Revisiting ADB

Although, I’ve started a few blogs over the years, I’ve never made it past a few entries. Well I’m starting on reworking ADB, the robot I made last year, and I think it might serve the project well if I kept notes on my progress. I applied to get the machine into SIGGRAPH, and so I’d like to get the machine up to snuff before then. That means making some technical improvements (gears have been breaking), and some aesthetic changes. All in all, it’s a chance to improve the project. It’s also a chance to put my money where my mouth is, because I tell my students to keep blogs.

I’d like to freely distribute the work that I’ll be doing, including the circuit designs, and so forth. I’m somewhat concerned about it though. While I’m aware of the wonderful effects of open source even with hardware, as with Arduino and Sparkfun, I’m just generally concerned about putting in a ton of work and then someone else reap the benefit. Of course, that leads me to wonder who is actually going to want these designs. On the other hand maybe this will help to broaden the project.

Last thing, these days I’m thinking about extending the programmed behaviors and also considering the problems I want to fix from the last version. I’m looking up better technology. These activities allow me to get the juices flowing again, and transition from some of the generalities that I’ve written about (in papers and grants) to specifics. Soon I expect the bigger practical issues to arise such as reworking the budget and timeline. If anyone has any advice on project management I would be grateful for your input. Details on the last version are below…I’ll give an update soon on the proposed changes.

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