Jan 31, 2006

HowStuffWorks NXT video

Yet another NXT Video... this one mainly shows the REX moving. A demonstration is given showing how it reacts to sound and 'dances' faster as the volume increases. The speaker also stated the 'vision' sensor is based on proximity, so I'm not sure how color sensitivity is handled (if at all) by this sensor.

12 comments:

roschler said...

Jim,

I would have put this in an e-mail but I couldn't find an e-mail address; so pardon the long comment.

I really like your blog. I wanted to add it to My Yahoo but I couldn't find an "feed" button. Being an experienced Blogger blogger I figured out your RSS feed URL:

http://thenxtstep.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Why don't you go this page?:

http://www.businessblogconsulting.com/2006/01/blog-marketing-tools.html

and use it to create a complete list of "chiclet" buttons for all the feed readers?

And I agree with the other commenter: the list of videos you have found is great. Would you mind if I put a page on my web site that lists them in directory style format, crediting you and your blog as the source?

BTW, do you own a Lego Serial Tower and any of the WowWee robots? (Robosapien, etc.)

I have not listed any of my web site URL's because I didn't want you to think this comment is self-promotional in nature.

Thanks,
Robert

Jim Kelly said...

Roschler,

Thank you for pointing me in the right directions for getting feeds setup. If anyone has trouble getting feeds, please let me know.

I have now posted my email address if anyone wishes to email me directly.

To answer your questions:

1. I do not own the Lego Serial Tower or any of the WowWee robots.

2. I don't mind if you take the video links and use them, and thank you for crediting my blog. I take no credit for the videos, but I try to always post to the original provider.

Please post with your blog and sites, too... would love to look at them.

Jim

roschler said...

Jim,

I'm the author of Robosapien Dance Machine, a program for owners of the Robosapien robot. It's a free open source program that lets Robosapien owners create complex scripts for their robot, and control their robot using just their voice.

The reason I asked if you had any WowWee robots is because the next version of the program, version 3, will have support for the Lego Mindstorm Serial tower as an IR transmitter. The next version of the software will also support the Robosapien V2, Robopet, and Roboraptor robots along with the original Robosapien.

Here's a link to the web site:

http://www.robodance.com/

It was the SourceForge Project Of The Month for May of 2005.

Thanks,
Robert

Jim Kelly said...

You know, I'm just not thinking today. I do have the MS 1.5 Serial Tower. I don't own a Robosapien, but I'll check out your site. Thanks, Robert.

Jim

Filip said...

Jim,

You said: The speaker also stated the 'vision' sensor is based on proximity, so I'm not sure how color sensitivity is handled (if at all) by this sensor.

The "vision" is really the ultrasound sensor. An ultrasound measures the flight time of (ultra)sound bouncing off objects ahead. Its result is a measurement of the distance to any object ahead. Usually, the sensors that come with the toys have a range between a number of centimers and a few meters. Anything beyond that is "empty space". Ultrasound is quite robust at picking up object, but is not very sensitive to the angle where the object is.

Obviously, sound knows no color. However, some surfaces reflect (ultra)sound better than other surfaces.

By the way, the light sensor (located in the left hand of the Rex) does distinguish color, but has a very limited range. For instance, you can not use it to see a red ball to play robot soccer.

I hope to write a lot more about the actual performance of the sensors if I get my hands on a Mindstorms NXT set.

Filip

Jim Kelly said...

Filip,

Yeah, I wasn't clear on what I 'assumed' was a mistaken assumption by some of the video discussions. The ultrasonic sensor CANNOT detect color, but I heard in one of the videos (not sure which one) someone talking about the 'eyes' of the robot and the person mentioned 'color' - an obvious error. Thanks for catching me on that.

Jim

roschler said...

Jim and Filip (and others),

Does anyone know when Lego will start telling people if they've been allowed into the Mindstorms NXT developer's preview program or not?

BTW, here's a cool Lego hack by Pavel Petrovic that shows a Mindstorms Roverbot wheeling about and controlling a Robopet robot; basically using the RCX brick as an IR repeater for the USB 2.0 tower:

http://www.robotika.sk/projects/robsapien/

Thanks,
Robert

roschler said...

Jim,

I gave the wrong link for Pavel's RCX/Robopet project. Here's the correct one:

http://www.robotika.sk/projects/robsapien/petnrcx.php

Thanks,
Robert

Jim Kelly said...

One of the interviews with Soren Lund had him quoted as saying Feb 5 was the day the team members would be announced.

I think he may have been misquoted, because the rules say Feb 5 is the deadline... other articles I've read have stated mid-to-late Feb for a decision.

I've got my fingers crossed. If either or both of you get selected, definitely let me know! I'll do the same. After that, I imagine the non-disclosure agreements may prevent contributing to a public blog.

Filip said...

Hey Jim,

Off course, with your background, you know all about ultrasound sensors. Hope you weren't offended by my verboseness there.

Filip.

Filip said...

Jim,

On the date for the developer program: I got those same date thoughts. Keeping my fingers crossed too.

After that, I imagine the non-disclosure agreements may prevent contributing to a public blog.

Well, I have been wondering about that, what the conditions of their non-disclosure would be like. But if it will get me into the developers program, I'll happily comply!

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