ROboNUC progress

I had a real good day yesterday, and the few days leading up to it. Studying  the youtube SLAM lecture is progressing and is enjoyable. I am identifying landmarks in scan points now, and understand how and why :) But I decided to go back and try to clean up the RpLIDAR data some and was pleasantly surprised with the results.


I also made a huge discovery on why I have been having problems with the regulated motors for so long. It turns out the speed controller had some settings I was not aware of, as they were not in the user guide I was reading, but showed up on a ‘summary’ sheet. I flipped a few switches and things started to make sense finally. Of course I am in the middle of a physical move now, and can not really finish up that part of the code until I get settled in the new place, but I now have hope I may reach a resolution. By the way, I discovered this with a new Saleae logic analyser :)

With those two items working, intelligent autonomous is just around the corner I hope.

R.I.P. Microsoft Robotics

The program was terminated at Microsoft as of today.  It hadn’t really done anything in years other than research papers, and most of the original incubator code was incubated, so it’s no real loss, other than a company that  used to have vision no longer does, that part is sad.

Youtube SLAM lecture

After a long search I found what I hope is a good SLAM lecture online;

I went through the steps to setup python, as it is used in the lecture, and it took quite a while resolving all the dependencies on my Windows 8.1 system. Of course when I got near the finish I discovered a resource that would have made the entire process go fast and easy, so I am posting directions here for anyone who is also interested in viewing the lecture and doing the exercises.

Setting up python for youtube slam lectures

Download and install python 2.7.x select the 32 bit version, not 64 bit.

Download course material. We do this now so that we can use it to test the proper installation of additional components. Youtube notes points to

Grab unit A and unzip to your desktop.

If we run we will see errors we need to work through.

Browse to

Get and run  the installs for matplotlib, six, numpy, python-dateutil, pyparsing, pytz

Use the 2.7  32 bit versions of each.

Now if we run exercise 02_a we should get an error that x is undefined, and this is correct. This a homework assignment. But this indicates we made it through all the python requirements to get here.

Good luck with the lecture!

Final Robots 101 Deck

These are the slides I will use in the upcoming meetup;


Hope to see you there!

Building your first Robot

Sunday, Sep 21, 2014, 2:00 PM

Harbor Steps North East Residential Tower, Connect Room
1301 1st Ave Seattle, WA

12 Droid Masters Attending

Across the street from SAM, around the corner from Harley-Davidson.Dial door code #565

Check out this Meetup →

I’m in the cloud now, baby

Seems like lyrics for a new song.

I’m moving, and will be losing the most awesome internet ever from CondoInternet.  I had a nice 1Gig pipe and ran my own web sites.

But atlas, new place will have Comcast (I’m scared), but they are negotiating with CondoInternet. I put in the best recommendation I could.

In the meantime, Hello Azure. I tried Amazon for a bit, too much hassle. I’m hoping the Azure pricing stays reasonable.

The first hit will be slow. It should be ok after that.

RoboNUC Status


Motor speed as reported by Netduino;
Untitled-2Unusable as is. (Timing accuracy in managed code not likely. Open Sore requires $6500 toolchain to compile).

Motor speed as reported by PSoC;
(tl;dr  bugs, doesn’t work)

Motor speed as reported by Arduinos
hahahah – not enough interrupts to even bother.

Lessons learned from weeks investigating;
Arduinos do not implement SPI slave writes.
Netduinos do not implement SPI slave reads.
SPI sucks, invented by terrorist to drive people insane and waste time.

Next attempt ATTiny Atmels on I2C? I have not seen anything that can do what 6+ year old LEGOs can do yet, not impressed.


I did some moving averages on the velocity, played with the PID a little and got this;



I guess I can live with this for a while.  So hopefully I am back to real work for a bit.

Hypocritical censorship

bThey claim they don’t censor, but don’t dare point out something stupid that embarrasses the lemming membership. It will be gone in a flash. The entire previous page has been removed because it wasn’t going well for a few.

update: As has this post.  Like I said, sad bunch of cry babies.


Robotics, hahaha