He’s a Demon on Wheels

Okay, this is weird. I’m walking across the street from my office to sit at a coffee shop and not drink coffee (fortunately this coffee shop offers a variety of non-coffee drinks). As I’m standing at the corner waiting for the signal to change to “walk”, the Mach 5 drives by. That’s right, the Powerful Mach 5. The white one with the big red M on the hood, the number 5 painted on the side, and the red leather interior. It all happened very fast and while I’m certain Speed Racer wasn’t driving it, I couldn’t tell if Spritle and Chim-Chim were hiding in the trunk or not.

I thought about this awhile and decided that I felt sane and probably really did see the Mach 5. So I did a search on the web and discovered that, sure enough, there’s not just one of these but 100 street-legal replicas of the Mach 5. And they’re apparently only $125,000 each (or $637,000 if you’d like to buy the one-of-kind prototype) – what a bargain… Of course, if you’re thinking about buying one, I should warn you that this thing is really ugly in person. It looks nowhere near as cool in 3D as it did animated in 2D.

News Cars, Old Cars, and Robots

It’s well past time that I get something new posted here! When I left off last I was explaining my list of possible new car choices and describing the test drives. I did finally get the new car and it did turn out to be the Acura RSX Type-S. I expect to get some photos of it up shortly. Actually, not just photos of my new car but my old ones as well.

When I was a youngster in high school and just beginning to drive, an older friend of mine used to talk about the strong emotional ties one can develop with a car. He said what he’d really like would be to keep all the cars he ever owned and just park them in a garage somewhere so he could look at them. Not having owned even one car at the time, this didn’t mean much to me. Now I understand his feelings a bit better and, while it’s still not practical to keep every car, it’s certainly possible to take some photos and build a web page. I’m trying scrounge up photos right now and will be sure to post a warning when my web shrine to great autos of the past goes online.

What else have I been up to you may ask? Well, I continue to make incremental progress in developing the robots.net site. It’s accumulated over 600 users in a very short time and continues to grow by 5 or 6 new users per day. On a related subject, Jim Brown and I have embarked on a crazy new robot project of our own. Jim’s daughter suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and each year Jim participates in Great Strides, the CFF 10k walk to help raise money for CF research. Our plan is to enter not Jim but a biped robot, named CF Walker, in the next walk which occurs in May of 2002. We hope to get companies and indivduals to sponser the robot and raise a nice pile of money for the CF Foundation. We are also happy to accept donations of hardware for the construction of the robot itself (hint, hint). We’ve already received some experimental solar panels developed by TI. Can we really build a large, biped robot in less than one year? Will it be able to walk 10km? Are we insane? Stay tuned.