Robot Software Success

I mentioned in my last entry that I’d been experimenting with the Not Quite C programming language for use with the Lego Spybotics brick. The hardware hack we made for line-following combined with a few lines of NQC code allowed one of the robots to successfully complete the line following course at Roborama 04.A (it took a last minute application of duct tape to block out some light leakage that was saturating the sensor). I still intend to write up the whole thing but I’m already contemplating further robot experiments that will likely involve a few of those new Maxwell 350F “D Cell” ultra capacitors.

CPiA Drivers

The DPRG RoboRama 00.a was held Saturday and, for a change, I made it out there to watch. It was the first time in a while I’ve made it to a contest. I took a few photos for those who missed it. If you’re in the Dallas area and would like to come to the next contest or a regular meeting, check the calendar for time and locations.

I got a chance to download and compile the Linux 2.3.99-Pre5 kernel yesterday. If you’ve followed my news page for long, you’ll remember I’ve been playing with the Linux USB support for my CPiA-based Zoomcam camera. It’s been several revs since I last had things running and it took a few compiles as well an email or two exchanged with the CPiA driver authors to get things working again. The USB CPiA driver has been merged with the existing Parallel Port CPiA driver. This means smaller, more efficient code than two completely seperate drivers but the downside is that the CPiA driver is no longer in the USB driver tree and you have to compile the CPiA components as modules and then use modprobe to install them after the system boots. Anyway, while vidcat produces better quality images, I’m trying out the webcam utility from XawTV. At the moment it’s just a boring shot of the conference room here at NCC updated a couple of times minute. If it doesn’t blow up after a day or two maybe I’ll point it something more interesting.