I find this interesting because of the interface though – very webby… but with manual operations that can be micro-tweaked in code after the fact. I think this is “how” machine-learning will be done in future… until machine-sensors get to the point where “objectives” can be learned… eg: “if you see a hole, counter-sink it” (rather than “counter-sink the following coords”)… at which point a whole new level of instructions kick in… but I’m guessing the “finding of the hole” might be a similar sort of hand-holding learning process.
A wysiwyg for Arduino, I suppose. Or at least a jQuery for Arduino.
You may scoff etc, but Bill Gates’ fortuned was made by bridging the gap between nerd-core and normal human-being.
It would be quite cool to give them hexapod legs… like these ones etc, but smaller
And they could follow you about, firing pingpong balls and singing rousing patriotic music – the sort of thing that the “I’m So Ronery” guy use to go in for
Who’s son was (according to Chinese Twitterers) assassinated in Beijing this morning, but who probably wasn’t.
So…. apropos of that… I had to buy a smartphone because I invested in this kickstarter thing:
So I got the best Android I could – and my, what a quantum leap that has been… I didn’t have a cellphone at all for about 3 years… my last one was a little steam-powered thing made out of silver plastic with the paint peeling off… so I’ve jumped about 5 evolutionary stages in a single go. Bit of an eye-opener. That is all.
Ok not all – I still think that we haven’t actually fully discovered what smartphones are for yet… I mean they’re “for” making phone calls and taking photos about as much as computers are “for” running spreadsheet software and playing pong.
I’ve finally cracked and upgraded my laptop… it was running ubuntu 9.10… now running 10.04… the upgrade took about 4 hours (slow download of big files) and went off without a hitch… on a dual-boot PC. I was a bit worried about that… but as is the way with linux, a smattering of small, but really fucking hard to fix hassles is slowly coming to light, eg:
1) plugging in headphones doesn’t mute the onboard speakers
2) I remap the keyboard (because whoever designed “the keyboard” was a fucking ning-nong)… and the remapped delete key (RHS ctrl) now acts as CTRL-X.
As well as the usual flotilla of minor annoyances, largely involving disabling new features, and getting the system back the way it was before.
I’m opening a fablab in Wellington.
Have incorporated etc – haven’t found premises yet. More on that later.
This is the difference between “memory” systems (like CNC) and sensor-controlled systems. The feedback loop is where its at. Once you have a feedback loop you can start applying genetic algorithms to problems – and basically create a one-solution-fits-all approach to creating things.
I was over the other side of the country yesterday – small town in NZ (ok the 14th biggest, but it’s still small)… and the engineer guy that I’m getting to build my next project told me there were 8 other firms that do CNC-controlled metal-folding in town. His own shop was large-garage sized. Single office, couple of people attending the machines. Similar sized operation to one I just visited in my own town – who have a 9-axis CNC machine. The guy who I was talking to talked a lot about a “lights-out” operation… basically you set the machine up, leave for the night, come back in the morning and its basket contains 100s of things that its made.
Meantime, I occasionally get parts made for me in China – 5000 units at a time. I talk to someone named Jane… and we swap photos of our cats etc. I was picturing something similar – but I saw a brochure the other day and their plant looks like the matrix – machines arrayed to infinity in all directions.
So while we still have a planet, that looks to me like the shape of manufacturing – small, local high-tech shops that can make pretty much anything… and massive automated plants somewhere else on the planet that can deal with huge scales. Whether there’s anyone left who can afford to buy any of these products is another matter… and I guess that’s where the DIY stuff comes in… but I don’t think DIY is ever going to catch up with the high-tech end of things.
Unless it starts using sensor-feedback loops and genetic algorithms. Repraps always were about evolution. Natural-selection is built into the model. Kindof makes sense that the software itself uses natural selection at a much lower level, so the process of machine-creation is much more organic.
and put the whole lot in a blender, for about 20 years… where does that leave us?
Personally I think we (earthlings) need to start pursuing abundance as an end in itself, because otherwise what we’re doing is creating artificial scarcities that have the sole purpose of giving an aristocracy leverage to turn us all into fucking serfs.
We are not here in this world to find elegant solutions, pregnant with initiative, or to serve the ways and modes of profitable progress. No, we are here to provide for all those who are weaker and hungrier, more battered and crippled than ourselves. That is our only certain good and great purpose on earth, and if you ask me about those insoluble economic problems that may arise if the top is deprived of their initiative, I would answer ‘To hell with them.’ The top is greedy and mean and will always find a way to take care of themselves. They always do.
No, we are here to provide for all those who are weaker and hungrier, more battered and crippled than ourselves – like Jesus did when he pirated loaves and fishes. When he made them abundant. That’s what we’re here to do. And a damn good place to start is by creating a universal library in the sky… accessible to all humanity. This is easy and simple. It’s “with the flow of history. It is happening by itself.
It means we need to scrap the false-scarcity… the state-granted monopoly known as “Intellectual Property”. I’m done with this bullshit. Get rid of it all.