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The Door Into Spring
By Kevin Berry
February 2008, Page 76
WARNING: This Appetizer contains opinions which may not taste good to the robotics community! Consume with caution! It’s New Year’s Eve, I’m 50 years old, and instead of partying until I’m stupid, I’m home writing a column for SERVO. It’s amazing how a few years change things! Three decades ago, I thought New Years was the best party opportunity of the year; now it’s a quiet night to write. I’m reminded of the changes time brings because the soundtrack to this evening’s writing is my wife’s ...
When Art and Servos Mix
By Allison F. Walton Filomena Serpa
March 2008, Page 78
When we were at FLOAT — the Floatation Center and Art Gallery — we started thinking about what we should pick for our December art show, robots as art came to us in an instant. Why not fill our gallery with DIY Bay Area robotic art? Hell, everyone loves robots, don’t they? And isn’t it the next brick and mortar Internet, the job of the future? Who knew how much work we were going to be taking on ... I guess we should be careful what we ask ...
Robotics Events Reflect Hot Market Segments
By Dan Kara
April 2008, Page 90
As a conference developer serving the personal, service, and mobile robotics industry, I am constantly challenged with finding the ‘sweet spot’ in the market where sweetness is defined both by creating and running a profitable event, as well as serving the needs of the attendees and sponsors. Growing the overall robotics industry is also a bonus. From a strictly business standpoint, conference developers try to avoid overlapping coverage with existing events, particularly their own events ...
Building Character through ... Robot Building!
By Robin Lemieux
May 2008, Page 92
For the last two decades, I've been surrounded by robots and electronics. Could I recite Ohm's Law? Could I tell you what a capacitor does? Do I know the difference between servo and stepper motors? Is there a difference? Do I know how to design and build an autonomous robot? This last April marks 20 years of working at T&L Publications for me — publishers of Nuts & Volts and SERVO Magazine. I have proofread literally thousands of technical articles, but probably couldn't tell you what most...
What the Heck is a Robot, Anyway?
By David Calkins
June 2008, Page 70
In 1921, Karl Capek wrote the play Rossum’s Universal Robots, thus coining the term “Robot.” (Okay, technically it was his brother Josef who amended Karl’s original term from either the Latin labori, or the Czech trudnik, but we won’t quibble. It was still Karl’s play.) In the play, they were not electro-mechanical humans. They were very much flesh and blood, manufactured in fleshy parts and later assembled. This very much follows the golum and Frankenstein mythos.And it is clearly the basis...
Dusting Robots One Woman’s View of Life With an Electronics Hobbyist
By Kym Graner
July 2008, Page 74
Rather than reflecting my daydreaming interest in a Better Homes & Gardens living space, our house now sports a look that was once described by a friend as looking like Godzilla swallowed a RadioShack and then threw up. There’s a part of me that wishes my home could revert to the “normal” decorator dream it started to become.
The Greatest Playground of All
By John Sosoka
August 2008, Page 76
The real world, what a place! The smell of freshly mowed grass, the breeze against my face, textures, colors, shapes. The real world is incredibly compelling to us. Life, from plants to animals to other humans, has an incredible draw for us. We’ve been finely optimized to survive in the real world. Looking at a beautifully rendered apple on a screen is a treat for me, having been a part of the computer graphics community for longer than I care to remember. But holding, touching, and biting...
By Pete Smith
September 2008, Page 76
I have competed in many robotic combat events and taught classes about the basics of that part of the hobby, but I have never judged any sort of competition. It was with a little trepidation then that I accepted a request to be a judge at a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Regional Championship held at the NC A & T State University in Greensboro, NC...
RoboGames: RoboMagellan 2008
By Camp Peavy
October 2008, Page 76
It was a chilly June day above the Ft. Mason Center, San Francisco at the Great Meadow: 14 teams entered; eight took the field; five touched the goal; three touched the goal plus two bonus cones. “Zippy” and “Intrepid” traversing over 500 feet touched both bonus cones and the goal in exactly five minutes: 28 seconds ... a tie for the gold medal.