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[DPRG] The ideal robot controller

Subject: [DPRG] The ideal robot controller
From: Randy M. Dumse rmd at newmicros.com
Date: Tue Nov 29 20:58:39 CST 2011

David Anderson said: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 6:54 PM
> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA1Fy-zgI9Q>

I'd be more impressed by your video if it wasn't a cheat. They
would lead you to believe there's only one guitar playing. Not
so. There's an accompaniment and it is certainly not a cigar box
one for sure because it sounds so much better. Less than 50% of
the total sound is coming from the guitar you see! The "steel"
guitar sounding solo parts are what you're seeing. But the rich
quality chords and deep mellow tones are from the unseen
accompaniment.

> You really think that the quality of the music produced is a 
> function of the quality of the instrument, rather than the 
> player? 

Yes. Your video proved it. They cheated. (BTW, the pickups,
neck, head stock, machine heads and tuning pegs did not look
home made, or I doubt she would have even tried to play it.)
Great player, indeed. But she would have sounded better on a
Gibson. 

> Or that the quality and inventiveness of robotics is 
> a function of the capabilities of the hardware, rather than 
> the creativity and vision of the robot builder?

To a degree, yes, if you keep the builder constant, and vary the
hardware. 

Are you saying SR04 wouldn't have run more smoothly with a finer
quadrature and a higher update rate PID? If so, how can you
justify leaving the 68HC11 on the SR04 and going to the 68000 on
the jBot? Couldn't you have just been more creative with the
hardware you had?

No disrespect. They are wonderful bots, both, and ahead of the
state of the art. But I think you are being rhetorical in your
question above, because your own example says better hardware
can do more. In those two examples, the "creativity and vision
of the robot builder" is a constant (you each time), and the
hardware is the variable, so "function of the capabilities of
the hardware" is the difference. So side by side, which of the
two robots can do a better square dance over long distances? You
got better results by going to better hardware. Isn't that true?

I suspect if you dig deeper, you might consider your opinion is
we don't work long enough on the robots we have before going off
to something new. I can go with you on that point. But at some
point the capabilities of the builder ought to grow to where he
has exhausted the extents he can take existing hardware, when
something else becomes available. 

Randy


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