Archive for July 9th, 2007

Holy Moley, It’s Raining Old Computers!

Monday, July 9th, 2007
Wheeeeee!
Wheeeeeeee!!!

We (Trossen Robotics employees) are nerds. It’s required. It was a check-box on the job application. We spend a considerable portion of our waking hours working with and researching the latest in modern technology. In addition to digging the highest of the high-tech, we also have a deep appreciation for the history behind said technology. Here’s a site we like and we figured you’d like it too. The Obsolete Technology Website is not an exhaustive encyclopedia of computer history, but rather the collection of one quirky aficionado. He collects old PC’s, and he made a cool web site with details about all of the computers he has and some that he’s looking for. Ever heard of the Synertek SYM Model 1? Until a few minutes ago, neither had I; but now I know all about it! Learning obscure facts can make you appear to be an intellectually well-rounded person, at least to the casual observer! So what are you waiting for? Round yourself out with some sweet Obsolete Technology!

Ancient Greece Robot Revived (well… sort of)!

Monday, July 9th, 2007

As many of you may already know, the ancient Greeks were highly interested in autonomous mechanics. Well, an editor over at New Scientist has reconstructed a robot created by Hero of Alexandria, one of the greatest Greek engineers, that even pre-dates Leonardo Da Vinci’s walking mechanical lion designed to present flowers to the king… by 1500 years!

In about 60 AD, a Greek engineer called Hero constructed a three-wheeled cart that could carry a group of automata to the front of a stage where they would perform for an audience. Power came from a falling weight that pulled on string wrapped round the cart’s drive axle, and Sharkey reckons this string-based control mechanism is exactly equivalent to a modern programming language.

It may not look like much, but ask yourself, what could you build with the tools available in 60AD?

via (Artificial Intelligence and Robotics)