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Business, Entertainment - Written by on Friday, August 7, 2009 16:19 - 2 Comments

Steve Guengerich
Robot mass collaboration: 3 quick updates

Three quick updates to my post about “Robot mass collaboration” from last Wednesday:

First, I got some extra inspiration by attending the National Instruments annual users’ conference last week in Austin. Here are a couple of photos of Isadora, a robot that works very similarly to the CopyCat that I wrote about, this time built by a student team. The left-hand photo shows the small version of the bot, whose manual movements are captured via the NI software shown on the screen and then communicated to the larger robot in the right-hand photo, which automatically duplicates the movements.


Second, also in last week’s post, I mentioned my colleague Alan Majer and his “GoodRobot” project. If you like to help him with a little market research regarding robots, please take a look at his wiki page and add your thoughts. Just thinking through your responses to the questions helps to get you thinking about the possibilities.

Third, I have a grass roots appeal: if you have any interest in this subject, plan to attend South-by-Southwest (SXSW) next March, or just want to help us out, please go to the panel picker beginning Monday, August 17 and cast a vote for “Controlling Robots Through the Web.”


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Aug 13, 2009 9:20

We used to have policeman, on point duting to keep traffic moving, especially on major hightways.

Now we have fender benders that along with tow trucks, tie up highway lanes for hours.

Get the policeman to clear them, keep traffic moving, or divert traffic at the previous off ramp, and then a twenty minute trip would take twenty minutes and not two hours.

Keeping the traffic moving would be a miracle to fight congestion as well as pollution. If I am on the road an hour and a half less think of all the pollution, gas, time that would save.

I think we need policemen to direct traffic and keep it moving, we need fewer obstructions to the traffic flow, we need traffic to move at the posted speed limit, not at 1 tenth of that.

We don’t need more highways we need for the ones we have to work.

Construction on highways ought to be done one lane at a time. For instance you repair the right lane this year the middle lane next year and the left lane the year following year.

As it happens now each night the accessible lane changes and drivers are slowed down and confused. Some times at certain points we have all three lanes closed at the same time with detours, a very disruptive mode of doing things.

WE don’t need more highways, we don’t need to pay more for them we need them to work the way they were designed to work.


Aug 13, 2009 9:36

Perhaps, dear observer, an unstated point of your comment may have been to imply that mech/robot technology could help with traffic flow? (I’d agree, btw.) Otherwise, I can only guess that perhaps you too are a fellow resident of Austin (as am I) and were compelled to lament our traffic woes, as the city grows, on the first public available forum of the day. Either way, thanks for your passionate note. – Steve G.

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