Sunday, February 18, 2018

A.s.a. H. gps success

The Vernier LabQuest 2's built in gps is able to measure positions to within a meter or two outdoors. I have even got it to work indoors though that is not recommended.

Attention mechanisms

In humans there appear to be multiple attention mechanisms distributed across the sensory modalities, executive control, and cognition. Similarly, A.s.a. H. has required the incorporation of multiple attention processes. Just how many are required?

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Knowledge hierarchy

Should different ways of representing concepts and different types of deduction system be used on different levels of a knowledge hierarchy? Certainly physics and biology use different sorts of representation and different practices. In a few of my experiments with Asa H I have employed multiple different similarity measures. When forgetting is used to prune less useful cases/concepts I sometimes find one similarity measure dominates on one level of the abstraction hierarchy while a different similarity measure dominates on another level. (By dominates I mean gives results having the highest utility measures.)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Ubtech jimu robots

The jimu line of robots available from Ubtech are made from snap together components that are compatible with my pain subsystem. The holes in Vex IQ and jimu parts are almost the same size. You can use either Vex IQ pins or jimu pins to join jimu parts to Vex IQ parts. The Vex IQ pins are a bit more snug and probably work the best. Some hole spacings on jimu pieces are identical to spacing on Vex IQ which also helps combine the components. You can drill out the holes in jimu parts so that they will accept Lego pins. You can then join jimu parts to Lego parts.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Roomba/iRobot Create

We have owned 4 or 5 Roombas, each a different model. My original intent was to follow Tribelhorn and Dodd (Evaluating the Roomba..., 2007 IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation) and Kurt (Hacking Roomba,Wiley, 2007) and use Roombas as a robotics platform for A.s.a. H. But with the development of my pain subsystem this became suboptimal (as it is also with Vex EDR, Meccano, 3Pis, and the like). So now our Roombas simply clean the floor (see the last picture in my blog of 16 January 2012 ).

Hacking the CB1

It is easy to hack the Thames and Kosmos CB1 core controller so that switch inputs can receive signals from my pain subsystem. Multiplexers can allow one to identify different pains having different points of origin if that is desired. The CB1 outputs could be used to control the multiplexers (select lines).

Saturday, January 20, 2018


I have bought a couple of the Thames and Kosmos robotics kits. Their CB1 core controller accepts 4 sensor inputs, has 4 outputs, and is programmable with Blockly. Like Lego mindstorms and Vex IQ it can be used with Asa’s pain subsystem. There are limitations, however. If contacting metal tabs are employed as sensors* reseating of Lego bricks can sometimes be accomplished by the robot itself pushing on the loose joint. This is typically not possible with components joined via pins, for example Vex IQ , nor is it possible if/when a simple fine (frangible) bridge wire* serves to signal breakage.

Its possible to build a robot using components from all three manufacturers at once by bolting together subassemblies. Its also possible to drill out the holes in Vex IQ plates (or beams) so that they accept Lego pins thus allowing them to connect to Lego pieces (beams, etc.). (It takes a bit of work to line up multiple holes because of the difference in spacings. Only drill out the holes that you need to.)

Perhaps the best way to deal with the reliability issues (see blog of 5 Jan. 2018) is with a larger society of cooperating agents distributed across multiple (hardware and software) platforms.

* These can be attached to the bricks using Elmer's glue, hot glue, or epoxy depending upon how permanent you want them. Obviously bridge wires are not expected to be truly permanent. Conducting epoxy is one way to attach lead wires to the pain sensors.