 
> Yes, you did mention the lack of funds and
> resources, but there is a ton of stuff we
> can research on for which you require zero
> funding. WHAT??? ZERO FUNDING??? AM I NUTS???

Well, if you are, apparently I am too.

I agree. Many of us already have robot bases. For that matter,
many of us have already gathered nifty peripherals, like
cameras, and IMU's, etc. With a bit of guidance, we could run
experiements with what we've got an answer specific questions
which could be important to move research along, if only 1) we
knew what was needed and 2) a researcher knew we had that
equipment and wanted to make our play a bit more productive, to
contribute to the industry, to move the knowledge base of
mankind.

> ...you can take those findings and post them 
> on forums so that the entire planet can 
> benefit from them ...

As I say, we have quite a few examples we can point at. Even on
our own DPRG site are tutorials. How long has it been since a
new one has been posted? SRS has many too. The FrontRange group
was recently working on a $50 bot based on the Tamiya Twin.
MicroMouse mazes are the subject at Portland recently. Ideas
abound.

I think it would take very little to turn our research vehicles
into test platforms for developing new ideas at the forefront of
robot technology, if we could just link up with the guys asking
the big questions, but strapped for co-workers willing to grind
out the details by running the experiments and collecting the
data.

Not that we might not do it ourselves, but that we might do it
faster and to a greater degree if we make a more consolidated
effort. 

Randy


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