I Robot--

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Brian Rupnow

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I grew up reading about robots. Asimov, Heinlein, and Bradbury all had stories about robots. Over the last twenty five years I have designed many work cells and welding cells that were centered around robots. A few years ago I first seen and heard about Roomba robots that were robotic vacuum cleaners that switched themselves on at a predetermined time and gracefully glided around your house vacuuming all the carpeted areas of your house, and if the onboard battery started to get low, the Roomba could find it's way back to it's docking port and plug itself in to recharge the batteries. (The latest Roomba models can even sense if your dog or cat has made a mess on the carpet, and will steer clear of it). Today, for the very first time, I seen a lawn mowing robot. There is a fairly rich sub division up behind my house, and I drove up there on something totally unrelated, and there was a lawn mowing robot, doing it's thing. It wasn't very big, looked like it might have been only cutting a 12" or 14" wide swath of grass. It would mow right up to the side of the driveway, stop, turn around, and then mow back the other way towards the far end of the lawn. I looked around to see if there was a man with a radio controller driving this thing, but there wasn't. In fact, it looked like there was no one home at all. I know big dairy farmers in south-western Ontario who have robotic milkers that milk their cows for them without any human involved. (I didn't believe this until I was taken to a dairy barn and shown it working.) After the cow is milked the robot sprays the cows udder with bag wash and the cow happily walks out of the milking stall and the next cow walks in. Each cow has a chip in their ear so the robot can identify which cow it is, what their average yield of milk is, and can also automatically check for mastitis or any other cow diseases that affect the quality of the milk. If I live another fifteen years, I may have to change my name from Rupnow to Jetson!!!
 

ShopShoe

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Brian,

For what it's worth, and in the spirit of adding on to what you say....

I have two friends with the house-cleaning robots. Pre-Covid, we were meeting for drinks and pizza and one said to the other: "Did yours commit suicide yet?" Evidently whatever robot he had found the top of a stairway, then baked up, then took a run at it at full speed and crashed down the stairs. Chuckles all around. One of these friends is also into drones for photography.

The American Public Broadcasting Service has a series of gardening programs and several years ago they were experimenting with the lawn-mowing robots at one of their locations. they reviewed the one they had favorably at the time, with certain caveats. I also remember that either Popular Science or Popular Mechanics tried out a lawn-mowing robot back in the 1970s (Maybe even late 60s?) At that state of things, it required a cable be buried around the edge of the lawn, which carried a signal like the "invisible fence" dog-owners can get today. It also randomly mowed a very small swath and suffered from short battery life (NiCad, maybe?) It used X-Acto blades, which had to be changed manually and often.

On the science-fiction front, the (silly [my editorial]) space adventure program "Lost in Space" had an episode where our heros entered a large robot and inside the robot had a series of small robots running around killing intruders, mimicking the human body's white blood cells. Some day this could work. But also remember this was the same decade as "Incredible Voyage" (I think I have that right.) where some scientists and doctors, including Raquel Welch, are put in a submarine and shrunk down and injected into a famous scientist's body to make repairs from the inside. The possibilities of using the robots are astounding to consider, a miniature submarine is not.

I also know that surgeons are using robots in the operating room for ever-more-tricky operations, but I don't know if they should be considered true robots, as they seem to be mechanical devices remotely controlled by the surgeons, not making the decisions on their own.

Many of our high schools have elminated the old "shop" classes we grew up with, but Robotics is very popular, along with 3-D printing and 3-D designing. I know of one program here in my area where a class starts the semester planning to make a "product" like a small game board and pieces, then designs and builds an automated assembly line to manufacture the product. Extra points for error-checking and making sure the final product is satisfactory.

I'm sure your pursuit of knowledge will result in you incorporating something in a device you might build. I'm watching.

--ShopShoe

PS: Whatever snoopers are on my computer caused a pop-up from Best Buy on my screen while I was typing the above and that was an add for a robot that mops the floor, not just vacuums.

--SS
 

dnalot

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I bought a litter robot (cat crapper) and my cats love it and so do I. Two cats and I only have to replace the bag every 5 days. Have a Roomba too, works great and never try's to (climb) the stairs. What I need now is a cat door with facial recognition that can lock the door when the cat try's to bring in a critter.

Mark T
 

ddmckee54

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I don't know if anything ever came of it, but I remember about 10 years ago somebody had built a prototype laser skeeter zqpper that tracked the little buggers in the air and zapped them on the fly. I think Bill Gates might have even been in on the funding for that one. I haven't seen them on the shelf yet, so it probably didn't pan out. I can't understand why not, it's not like there'd be a lot of liability involved or anything - but you gotta admit it's a REALLY neat idea.

Don
 

Steamchick

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Thanks Ken !. I got bored watching it weed the plot. Almost as bored as I get when weeding my back garden! I think I'll pop in the garage and check the running of my Moto Guzzi with some new Idle jets I have been drilling... (0.35mm instead of 0.45mm idle jets) - using the Colour-Tune glass window spark-plug... Better than a robot, it uses my brain!
Keeps me off the streets!
K2
 

ajoeiam

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Hmmmmm - - - robots are quite available when there is a large number of well heeled folks to do the buying.
Somehow I don't fit that group much - - - but I have tedious processes I'd love to dump!!!
If only robotics were a little more accessible!
 

CFLBob

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I'm in the robot business - but this agricultural weeding robot (not one of mine) is amazing

Weeding Robot

Regards, Ken
That is really impressive.

When this topic popped up in today's email summary, I thought it would be about building robots, but I guess the school kids doing the fighting robots is where that activity is centered.
 

Brian Rupnow

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About five years ago, I was called on to do some design work for a mushroom farm. The mushrooms were grown in "beds" that were about three foot wide x 150 foot long. The "beds" were arranged in vertical racks about 18" apart. They had developed a robot which would recognize a mushroom, pick it, and transfer it to a container. The robot uses a "vision system" to identify a mushroom and an "x-y" axis with picker head attached that go to the correct "x-y" coordinates to pick the mushroom. The only thing they hadn't done was devise a system to move the robot vertically from rack to rack. I designed a vertical robot elevator that the robot drove onto, locked itself in place, then the elevator raised vertically 18", locked itself in place, and the robot proceeded down the next set of "beds". Sounds a bit like science fiction, but it worked and was one of the "fun" jobs that I got involved with.
 

Robsmith

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Thanks Ken !. I got bored watching it weed the plot. Almost as bored as I get when weeding my back garden! I think I'll pop in the garage and check the running of my Moto Guzzi with some new Idle jets I have been drilling... (0.35mm instead of 0.45mm idle jets) - using the Colour-Tune glass window spark-plug... Better than a robot, it uses my brain!
Keeps me off the streets!
K2
Ha Ha Keeps you off the streets. Ditch the broken moto guzzi and buy a better bike ! You then can get back on the streets. ;)
 

Badhippie

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Oh I bet steam chick will have something to say on that comment lol lol you may have just opened up something you may not have wanted to lol lol
 

Steamchick

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Ok RobSmith, I guess you wrote that looking for a response? I am happy with the bike, except my change of use has set me a challenge to keep on enjoying riding it. Modern fuels (everything since they banned lead, and octane ratings have deteriorated) have taken the "fun" top performance from the bike, but so have the profusion of speed cameras, traffic lights (with cameras!), slow traffic, congestion, rude car drivers, ignorant drivers who don't know the Highway code, law, courtesy, etc., mobile phone users (illegal while driving in the UK! - but when did the law stop people from killing others?).
So the practical bike for my use would be an electric scooter good for over 50 miles range at everything up to 85mph, although I would never (honest officer!) use it over the speed limit....
But then I would only find something else to occupy me in the garage on raining days (a large number here in UK).
Oh, and it isn't broken, just needs odd improvements that were not necessary in the mid- 1970s when it was designed... Tweaking the idle jets by making various new ones seemed an appropriate comment for a machining forum... Comments about riding bikes I usually keep for classic bike magazine threads.
Oh, the next bit of machining will be to alter the air slides by milling 0.020" off the up-stream side as that profile will permit more air during the part of throttle setting that is too rich. The machining and engineering behind carb tuning is too "technical" for most bikers (who prefer to spend dollars on stuff some clever guy has made for their bikes), so do let me know if you are writing as a rider, or are interested in the machining stuff on the thread? If anyone wants information on drilling 0.25mm, 0.3mm, 0.35mm, etc. holes, I have done a few dozen...
Keep riding, and occupied when weather etc. keeps you off the streets!
Keep the feet up and the throttle wide! (If the traffic and speed cameras permit?).
K2
 

a41capt

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Ok RobSmith, I guess you wrote that looking for a response? I am happy with the bike, except my change of use has set me a challenge to keep on enjoying riding it. Modern fuels (everything since they banned lead, and octane ratings have deteriorated) have taken the "fun" top performance from the bike, but so have the profusion of speed cameras, traffic lights (with cameras!), slow traffic, congestion, rude car drivers, ignorant drivers who don't know the Highway code, law, courtesy, etc., mobile phone users (illegal while driving in the UK! - but when did the law stop people from killing others?).
So the practical bike for my use would be an electric scooter good for over 50 miles range at everything up to 85mph, although I would never (honest officer!) use it over the speed limit....
But then I would only find something else to occupy me in the garage on raining days (a large number here in UK).
Oh, and it isn't broken, just needs odd improvements that were not necessary in the mid- 1970s when it was designed... Tweaking the idle jets by making various new ones seemed an appropriate comment for a machining forum... Comments about riding bikes I usually keep for classic bike magazine threads.
Oh, the next bit of machining will be to alter the air slides by milling 0.020" off the up-stream side as that profile will permit more air during the part of throttle setting that is too rich. The machining and engineering behind carb tuning is too "technical" for most bikers (who prefer to spend dollars on stuff some clever guy has made for their bikes), so do let me know if you are writing as a rider, or are interested in the machining stuff on the thread? If anyone wants information on drilling 0.25mm, 0.3mm, 0.35mm, etc. holes, I have done a few dozen...
Keep riding, and occupied when weather etc. keeps you off the streets!
Keep the feet up and the throttle wide! (If the traffic and speed cameras permit?).
K2
I love tinkering with my old Bultaco, but for the pure pleasure of speed balanced by technology, there’s nothing like my BMW R1200 GSA! The computer linkup during my tune-ups and fluid changes gives me lots and lots of flexibility with balancing the injectors, etc.

Keep the shiny side up Steamchick and ride your own ride!

John W
 

Robsmith

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Ok RobSmith, I guess you wrote that looking for a response? I am happy with the bike, except my change of use has set me a challenge to keep on enjoying riding it. Modern fuels (everything since they banned lead, and octane ratings have deteriorated) have taken the "fun" top performance from the bike, but so have the profusion of speed cameras, traffic lights (with cameras!), slow traffic, congestion, rude car drivers, ignorant drivers who don't know the Highway code, law, courtesy, etc., mobile phone users (illegal while driving in the UK! - but when did the law stop people from killing others?).
So the practical bike for my use would be an electric scooter good for over 50 miles range at everything up to 85mph, although I would never (honest officer!) use it over the speed limit....
But then I would only find something else to occupy me in the garage on raining days (a large number here in UK).
Oh, and it isn't broken, just needs odd improvements that were not necessary in the mid- 1970s when it was designed... Tweaking the idle jets by making various new ones seemed an appropriate comment for a machining forum... Comments about riding bikes I usually keep for classic bike magazine threads.
Oh, the next bit of machining will be to alter the air slides by milling 0.020" off the up-stream side as that profile will permit more air during the part of throttle setting that is too rich. The machining and engineering behind carb tuning is too "technical" for most bikers (who prefer to spend dollars on stuff some clever guy has made for their bikes), so do let me know if you are writing as a rider, or are interested in the machining stuff on the thread? If anyone wants information on drilling 0.25mm, 0.3mm, 0.35mm, etc. holes, I have done a few dozen...
Keep riding, and occupied when weather etc. keeps you off the streets!
Keep the feet up and the throttle wide! (If the traffic and speed cameras permit?).
K2
Well seeing that I was joking ( hint the wink at the end) I'm glad you are enjoying working on your bike. I'm not a biker but I have built myself an open top sports car. We have lots of sunshine here in OZ. I have also built and machined many different parts for my car. Suspension , engine parts and a few sets of different sized venturies for the carburettor. There is the same problem with Performance fun here as well. Most urban speeds are now 50 kph (some places are now 30 !) and driving a lumpy cammed 500 hp car at those speeds is frustrating to say the least.
Thanks for the reply. Enjoy !
 

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