OptoBot reboot take two.

Lets try again…….

It was Fathers Day here in the USA yesterday.
I had a good day. (Not putting the subbie in the Rangie).
We tinkered with my old laser light show scanner for the most part.
Just hung out with Terry in the garage (Amy was at work) and Freddy kept the snacks and drinks flowing all day. Feeling very fat and happy.

Some of you may remember some time back that we had a robot arm on the web.
You could control it (sort of) and see what was happening via video.
Some of you (I’m talking to you here Gary) found it endlessly amusing to try and make the arm fall off its base by putting the gripper onto the bench and lifting itself…. Which, sadly, was all too easy to do….
The technology we used back then was in its infancy and a bit buggy to say the least…..
Well, we are back at it.
Things have matured and we now how have a talented in house programmer on the job.
My buddy from the basement has tweaked the web side of things a great deal and its now pretty responsive and a lot more robust.
In regard to the robot arm itself, we have put joint position sensors on it and so it knows…. it knows where it is in space…. It knows when its about to hit the desk and here is the really cool bit…..
So I was kicking back with Terry in the study (we have a futon couch in there now, its a pretty nice work space) setting up Opto software on his computer and just talking about the arm and its programming.
I was talking about how each joint can be controlled and checked for its position because that’s how I would do it (remember, I am not a programmer).
Thus the user would have to move each joint at a time to move the arm as a ‘whole’….
I could see Terry’s cogs turning and he said something like ‘Yeah, but Dad, the gripper location is really a result of ALL of the position sensors, you just need an algorithm that factors this for each user movement’.
It was a moment I will savor for a long time…. The moment when your son describes something far more beautiful than you yourself could conceive.

So, hes coding it. I have asked that he do at least 1/2 hour programming a day on the arm while he is on summer break.
At this stage he is just working on the arm movement, but once that is under control, we will start on the web front end.

Yesterday was spent working on getting the base location sensor working, we needed some parts, so that’s when started working on the laser scanner instead (I did not want to go to the hardware store on Fathers Day).
Bottom line is that we are well on the way of getting the robot arm back up and running and hopefully running better than ever.

My names Ben, and Im excited.