* Posts by Dave 126

5559 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

SpaceX: launch, check. Landing? Needs work

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Get rid of the legs..

Begone! This site is Playmobil territory!

0
0

El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Got a point there...

>Would an electromagnet count as an electric/electronic disabler?

And the enemy team unsportingly uses plate aluminium or austenitic stainless steel, the bounders!

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Bring it On

I've gone through the rules, and I can't see anything that precludes Sonic Resonance Weapons - the damage wouldn't be invisible (see the rules) is one can see the target robot being shaken apart!

Maud'Dib!

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: I hope a lot of old favourites are back

All the expensive and long build robots were retired as the losers did not fancy getting theirs written off.

Indeed. In this day and age, teams could their robots built by the production company to their own (CAD) design, so that each team selected for competition has a couple of spare robots. Something like that.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Close range but powerful...

The rules state that projectiles must be tethered, and that the tether is capable of stopping the projectile at full speed within 2.5 meters... so yeah, a captive bolt gun of the sort used for killing cows would be allowed, but not the one from No Country.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Jihad bot

Prohibbited by rule 12.7.3

"Explosives

Explosives or flammable solids such as DOT Class C devices, Gunpowder, Cartridge Primers or Military"

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Take advantage of modern sensor accuracy

>Or just have a photo-diode on the top of the flipper at a point where if it's not in the shade, it won't activate the flipper.

Enemy robot is fitted with LEDs on its undercarriage.

NEXT!

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Web of Death

>Dual-wielded Super Soakers, anyone...?

That's so easy to defend against:

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/conformal-coatings/0494714/

And also, the water-weapon approach might fall foul of rule 12.3 "Stopping Combat"

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

The Player of Games

>+1 for the sneaky IMB reference

Thank you, but it was Hope Spirals who started it!

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Got a point there...

>What about one of those water slug firing shotguns the army have on their bomb disposal robots to disable electronics packages?

It seems the accepted jargon for that is "Projected Water Disruptor"

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomb_disposal#Projected_water_disruptors

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Well what worked best before?

Ah, that explains it! 'FIRST Design' is a design for the FIRST Robotics Competition... my brain read it as 'First Design' (as in v.0.1 or whatever) and so I was trying to read it as a commentary about actually making the very first you sketch on the back of a beermat.

Thank you richardcox13 :)

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Well what worked best before?

That's one of the very few XKCD strips that confuses me... viewing it again in the context of a 'Robot Wars' style competition, it makes a little bit more sense - but I still feel that I'm missing something. Was it drawn in reference to some US TV Robot Soccer event?

So, the robot uses the sprinkler system to disable those things that look like cherry-picker platforms, and then it is pushing two footballs? I can't tell!

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Deadline

> it's too late to get something together from scratch.

What would B. A. Baracus think of that defeatist attitude? He could construct a winning robot in a single afternoon, whilst trapped in cave with nothing but a oxy-acetylene torch and some junk. For shame....

:)

18
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Deadline

Perhaps they are just using the first series of this new run to raise awareness of it to would-be competitors.

If so, one can expect more competitors and variety in Robot Wars Reboot Series 2.

What do we know? From BBC Media Centre:

- More robots and teams than original series

- Use of new technology - Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, 3D printing, cheap sensors, small cameras etc

- Educational

- Still includes "crushing, sawing and scorching"

- http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2016/robot-wars-returns

One can assume that the use of new technologies (one can order quickly order custom parts by emailing a CAD file, schools and 'maker groups' have 3D printers) lowers the bar of entry, thus allowing more teams to compete.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: hmmm idea's idea's

I've emailed the contact details for entry to Lester Haines, hopefully he'll report back to us here if he hears back from them.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Web of Death

It sounds like you too have used a small RC helicopter to remove cobwebs from a high ceiling!

But yeah, get some diamond dust abrasive wire around your enemies axles, and let them damage themselves using their own motors and batteries.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Against a Dark Background

Or indeed, are the floors painted black?

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Surface Detail

meaning, are the floors ferrous?

6
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Are they sure to have security flaws?

I'd have thought that existing competitive RC leagues ( cars, planes etc) would have ironed out those kind of issues.

The production company is likely to fit Go-Pro cameras to competing robots (to make things more 'immersive' for the viewer at home), and will take a dim view of anyone messing with them.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

>would that be cheating though?

That attack method would be easy to defend against... just pot the PCBs in epoxy or silicone conform spray.

The thing about an arms is race... etc etc

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

The production company are boasting of a "purpose built, literally bullet-proof arena" in Glasgow, so maybe the new rules won't be quite so constrained by safety concerns.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Deadline

>Our assumption is that they must have already contacted existing teams. It is very short notice otherwise.

@Lester Haines

I've emailed you a link to the production company's website that has an email address and telephone number for more information.

0
0

Robots. Machine learnin', 3D-printin' AI robots: They'll take our jobs – Davos

Dave 126
Silver badge

Thank you.

You concisely expressed what I was trying to say in my vague and meandering post below. Cheers!

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Ah well.

So, what jobs are necessary for our comfort and well-being? Primarily, those in food production, shelter construction, and healthcare. Then there are the jobs that can support the above, so tractor manufacturers, and teachers as examples.

However, people seem to have a knack for creating jobs for themselves that seem inefficient. Indeed, owning objects that have been made in inefficiently labour-intensive ways is one way very rich people display their status. They are nopt the only ones, though.

Less affluent people will also make a point of using local goods and services, even if carries a cost premium, since they have a desire of keeping money in their area, supporting the livelihoods of people who might in turn be their own customers or clients.

We don't just go to work for the money. We go to work so we have experience of cock-ups and triumphs to talk about when we get to the pub in the evening. And yeah, that is a relatively privileged position.

So, how can we rejig this global system so everybody has enough (but not too much) to do, and no one is fearfully close to the breadline?

8
0

Test burn on recycled SpaceX rocket shows almost all systems are go

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: A Barge is not stable enough...

Object supported by fluid [rocket on fast jet of gasses] landing on object supported by fluid [barge on slow moving water].

I'd assume that any control systems that deal with landing the rocket can additionally deal with and small movement of the barge without much extra effort.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Imagine a sliding scale of possible outcomes, with a Perfect Landing at one end, and a fireball at the other:

[Perfect Landing] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [BANG!]

Where on this scale would a giant net (or airbag) make sense?

At one end of the scale, a giant net or airbag is redundant, and at the other extreme it wouldn't help at all.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Launch Window

@Duncan Macdonald

I don't suppose you are *that* Duncan Macdonald, from PCZone? :)

0
0

Russian Pastafarian wins right to bear colander

Dave 126
Silver badge

THe Church of the FSM is a form of 'Russell's Teapot', a form of argument made by a very bright and compassionate individual. When we can all agree the world has too much common sense in it, *then* we will have no more need of Pastafarians.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

[ I note that the above article is a part of Wikipedia'a 'Atheism Series*', and is illustrated with a symbol designed by 'Atheist Alliance International'. It looks like the Starfleet logo from Star Trek. I don't normally ascribe conspiracy to co-incidence, but in this case it seems fitting.

* I don't know, but I'm assuming any article on Wikipedia that touches upon religion is specially moderated. ]

9
0

Murderous necrophiliac kangaroo briefly wins nation's heart

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Can I

"It thinks we're either food, a threat or a mate. Its either going to eat us, kill us or hump us. Either we try to persuade it that we're not *that* kind of oceanic salvage vessel, or we scarper pronto."

- RD V

5
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Good quote:

Dr Eldridge, the Australian Museum's principal research scientist said: "The evidence is here sticking out from behind the scrotum."

- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-35308161

I can't believe the Reg didn't report it, for shame. Falling standards, I am hereby cancelling my subscription etc etc

4
0

Aircraft now so automated pilots have forgotten how to fly

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger

@Voyna i Mor

You raise some good questions.

Indeed, Sully averted disaster in a rare incident. And yeah, he was an unusually experienced and skilled pilot who prior to the incident spent lots of time in simulators practising emergency scenarios.

But that has to balanced against the incidents that have been caused by human error (either of an individual pilot, a communication issue, or an issue with procedure or training)

I'm sure there are people with more knowledge, better statistical skills, and data who have spent time seriously studying this question.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

"One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years, I've been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education and training. And on January 15 the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal."

- Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, retired airline captain and aviation safety consultant.

He was hailed as a national hero in the United States when he successfully executed an emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after birdstrike to both engines.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Airways_Flight_1549

22
0

2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

Dave 126
Silver badge

The ATM is just the terminal. It could be running OS2/Warp yet still be in communication with a machine somewhere running Linux, even if it is just a router along the way. Thus the user of an ATM is making use of Linux.

The ATM example was only used in an attempt to unpick the term ' Linux user'. For most discussions, an ATM user, whilst making of Linux, wouldn't be considered a 'Linux user'

1
1
Dave 126
Silver badge

Yep!

Or more generally, there are so many factors (marketing, hardware quality and availability, partner adoption, UI design, luck, time to market and so on and so on) relating to the success of an OS that to attribute success to just one factor (OS 'quality') is too simplistic.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: What on earth is the author talking about?

> Why is Ubuntu's software on top of the Linux Kernal any different from Android?

Any non-GUI Linux software will run on Ubuntu Touch, but it won't on Android.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: It works...

>Pushing Linux to anyone and everyone seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, all those who couldn't program started designing icons, backgrounds and sounds for projects like KDE and GNOME.

You're right to highlight the importance of skills beyond coding. Whilst coding lends itself to many people working on a project (modules, bug-reporting, audit trails, etc), the User Interface / User Experience seems harder to get right by this approach.

UI/UX design benefits from thinking about users who are different from yourself, at varying levels of competency. If you are designing software for a draughtsman, then it is obvious the team needs a deep understanding of draughting, and not just coding. A UI design can take longer to test- with real human subjects - and then analyse than code. Coders can teach themselves to code with no more equipment than a PC, but subjects like human cognition are learnt in a different fashion.

4
1
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: It works...

@John Arthur

I agree.

However, it seems unlikely that Linux will gain enough market share to attract more software vendors before other solutions present themselves:

1. Run software remotely, from an AWS instance or whatever. The pay-per-use model works better for smaller users, and you can throw as much computer power at the job as you wish.

2. Google's ChomeOS/Android mashup plans (whatever they are) take off and attract interest from developers, who then consider the job of porting their wares to traditional Linux distros worthwhile. Or you just run ChromeOS apps in a VM on your existing Linux box.

3. Due to pressure from Steam on Linux, office tasks on ChromeOS and applications on AWS, Microsoft has to reduce the cost of Windows to the point that it is no hardship for you to buy it and run it in a VM.

I'm not saying that any of these things will definitely happen, but that the path forward is far from straight.

1
1
Dave 126
Silver badge

The success of Android owes more to the backing it had from Google than it does to the OS that underpins it. And even then, it was a bit of a rush job - though its pretty good now.

In support of my statement, I offer the example of the even more Linux-y mobile OSs from Nokia - or even WebOS from Palm - where are they now?

I would also observe that WinPhone works better on low powered hardware than Android (though with hardware costs now so low it is is a moot point), and that QNX that underpins Blackberry's BB10 is technically superior to Linux for many applications.

Linux is good, but it is not a panacea. The adoption of a platform, or otherwise, depends upon far more than the technical proficiency of an OS.

6
4
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: It works...

>In other words if you don't like Linux desktops, get windows, chrome or osx the choice is yours

Exactly.

It makes me wonder, who the hell actually wants mass adoption of the Linux desktop? I mean, Linux desktop users seem happy enough at the moment, so how would it improve their experience if yet more people ran Linux?

The only advantage that I can think of is that wider Linux adoption would put more pressure on open file formats - and that helps everybody, whatever OS they use.

Conceivably, mass adoption of Linux on the desktop might result in more propriety productivity software coming to the platform, but apart from games Linux users don't seem too bothered by that (because they can use WINE, or VMs at a push, or because they are masochists and actually prefer The GIMP). That said, we're reaching a point where software, CAD for example, can be run through a web-browser from a remote server and so is OS-agnostic.

So everybody's happy! Good stuff.

5
1

Never mind the patent trolls. Here's a riddle: What about the inventors?

Dave 126
Silver badge

So, what's the invention shown in the image?

Please, do tell!

https://regmedia.co.uk/2016/01/13/patent_fig539_cap.jpg?x=1200&y=794 Shows the whole picture, without the top being truncated.

As far as I can make out, it is a cross between a tend and a bomb shelter, so would appreciate some clarification!

Ta

3
0

BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: apex predators

What, as opposed to a Rock-Tube-Powder-Lizard-Kirk scenario? :)

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Pah. RC models vs more RC Models

Huh? Can someone expand on what they objected to in my post?

Was it:

- the the software-on-hardware format?

- the idea of restricting the hardware and materials that can be used?

- the idea of restricting the construction methods so that they are accessible to a wide pool of participants?

Genuinely, I'd respect your point of view, but I just don't know what it is!

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Someone fetch me a bucket of iced water and a strong cup of coffee...

Actually, he's filming another series of Red Dwarf at the moment. And on New Year's Eve, his Radio 6 Funk show shifted to Radio 2 for the afternoon.

But yeah, I saw him DJ at a night club last year, and his enthusiasm did appear to be... enhanced.

http://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/596143/Red-Dwarf-returns-Craig-Charles-Robert-Llewellyn-Chris-Barrie

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

>Any rules about including electronic warfare capabilities ?

Also, should the show use autonomous robots, physical distractions to upset the enemies object-recognition routines... like a matador using a red towel to spoof a bull.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: apex predators

Actually, screw the BBC and let's launch the Reg Automonous Robot Death Match* tournament of our own.

As a bonus, it would make the forums more fun to moderate:

Sir, you have downvoted me and I demand satisfaction! Robots at dawn! Or about ten am if you want to get a full English first!

4
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: apex predators

Yeah, the problem with the original show was that Robot A might be destroyed on its first round, and unable to compete. Why is this an issue? Because if one accepts a Rock-Paper-Scissors scenario as plausible, it makes competitor's fate luck of the draw.

So:

Contestants, working within material and construction constraints, submit their designs to the BBC. If there robot is damaged, new parts are laser-cut and 3D printed by the BBC, and assembled by the team. The team may also choose from a limited, but wide, selection of off-the-shelf components (Bloggs disc saws, Jones' hammer heads and centre-punches, etc, nuts, bolts, ) Hell, having the teams assemble their components into a robot could be a competitive round in its own right, rewarding design-for-maintenance)

Having robots that are smaller, lighter aqnd quicker to make using simpler tools (once custom laser and £d-printed parts are supplied) would result in a more rapid 'evolution' of the teams' designs.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Pah. RC models vs more RC Models

>Why even bother with the physical machines smashing each other up?

Because software without hardware can be boring.

With the hardware, teams will be composed of people with different skillsets, as well as encouraging young people to learn practical skills.

Personally, I'd like to autonomous robot wars, with standard constraints. Just as an example:

- The CPU must be a XYZ with an RST GPU, programed in [language]

- Power supplies must be no more than N x li-ion batteries of DEF variety. If this was a commercial show, they could have sponsorship from an 18v powertool manufacturer, and state that all 'bots must use Ryobi/Makita/whoever model BAT018 batteries, for consistency.

I'd even be tempted to specify standard materials ( "No more than X Kg of 3mm sheet aluminium, X Kg of standard PLA or ABS polymer, X Kg misc, etc"), to place the emphasis on design and engineering, and not just whose dad has access to a milling machine. The materials I've specced can be easily worked (with a jigsaw, or laser-cut by a bueaea, or 3D printed) in almost any garage.

Just ideas.

5
4
Dave 126
Silver badge

That would be interesting, but might result in some boring matches (Robot A mistakes wall for Robot B, Robot B spins in circles).

The BBC could specify a standard processor and suitable language for programming the robots.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

A man walked into a bar... and said ouch*

*I'm unable to provide any evidence or witnesses to this event. Sorry.

4
0

Forums