Mind / Iron


Articles from this Column

Facebook and Microsoft Messenger Bots: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again

By

November 2016, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
2016 is the year of the chat bot — a forecast supported in part by the launch of messenger bots for Facebook and Microsoft platforms, among others.

Pokémon GO — The Killer App for Augmented Reality?

By

October 2016, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
The Pokémon GO mobile game may be a bright light that burns quickly, but it has brought augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream consciousness.

The Serious Side of Robotics

By

September 2016, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
Two unrelated events that occurred this summer involving robotic/autonomous systems point out the serious side of robotics.

Getting from A to B

By

August 2016, Page 06 [Digital Edition ]
Getting from A to B in drones/robotics

Automatic Braking Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Autonomous Vehicles

By

July 2016, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
Automatic braking systems are just the beginning in autonomous driving

Flying Cameras

By

June 2016, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
The Lily Camera is the equivalent of a selfie-stick crossed with a drone and high resolution video camera.

Noodle Chef Robots: Precursor to Pathogen-Free Fast Food?

By

May 2016, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
Could robot chefs be a precursor to pathogen-free fast food? Robots — unlike humans — can be routinely sterilized, bathed in bacteriostatic UV radiation, autoclaved, or doused with bactericidal chemicals.

Specifications: Believe Them or Not

By

April 2016, Page 60 [Digital Edition ]
I’m working on a sound localization project based on three microphones — each connected to an Arduino — and a fourth Arduino connected to a Mac running Processing.

FAA Licensing: A Sign that Drones Have Arrived

By

March 2016, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
If you’re one of the million or so recipients of a drone this past holiday season, you’ve no doubt complied with the mandatory FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) registration. (Haven’t you?)

PicoPower

By

February 2016, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
If you own a smartphone or an Apple Watch, you’ve likely experienced the pain of constantly connecting your gear to a charger and configuring (i.e., crippling) your device to extend battery life.

The Cost of Custom

By

January 2016, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
One of the benefits of open source microcontrollers and other hardware is that with a modest investment in a software package such as EagleCAD, it’s a simple matter to create custom boards to fit the size and weight requirements of your robot.

BioGears — It’s Alive!

By

December 2015, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
Getting to this stage of evolution involves a lot more than internal sensors of joint position.

Robotic Engineers vs. Experimentalists

By

November 2015, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
The innovators who are responsible for propelling robotics to the next level fall into one of two camps: robotic engineers or robotic experimentalists.

Workshop Air Quality Sensors

By

September 2015, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
Volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) expelled into the air can be dangerous to your health.

Not Your Grandmother’s Singer

By

August 2015, Page 6 [Digital Edition ]
The current poster child of the DIY community is the 3D printer. However, from both a technological and market share perspective, the modern inexpensive sewing machine is the creative DIY tool of the masses.

Robotics Horizon

April 2010, Page 06 [Digital Edition ]
Please visit our Mind / Iron Blog to read the full article and comment.

Robots in Business School

By

May 2009, Page [Digital Edition ]
Robots have long been a staple in science and engineering curricula because they can serve as an experimental platform for technologies ranging from machine vision, programming, and wireless communications, to mechanical drive train design. Moreover, because developing robots typically involves expertise in multiple areas, they are the perfect focus for team building exercises. It might surprise you that this is especially true for non-engineering types with relatively little hands-on ...

Unintended Consequences

By

March 2009, Page 06 [Digital Edition ]
In the world of robotics, advances in one application area often have unintentional, beneficial consequences in other areas, regardless of whether the initial application is a commercial success. Case in point — the Japanese robotic strawberry picker, touted as one of the prominent engineering failures of 2008 (http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/jan09/7130). The autonomous robot is considered an economic failure by some because it's too expensive, too slow, and is restricted to a specially configured...

Symbiotic Robots

By

February 2009, Page 06 [Digital Edition ]
Symbiosis — an association of mutual benefit — is a popular strategy for survival in the biological world. Think humans and normal intestinal bacteria, the common behavior of smaller fisher cleaning larger fish, or even the seemingly fearless Egyptian plover bird that feeds on the leeches attached to the gums of a crocodile. Now, imagine how symbiosis could be useful in a large, 'host' robot — say a planetary rover. Wouldn't it be useful to have relatively small, internal robots that monitor..

Size Matters

By

October 2008, Page 06 [Digital Edition ]
When Parallax announced their new 12 VDC motors with mount, wheels, and position controller, I couldn’t resist picking up a kit ($280). Finally, a ‘standard’ drive system designed for medium-sized mobile robots from the company behind the BASIC Stamp and the Boe-Bot...