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  • peterde commented on the blog Where are all the robots? September 23, 2017 - 4:31pm
    Tyler, I just finished the book "Life 3.0 Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence" by Max Tergmark (MIT). Extremely fascinating look at the questions humanity will need to deal with (now) if we are to have any measure of control over the...
  • Gerald Ardito commented on a bookmark Amazon helps and teaches bomb makers September 23, 2017 - 1:43pm
    Jon, I think that recommender systems can be good (and I know yours were/are). I was responding to the corporate instantiations in education in particular.  Mike Caulfield had a nice piece about Netflix recommender engines not really...
  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Amazon helps and teaches bomb makers September 23, 2017 - 1:34pm
    As in all things, it ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it. Having worked on recommender systems, especially adaptive ones, for my PhD and for some years afterwards, I do see that there are many ways they can have a place. But there are...
  • Gerald Ardito commented on a bookmark Amazon helps and teaches bomb makers September 23, 2017 - 12:33pm
    Jon, I agree with the points you are raising here. There is a pervsuasive (and generally inaccurate) notion that learning is the acquisition of simple sets of skills. We seem to believe that out of that acquisition of skill sets that higher order...
  • Richard Huntrods commented on the blog Project Proposal: Automatic Object Relocation September 22, 2017 - 10:43am
    Great idea Tyler! One thought on the weight of the effector when fully extended - perhaps see if you can design some type of counterweight to balance things when fully extended?
  • Jon Dron bookmarked No, you aren't a 'visual' learner September 21, 2017 - 7:16pm
    It's a damning indictment of our collective resistance to truth that the point of this article still has to be restated, yet again. Amazingly, 93% of the general public and 76% of educators still erroneously believe that we should be taught in ways...
  • Susanne Cardwell commented on the blog Project Proposal: Automatic Object Relocation September 21, 2017 - 5:13pm
    Great feedback, thanks. I needed to look up axle, but now I get the gist.  I wonder if I could take the axle from servo motor and attach it to a bracket that attaches to an arm.  Thanks very much. 
  • Tyler Lucas commented on the blog Project Proposal: Automatic Object Relocation September 21, 2017 - 4:46pm
    Hey Susanne. Most of the joints in this arm have ball bearings, but that's not really required if you're not worried about friction. For small loads you can just attach an arm directly to a motor, servo, or stepper, without giving it additional...
  • Susanne Cardwell commented on the blog Project Proposal: Automatic Object Relocation September 21, 2017 - 4:11pm
    Great robot, Tyler, and thanks for all your feedback.  Would you please tip me off on how to make an arm joint?  What bolt or whatever would allow for the rotation?  Thank you
  • Tyler Lucas published a blog post Project Proposal: Automatic Object Relocation September 21, 2017 - 3:18pm
    Project Proposal: Automatic Object Relocation
    I actually call it a "thing mover".
    Comments
    • Hey Susanne. Most of the joints in this arm have ball bearings, but that's not really required if you're not worried about friction.

      For small loads you can just attach an arm directly to a motor, servo, or stepper, without giving it additional axial support (like a bolt). My Shoddy Robotic Arm does this. All of the hobby servos and stepper motors I've seen come with a way to attach some standard piece to their shaft, and it's usually a tight fit. They often come with an assortment of these connector pieces, called "horns". (I got some aluminum ones for some of my joints, and they grip even better, giving a rigid connection.)

      For a bit more rigidity you can introduce some axial support. There are two ways of doing this: keep the driving force (torque) directly in line with the axis as it was without axial support (above) and put an axle on the other side of the joint; or put the axle right through the joint and move the driving force elsewhere, which may necessitate at least one more joint to transfer the torque. (You'll have to figure out a way to attach the motor to the arm while going around the axle.)

      Generally, larger size joints and axles mean less wobble (relative to their size) but more friction. There is a sweet spot for each application for allowable wobble: too much or too little causes the joint to bind. It's pretty obvious what will work when making a joint -- just do what looks right. The largest bolts I used for the above were M6 (6mm diameter). Most of the joints have M4 or M3 bolts with a lock/nylon nut on the end, so it doesn't have to be tightened against something and potentially binding it, and a few metal washers sprinkled around to take advantage of their lower friction coefficients compared to 3D-printed plastic. (The washers keep the plastic parts from touching.)

      Tyler Lucas September 21, 2017 - 4:46pm

    • Great feedback, thanks. I needed to look up axle, but now I get the gist.  I wonder if I could take the axle from servo motor and attach it to a bracket that attaches to an arm.  Thanks very much. 

      Susanne Cardwell September 21, 2017 - 5:13pm

    • Great idea Tyler! One thought on the weight of the effector when fully extended - perhaps see if you can design some type of counterweight to balance things when fully extended?

      Richard Huntrods September 22, 2017 - 10:43am

  • Tyler Lucas commented on the blog How To Calibrate an SR04 Sonar Distance Sensor with an Arduino September 20, 2017 - 9:39pm
    Hey Susanna. The data was already linear so I just used Excel's 'show trendline' feature in its graphs. Automatic, like you said :)
  • Nice work, Tyler. Great data set.  What Excel formula or function yielded the vertical line and the "y=0.146x-2.3843" function?  Or did you enter the data into an Excel chart and automatically yielded the line and function? ...
  • Tyler Lucas published a blog post How To Calibrate an SR04 Sonar Distance Sensor with an Arduino September 20, 2017 - 8:11pm
    How To Calibrate an SR04 Sonar Distance Sensor with an Arduino
    It's quick, I promise.
    Comments
    • Nice work, Tyler. Great data set.  What Excel formula or function yielded the vertical line and the "y=0.146x-2.3843" function?  Or did you enter the data into an Excel chart and automatically yielded the line and function?  Thanks very much.

      Susanne Cardwell September 20, 2017 - 8:22pm

    • Hey Susanna. The data was already linear so I just used Excel's 'show trendline' feature in its graphs. Automatic, like you said :)

      Tyler Lucas September 20, 2017 - 9:39pm

  • Tyler Lucas published a blog post Dealing with Sonar Sensor Interference September 20, 2017 - 1:01pm
    Dealing with Sonar Sensor Interference
    Unit 4 Question to Ponder
  • Jon Dron bookmarked Amazon helps and teaches bomb makers September 19, 2017 - 5:30pm
    Amazon's recommender algorithm works pretty well: if people start to gather together ingredients needed for making a thermite bomb, Amazon helpfully suggests other items that may be needed to make it, including hardware like ball bearings, switches,...
    Comments
    • Jon,

      I agree with the points you are raising here.

      There is a pervsuasive (and generally inaccurate) notion that learning is the acquisition of simple sets of skills. We seem to believe that out of that acquisition of skill sets that higher order thinking and problem solving simply emerge magically.

      If that were the case then the recommender engine model would work great. Students would have the much heralded (of late) playlists of lessons to build those skills and viola!

      However, this model excludes the most basic truth about learning which is that it is labor intensive, experience dependent, and therefore not realy programmable in the way that Sal Khan and other ed tech gurus seem to believe. 

      Gerald Ardito September 23, 2017 - 12:33pm

    • As in all things, it ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.

      Having worked on recommender systems, especially adaptive ones, for my PhD and for some years afterwards, I do see that there are many ways they can have a place. But there are also enormous dangers and, as you suggest, having them drive a teacher-determined learning agenda is not smart. Collaborative filters of the sort used by Amazon, Netflix, etc, turn out to be less promising than you might at first think, sadly: either too crude to work (it's not about relatively static preferences, as in books or music, but about evolving learning needs that change as you learn) or too difficult to use (e.g. my PhD systems!).

      I find small chunks of stuff to learn from (YouTube videos, StackExchange dialogues, etc) can be immensely useful when used by learners to achieve goals they have set for themselves: I have learned a great many skills that way, which are a necessary part of (but only part of) learning. And there is great value within a small, known community to sharing and ranking stuff that the group uses - the objects the bind, the ideas that connect, the shared cognitive artefacts - which can be greatly enriched with added visualization, analytics, and rich qualitative metadata, as long as these simply support, rather than drive learning, and reflect rather than dominate the group's dynamics.

      As an interesting addendum to my post, Amazon's recommendations turn out to be far more benign than the media at first suggested: the recommendations come about as a result of people making backyard fireworks and doing science experiments. Context is everything, and context gets lost in large-scale recommender systems whose purpose is to sell stuff, not to support learning!

      Jon Dron September 23, 2017 - 1:34pm

    • Jon,

      I think that recommender systems can be good (and I know yours were/are). I was responding to the corporate instantiations in education in particular. 

      Mike Caulfield had a nice piece about Netflix recommender engines not really recommended things for you, but rather recommending things you might like that they have rights to.

      I also agree that I have sought out YouTube and Stack Overflow and other similar places to support my own learning, and they have been immensely helpful. The difference there is the self-directed piece I think. 

      Gerald Ardito September 23, 2017 - 1:43pm

  • 'Suggests' is the operative word in the title here. The title is a sensationalist interpretation of an inconclusive and careful study, and I don't think this is what the authors of the study mean to say at all. Indeed, they express caution in...