Archive for July 27th, 2011

Crazy People Freaking Love Robots and RFID. PS – Mom, I’ve Arrived!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

I always wanted to be famous when I grew up, just like any other well balanced kid. So when I started receiving emails addressed to me and the pope and Bill O’Reilly of Faux News, I knew I had finally arrived. The sad part was that this was merely in the head of a poor schizophrenic man. But hey, it is a start right?

When people ask me what I do for a living I sometimes respond that I deal with crazy people all day. They chuckle and ask, “No really?” When they see my humorless, dead, bloodshot eyes starring back at them the laughter dies down. I then begin to weep into my beer. I don’t get as many party invites as I used to.

Besides robots we also sell hobby RFID readers and tags. RFID is a harmless technology that we primarily sell to people who tinker at home and students doing school projects. Then one day Amal, a completely sane friend of ours, decided to implant some tags into his hands using our products. This created a flurry of media buzz and this of course stirred up the crazies. Suddenly my name started popping up on mark of the beast and end times religious fear mongering sites. I didn’t know whether to change my address or never feel more proud.

The RFID thing gets a decent amount of attention from the mentally unstable, but robots also pull their fair share of crazy. We have the emails, phone calls, order comments, and forum posts to prove it.

Welcome to my inbox…

Take this gem for instance. As a three page single paragraph stream of conscious rant about androids, cabbage worm brains, and mining mars it veritably breaks through the wall of crazy into artistic genius. I have seriously pondered reading parts of it as a spoken word piece. Good artists borrow and great artists steal. I could try for years and never come up with something this randomly generated. A snippet for your enjoyment:

It is possible to build an android automition that is controled by both computer and a cabbage worm. The worm knows how to look for food and eat. If a person designed the control part to reward the worm with a tiny piece of food each time it found the cabbage. The android would then pick the cabbage and put it in the wagon… the worm would then be allowed to search for food again. The cabbage worm would be the controller of choice for picking cabbage. God already put a cabbage monger here with the cabbage worm…. might as well enslave them! To think a cabbage worm could do it you realize the wasted human potencial. I think that these androids will give us the tools we need to not waste our God given talents!

Need more? Androidthinktank.com has a slew of websites online.  There is even a school for pixies in the works apparently.

Some don’t give up very easily. This gentleman sent many emails informing us he has “the need for my wife and I to be in two places at the same time”. Hey buddy, don’t we all. He also has a website with 98,000 words and counting.

This one here wrote us his message in poem form. I think that was very thoughtful.

here’s a simple scientific test you can experiement
with.

wear black clothes and go to a busy mall
you will notice your mind really hurts, this
is because black colors (or dark colors)
are pulling other humans imagination and bringing
them to close to you and you read it.

this causes stress especially when you are
surrounded by religious people or something.

but when you WEAR WHITE CLOTHES..
the opposite is true, you reject everyones idealogy
and you get to feel free with your own science.

This one here, which could also be in my post about not sending us your ideas, wanted to give us ten blockbuster robot product ideas.

IDEA #8) ANDROIDS THAT CAN GIVE BIRTH TO CYBORGS

“A female appearing android could have intercourse with a human male, synthesize his DNA in the sperm to form biosynthetic DNA that is part human and part mechanical”

Our community members have seen it first hand too. (6th post) Through popular demand we were asked to make this thread a sticky. We did.

Keep in mind, these are just the ones we have kept over the years. Most get deleted. So what about you people? Does anyone else have jobs that attract the crazy?

PS – I do want to be clear about something. I am making fun of OUR jobs here since we have to deal with this stuff. Schizophrenia is a horrible affliction I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. But those end of the world and mark of the beast nut jobs. Well, screw them.

The Darwin-OP hath arrived!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Darwin_OP_1

We’ve waited a long time for Robotis to globally release a research-grade humanoid to the academic market, and they have delivered. The wait is over and the Darwin-OP (Open Platform) is here!

The Darwin-OP is a joint initiative project funded by the National Science Foundation and a collaborative effort between Robotis, Virginia Tech’s RoMeLa, Purdue, and Penn Engineering.

So what makes it so special? First off, it’s entirely Open Source. All of the software, the hardware, and of course the OS it runs (Ubuntu 10). The code is well organized and well written, making it easy for programmers to jump right in with custom development. It uses the new MX-28 servo, which is well, awesome. The MX-28 is Robotis’ first 360 degree rotation, magnetic encoder based actuator. Onboard the Darwin-OP boasts a 1.6ghz Intel Atom based FitPC computer. That means your Darwin-OP not only runs a full-fledged operating system, but it has USB and and an HDMI Port. That’s right, your robot can have an HDMI port. I love the world we live in today.

We have our own personal Darwin-OP at the office here to develop on as well as to help us learn this amazing robotic platform inside and out. Lots of videos are incoming! In the mean time, check out Darwin-OP playing with some kids at the KC Maker Faire last month!

– Andrew – “Rocket Surgeon”