|The OWI Robot Arm Edge "toy"|
wiki: "Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, computer engineering, software engineering, control engineering, and systems design engineering in order to design, and manufacture useful products" --
Command the robotic arm gripper to open and close, radial wrist motion of 120°, an extensive elbow range of motion of 300°, base rotation of 270°, base motion of 180°, vertical reach of 15 inches, horizontal reach of 12.6 inches and lifting capacity of 100g. Some of the added features include a search light design on the gripper and an audible safety gear indicator is included on all 5 gear boxes to prevent potential injury or gear breakage during operation. Total command and visual manipulation using the "5's", five-switch wired controller, 5 motors, 5 gear boxes, and 5 joints. For ages 10 and up. Add USB Interface cable and Software, OWI-535USB, (not included) to integrate programming and expand the capabilities of the Robotic Arm Edge . . . . Construct your Robotic Arm into a bionic marvel, then command the gripper to open and close, twist at the wrist, rotate on its base or extend at the elbow to retrieve objects. Special features include a five switch wired controller, five motors, five joints and audible gear safety indicators to prevent potential gear damage during operation. Assembled size about 9 inches long x 6.3 inches wide x 15 inches high. Uses four D batteries, not included.
. . . For use with our Robotic Arm (Item #45203), this optional USB Interface Kit for Robotic Arm allows you to program the Robotic Arm from your PC, using a built-in interactive script writer for real-time interactive control. Program the arm to perform a sequence of movements, just like an actual robot on an assembly line. The USB Interface Kit comes complete with a CD, printed circuit board, USB cable and accessories, and a detailed instruction manual. HARDWARE and SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: OS: Windows XP Service Pack 1,2,3/Vista. CPU: Pentium3, 1.0GHz or higher. Memory: 256MB or higher. Hardware Disk Space: 100MB or more.
Here is an example of a Carnegie-Mellon University "roll yer own" collaborative student project [one each, mech eng, elec eng, and computer science], c. 2004, complete with typical glitches:
Computers and robots are no longer the realm of large corporate offices and industrial manufacturing scenarios. They have become personal in many ways: they help you write your term papers, store and organize your photographs, your music collection, your recipes, and keep you in touch with your friends and family. Many people might even dismiss the computer as an appliance: like a toaster oven, or a car. However, as you will learn in this book, a computer is far more versatile than most appliances. It can be used as an extension of your mind. We were not kidding above when we mentioned that computers can be used to process ideas. It is in this form, that a computer becomes an enormously powerful device regardless of your field of interest. How personal you can make a computer or a robot is entirely up to you and your abilities to control these devices. This is where this book comes in. You will learn the basics of how a computer and a robot is controlled and how you can use these ideas to personalize your computers even further, limited only by your imagination.
|Parallax's Scribbler 2|
From this perspective, we can see that an elongated bird neck, head and beak is in fact a turtle robot with a single arm (with built-in sensor turret) and two-finger gripper! So, we could envision a sort of mechanical chicken as a walking robot, and adding goose wings and elongated neck, we have an architecture for a flying/walking/diving turtle "robot" with mechanical arm:
|A suggested "bird bot" based on a turtle chassis|
|NASA's vision of a vNSR self-replicating universal manufacturing cell.|
[T]he costs involved in the exploration of the galaxy [or even our solar system] using self replicating probes would be almost exclusively the design and initial manufacturing costs. Subsequent manufacturing costs would then drop dramatically . . . . A device able to make copies of itself but unable to make anything else would not be very valuable. Von Neumann's proposals centered around the combination of a Universal Constructor, which could make anything it was directed to make, and a Universal Computer, which could compute anything it was directed to compute. This combination provides immense value, for it can be re- programmed to make any one of a wide range of things . . . [[Self Replicating Systems and Molecular Manufacturing, Xerox PARC, 1992. (Emphases added.)]
|A self-replicating universal constructor|
therefore, following von Neumann generally, such a machine capable of doing something of interest with an additional self-replicating facility uses . . .
(i) an underlying storable code to record the required information to create not only (a) the primary functional machine [[here, a Turing-type “universal computer”] but also (b) the self-replicating facility; and, that (c) can express step by step finite procedures for using the facility;(ii) a coded blueprint/tape record of such specifications and (explicit or implicit) instructions, together with(iii) a tape reader [[called “the constructor” by von Neumann] that reads and interprets the coded specifications and associated instructions; thus controlling:(iv) position-arm implementing machines with “tool tips” controlled by the tape reader and used to carry out the action-steps for the specified replication (including replication of the constructor itself); backed up by(v) either:(1) a pre-existing reservoir of required parts and energy sources, or(2) associated “metabolic” machines carrying out activities that as a part of their function, can provide required specific materials/parts and forms of energy for the replication facility, by using the generic resources in the surrounding environment.
Also, parts (ii), (iii) and (iv) are each necessary for and together are jointly sufficient to implement a self-replicating machine with an integral von Neumann universal constructor.
That is, we see here an irreducibly complex set of core components that must all be present in a properly organised fashion for a successful self-replicating machine to exist. [[Take just one core part out, and self-replicating functionality ceases: the self-replicating machine is irreducibly complex (IC).].
This is a program for technological leapfrogging, distributive economics, and closing of the industrial divide between the haves and have-nots . . . .
By weaving open source permacultural and technological cycles together, we intend to provide basic human needs while being good stewards of the land, using resources sustainably, and pursuing right livelihood. With the gift of openly shared information, we can produce industrial products locally using open source design and digital fabrication. This frees us from the need to participate in the wasteful resource flows of the larger economy by letting us produce our own materials and components for the technologies we use. We see small, independent, land-based economies as means to transform societies, address pressing world issues, and evolve to freedom.
My Garduino garden controller uses an Arduino micro-controller to run my indoor garden, watering the plants only when they’re thirsty, turning on supplemental lights based on how much natural sunlight is received, and alerting me if the temperature drops below a plant-healthy level. For sensors, the Garduino uses an inexpensive photocell (light), thermistor (temperature), and a pair of galvanized nails (moisture). You can use a Garduino to experiment and learn what works best in your garden . . .
|A demonstration microcontroller managed garden|