Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Avast ye skirvy dogs, protect the staplers at all costs! know...that's about the highest aspiration I have for this once it's done.

Oh, and it'll look cool. And I'll have the undying admiration of my coworkers. Some of them. A few. Ok, at least one.

In other news, a reader (from whence he came I know not..!) pointed me to a project he's working on.

Check it out! Similar to JP Brown's Aegis, but with his own unique execution...and he's got pictures...LOTS of pictures, and even a few videos.

Actually, check the site out even if you're not interested in this. This guy rivals Philo for the pure amount-of-stuff that he's built and documented. I particularly liked the automated battery tester.

In general construction news...

Given my own...umm...unique execution of the pan-n-tilt, I may have to crib some of these guys' executions. If nothing else, I'm thinking of rebuilding the firing mechanism with a conventional lego motor for compactness.

Of course, then I lose the ability to control rotation via the built in rotation sensors...drat drat drat...everything's a tradeoff. Hmm. Maybe I'll just attempt to rebuild using the nxt motor and trying to move things more inboard...

In other news, the dead reckoning method for moving stuff around is's coming...umm...yeah.

After more than a bit of headscratching the boundary detection is working. That is, I can calibrate the "aim box" for the beast (max and min horizontal and vertical rotations) and if we start to point outside of those boundaries, the control code catches it and moves back inside.

However, I had two setbacks when translating this to dead reckoning movement.

1.) I've got a @#$!$ bug in the code. Currently whenever I tell it to "track to a point!" it's thinking that the point is somewhere between it's toes and left armpit. Ie, it moves left and down...left and down...always left and down. I've stared at the code till my eyes bugged out and the logic error is still eluding me. But I'll find and squash it. (eventually)

2.) I..umm...err. (this is really embarrassing) I lost my control buttons. Yeah, these:

I was playing with tab layout controls, and I think somewhere I grabbed and moved them. Somewhere. As a group.

And now while Visual Studio thinks they're there (and all the handlers/etc are still present) they are naught to be found on the form.

Of course my (ever bright, savvy, and non-developer) wife's perspective was: "You have backups, right? You keep versions don't you?"

Argh! All that ranting and raving about idiots who code without source control comes crashing down upon my head...she must have actually been listening.

Yes, I do have a previous version in subversion. And it's only about 2-3 days old. But there's still quite a bit of difference 'tween the two.

The painful lessons are the ones best learned. (and this could have been MUCH more painful!)


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