Imagine RIT 2010

This weekend was the third annual Imagine RIT festival. There was a record breaking 32,000 attendees and I feel like every one of those walked by our booth and asked us to explain retaliator. Unfortunately, Thomas’s pedestrian tracking algorithm wasn’t developed enough to track in real time by the time of the festival, so I threw together my first attempt at video processing. The end result was a turret that would track and fire at motion!


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Retaliator

About 6 months ago, I started working on an electronic air-soft turret.  My friend Thomas was looking for a computer vision project, and I had recently shown him a project by a guy from my home state, who does some really amazing write-ups.  Check out some of his other stuff while you’re there.

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Project work weekend.

We had another project work weekend. For me, this really involved juggling the four projects I’m working on, and trying to help people out with theirs. Overall it was a real good success, with the user center being full to bursting.

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Robots build day

Despite not having my camera, we did have a build day last Saturday.  It was supposed to be more of a catch up day to get everyone with a working gearbox/chassis/motorcontroller set so they could start working on the fun part. Because of the pain involved in motor controller soldering, the only group to make it through the day with a working motor was Zach and Jake. Hopefully by next weekend, several other groups will be ready to add sensors to their robot and start exploring robotics.

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Etch-a-sketch

It’s just a small project I’m helping out on, but I recently put together the controller board for an automated etch-a-sketch for Imagine RIT.  The actuating devices are two stepper motors with 1.8 degree steps, coupled onto the shafts the knobs were press fit to.  To drive the motors, two quad darlington arrays (ULN2067B) are connected to output pins of a microcontroller (Just using an arduino because we have one lying around.) A simple program interprets num-pad directions, and moves the motors accordingly.

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Splashes in the pond: Why Randall Munroe is cooler than you.

When I got to work this morning, I dutifully read my RSS feeds. XKCD today was an article about Miegakure. I, like so many others, had no idea what that was, and decided to google it. After watching some cool gameplay, I scrolled through some other results. At the bottom of the page, I noticed a chart:

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Seminar Post mortem

The first seminar for the robotics competition was today. It turned out pretty well. I talked at my slides a lot to give people some background, but I tried to keep it pretty hands on. We had someone from almost every team at least.. A few people were a bit hung over or forgot about it.

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