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Beyond turning: overall robot design?

[almost irrelevent technical note:
    I removed the In-Reply-To: field from this message.  The field
    was <Pine.SGI.3.96.991114150217.8527497A-100000@skule.ecf>

On Sun, Nov 14, 1999 at 03:06:49PM -0500, Joyce Poon wrote:
> Alright... I'll buy that.  Let's talk this over supper (or breakfast or
> whatever).  I am getting sick of calc.  And did you (Tim) come by my room
> this weekend and left a cryptic message on my door (signature 

It's possible.  :)

Rather than discussing turning (which I'm entirely happy to discuss,
of course!), I think the things we need to discuss are (in order):

   - floorplan, physical layout, mechanics (what Malone started us on)
   - control: both a) control methods (which wires to where?) and 
              b) control algorithms
   - sensors

Earlier we (essentially) tried to discuss sensors before control and
that made our lives confusing.  The sensors exist for the purpose of
control.  By ordering the design discussions in this way, we are able
to decide what the purpose of each following subsystem is.  Does that
make sense, or should I elaborate a little?

For example, the sensors exist only to _serve_ the control mechanism.
We may, for example, decide on a control mechanism that does not
require sensors (silly example).  Until we know if our control
mechanism requires sensors and what type of sensors, we cannot
effectively decide on how to design sensors.

Or, as another example, we may decide on a control mechanism that
requires colour-sensitive sensors.  We can't discuss sensors until we
know what type of requirements the control system has for the sensors.

Similarly for the control system being subservient to the mechanical
system.  The control system only exists for the purpose of the
mechanical system.  This one is more obvious and does not need an
example.  :-)

When discussing the control system, we can just assume that it can get
whatever information it needs from the sensors.  When discussing the
mechanical system, we can just assume all necessary motor control (or
other types of control?) are available.

Simultaneously and afterwards, we can evaluate how realistic were our
assumptions about available information or available control.

I don't want to hold discussions like this if only two group members
are present, but I'm happy to discuss the philosophical meaning of "to
turn" over supper (which I'm going to eat in about 10 minutes).  :-)

> I wonder if Cindy is checking her emails... hi Cindy!

Of course she is.  ;-)

Signature withheld by request of author.