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robot mania - Accretions

Fata Morgana
2007-02-22 14:56
robot mania
Public
research, robots, stanford
My life's been invaded by robots. It all started with dag29580863 getting a robotic dog last fall, when he was still at IBM. At the time he was exploring cognitive computing and was hoping to use it for something involving that, but when he moved to Google it came home with him.

Then I got him a Lego Mindstorms NXT kit for xmas. We've played around with ideas of building a ballroom-dancing robot and a thermostat robot with it. This quarter, in Cliff Nass's lab, I'm working with a team doing studies on human-robot interaction ... and as part of an experiment we're running on attachment to robots, I borrowed dag29580863's kit back and built and programmed some robots to use in the study. (Yeah, I'm a terrible gift-giver in this case. "Here's a present! Now I'm going to play with it ..." I also feel like I'm back in undergraduate computer science in that I'm pulling all-nighters figuring out the advanced programming features of the NXT.) I've also talked to several friends who are doing research on various robots, including a fascinating project on the Mars Rover missions.

Finally, after recent allergy tests revealed that I am, in fact, allergic to lots of things (surprise surprise), yesterday we ordered a roomba that should arrive next week that should help us keep our place cleaner and less allergy-inducing.

I feel like my life's being taken over by robots! What will be next? Maybe I can incorporate these recent forays into robotics into my final paper for my (fabulous and fascinating) phenomenology class, just to continue the trend. :~) Or I can program a robot to sew ballroom dresses for me. (I'm trying to finish up two dresses for the performance I have this Saturday.)

Any other robots I should know about out there? Can they invade my life even more?

(P.S. Isn't this sewing userpic cool? I can't remember where I found it, but for many sewing machines are so opaque and this is just a great graphic for understanding what's really going on.)
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jillB
jilflirt
2007-02-22 23:13 (UTC)
(no subject)
Why not wire your house with X10?
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2007-02-23 19:57 (UTC)
(no subject)
If they weren't so obnoxious with pop-under advertising, I might consider it ... though I don't know for what purpose we would do it. :~)
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chaosTheory
cyt
2007-02-22 23:29 (UTC)
(no subject)
[c] has both the roomba & the scooba... it's a lot of fun. though i would say the roomba is more fun as robot since you don't have to monitor all the wet stuff ;)

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rubrick
rubrick
2007-02-23 00:58 (UTC)
(no subject)
In the not-useful-but-funny category, Lore Sjöberg's alt.text column in Wired online featured a three-part series on cheap robots a while back: 1, 2, 3.
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jofish22
jofish22
2007-02-23 02:01 (UTC)
(no subject)
nice icon! i stared at it for a while.
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Olego
olego
2007-02-25 00:21 (UTC)
(no subject)
Until I saw it, I had no idea how the sewing machines really worked!! That's so awesome, I stared at it too. :-)
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jofish22
jofish22
2007-02-23 02:01 (UTC)
(no subject)
unrelated: do you know who if anyone at stanford got into the dc?
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2007-02-23 19:59 (UTC)
(no subject)
Haven't heard of anyone ... I wonder if Heidy Maldonado applied ...

By the way, congrats on that! Awesome!
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Meryl
earthtomeryl
2007-02-23 03:12 (UTC)
(no subject)
Wow, that icon really does explain a lot. I've been wondering, but hadn't got around to looking it up. Thanks! :)
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guardmisfit
guardmisfit
2007-02-23 07:56 (UTC)
(no subject)
that icon is fast. i had to watch it several several times over >.< =)
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2007-02-23 20:00 (UTC)
(no subject)
Your computer is fast, then. ;~)
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guardmisfit
guardmisfit
2007-02-23 21:20 (UTC)
(no subject)
yay! bout time =P
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tokyorose329
tokyorose329
2007-02-23 18:53 (UTC)
(no subject)
Thanks for the icon! It clears up one more thing in this confusing life...
Do you remember Capsela's? They were construction pieces (not robots, I guess) that you could build into several configurations, but they moved and lifted things and were kind of cool, because they were clear and you could see their little innards working away!
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neilfred
neilfred
2007-02-23 19:21 (UTC)
(no subject)
The stitch that sewing machines do is obviously topologically impossible -- so when I first learned to sew, I stared at the mechanism, advancing it slowly, for quite a while to convince myself that it really can work. But even having done that, it's still so clearly not possible that I always forget how it works, and so I have re-figured it out several more times since then. I therefore have come to realize that in fact I am right that it's not possible, and the truth is that sewing machines are magical -- and those times when I convince myself otherwise, it's just part of how the spell is designed to confuse those who get too close to it.

So clearly this animated gif is a sign that the "sewing machines aren't magical" conspiracy has come into the internet age.
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2007-02-23 20:00 (UTC)
(no subject)
Don't worry, it's just to mislead us with a false sense of rationalism. Sewing machines are really still as mystical as ever.
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