Sunday, February 19, 2006

Under the hood

Sophia, under the hood, re-soldering the connections to the potentiometer - worth its price in gold to see. Today has been a really amazing day. We spent the better part of the morning until early evening at IDEO and a certain office van dweller named Sven helped us transport Rosie back to Castilleja.

I'm overwhelmed and amazed by the generosity of so many people - Jim Feuhrer for stepping up this week pulling through a full seven days of midnight departures to build the hopper and the ramp, rebuild the turret plate, and mount multiple sensors, George Schnurle for coming by to give moral support and good humor even though his daughter is 3000 miles away, Doug Bourn for somehow managing to find time to come by even though he is up against an even tighter and tougher deadline at Tesla Motors, Eric Macintosh for some serious coding prowress, Bud Delisle for being there for the girls, Chris Countryman for animation advice and helping me in my braindead state to implement an RC switch debounce, George Aye for coming ALL the way from Chicago to offer his rendering expertise to Shirin, Beth Schnurle, Debbie Hara, and Heidi Crone for their undying wisdom, encouragement and support, and of course, David Berger for the famous quiche that keeps me coming back for more.

The Castilleja gymnasium is officially taken over by robotics for the next 48 hours. I think Rosie can go up against any basketball player. The kiddos brought a couch into the gym - they are all becoming serious couch potato roboticists.

This is a huge accomplishment for the team this year. We went from Thor, a robot with five motors and no sensors and no autonomous code last year to Rosie, a robot that has eight motors, three complicated sensors with interrupt code, and some sort of autonomous behavior to be yet determined. Still going with another 60 hours left. I'm really amazed that this team pulled it off. Even if Rosie is still in its infancy in terms of intelligence, she'll do some serious damage on the field . . . . ;)

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