So Saturday we went up to Goddard to check out NASA's Launchfest.… - Nylan [entries|friends|archive]

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[Sep. 15th, 2008|09:45 am]
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So Saturday we went up to Goddard to check out NASA's Launchfest. Interesting, but not something I probably would've gone for in the normal course of things (too many people!) except that it turns out they were going to be doing a demo there that involved the robot Jes is going to be playing with this semester. She was pretty excited about the chance to get to see it and meet the guy at NASA who's involved with the project.

Got up early Saturday and drove up to Waldorf, where I got to sit for an hour and a half while she got her nails done. Just took a book, finishing up a re-read of the Wheel of Time. After that, we headed up... only to find out the parking lot we were going to park at that they were shuttling from was basically full. We got into the lot, but there were no spots and the cops were saying they were going to block it off because they were out of room. We ended up double-parking in the bus parking spots (already had cars in them, but plenty of room between the cars because they weren't busses) and then hopping on the shuttle into Goddard.

Now... I guess they wanted to keep people from walking around, so they had a series of tour busses that were running a loop to the various buildings. They didn't even provide a map of the buildings outside of the pretty circle picture with the stops they would be going to. We only really wanted to check out the robot Jes was going to be working on, so we hopped on the center tour loop and went around until we got to it, then went in.

It was pretty nifty looking at it. It's not horribly complicated, but was interesting looking at the ladar vision it was using. Also, there was apparently a "beebots" childrens display somewhere that a lot of people were trying to come for, so we had a lot of little ones running through. Great lesson learned on little ones and robots: they want to touch and play, obviously. Well, there were two robots. One was actually running around and taking pictures, the other was just sitting to the side where you could take a picture of it, and it had two styrofoam spheres on the top of it that were supposed to be so the other robot could always recognize it and figure out how it was oriented.

Well, the robot that was taking pictures, the little ones who touched it would start playing with the camera, since that was the most prominent thing on the robot. The other? They'd run up and play with the styrofoam spheres. Turns out, they are great for child-proofing for demo robots.

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From: (Anonymous)Date: September 15th, 2008 - 10:55 pm(Link)
From: dandelion_wingsDate: September 16th, 2008 - 11:53 am(Link)
why did i visualize the victory shuffle making it fall off the cliff..... lol
From: dandelion_wingsDate: September 16th, 2008 - 11:53 am(Link)

i wanna see robots! ;-)
From: nylanDate: September 16th, 2008 - 01:39 pm(Link)
Well, you'll have to hit up Jes to get the pics she actually took because I dunno what to do with the cam, buuuut... did some googling and found these links:

older pic of the mommybot and description of part of what it does
more recent pic of the mommybot and description of another piece of the puzzle
yet another link, look for the NASA presenter, has a pic of what the LADAR image looks like
From: nylanDate: September 16th, 2008 - 01:41 pm(Link)
btw, I'm saying "mommybot" because there were two robots we were looking at there... the one in the image was the one going around and taking pictures and we dubbed it the mommybot. the other robot was the "workerbot" that was supposed to run around away from the mommybot and do its own thing. She'll be playing with the workerbot originally, I think.
From: pelersDate: September 19th, 2008 - 01:17 am(Link)