A Parent’s Perspective on Sentient Machines

Being a parent gives a whole new perspective on AI and robots. The guy uses the term “motor babbling”. The machine eventually learns to walk on its own much the same way babies learn to speak and walk. It’s kinda cool being part of the generation witnessing the closing gap between humans and machines. I think this concept is unpalatable to people (and even a few friends) because of the human ego. We used to fancy ourselves being the center of the universe and put up a lot of resistance to the idea that we orbit the sun, which is one of many stars out there. The next big shock will be the realization that machines can be truly sentient and not philosophical zombies.

Mad Max Powerwheels Build

Lexi wants a new Powerwheels car “available” only at Think Geek.

I contacted them trying to convince them to help me out with a few details of the build. Unfortunately, they didn’t retain any info to share. In case you were wondering, Lexi runs Barter  Town- so I have begun work and will be starting a build log of my own.

DLT-600 Progress

I almost have this DLT-600 purring like a kitten. Granted I had to completely replace the controller, extruder, hot end and end-effector. Fast enough for you guys though?

Physics Creepypasta

A creepypasta for physicists:

Marjorie Bawcum was, by all accounts, a little offbeat. She wasn’t exceptionally pretty, nor was she monstrously hideous. If anything, she was average: an IQ of 100, a height of 5’5, a C average in high school, and no major discernible features,…

This makes my blood boil. As a budding Youtube creator, I have experienced this abuse and feel so powerless against it!

My Machine Controller Philosophy

My philosophy in writing and setting up a machine controller. Keep everything physically based as possible, so that each part of the system is straightforward to design and validate at each individual system. The input to a stepper motor driver should be number of shaft rotations, for instance (and not the number of steps, which varies according to configuration, like full step/half step/microstepping, 50 pole steppers, 12 pole steppers) This way you can compare the internal variables for number of shaft rotations to the physical number of shaft rotations in the real world. The associated virtual encoder for the stepper motor should also read back in number of shaft rotations. Then, have your inverse kinematics translate from Cartesian world coordinates to number of shaft rotations for the individual steppers. Changing a stepper then, wouldn’t require a change in the kinematics and vise-versa. Many opensource machine controllers take a lot of shortcuts (usually a single unit conversion), which makes it harder to maintain the software, use a different machine configuration and even troubleshoot it.