Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Robotic New Year
The new year brings such hopes of hitherto unknown productivity.
I'll call 2009 a success: We've done Boxing Day and voluntarily donated some toys for the first time ever. Well, the boys donated some of their toys; I haven't quite managed to separate myself from my collection. We've also done a family, multi-hundred piece puzzle and nearly finished two gear/circuit board/gear box type robots. If anything else productive happens this year, I'll call it icing.
This picture shows the current state of Rowan's robot. We should have it finished this week. Its motion is programmable via a black and white, two-ringed disk. I can't wait; Rowan isn't quite as impatient and likes playing with the gears and experimenting with the various ratios. We should have it finished this week.
Kai's neon purple, wheeled robot is totally completed and merrily running into walls, then reversing and turning to run into another wall. If it hears a shrill-voiced child scream, "STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP!" it will also change direction. I bet you can imagine, with sympathetic pain and very little effort, the happy and barely-tolerated decibel spikes puncturing our frontal lobes.
We try to remember that the screaming is the result of an educational activity. That lasts about two minutes, then we reach for the remote and speed dial the Cartoon Network.