AIMing for Automated Vehicles

Paul F. Grayson, AIMing for Automated Vehicles blog, Control Engineering

The U.S. armed forces have had smart weapons for a long time now. It is just recently that they realized they need smart supply trucks. Hi, I am Paul F. Grayson, Team Leader of American Industrial Magic (AIM), one of last remaining teams of the 390 teams that worked on vehicles for the DARPA Grand Challenge series of unmanned vehicle races. AIM is working to save soldiers lives by searching for ways to make driverless Army supply trucks affordable. AIM is funded by donations from individuals like you who want to speed up the fielding of this life-saving technology. With this blog, you can look over my shoulder while I and my team work on  this important technology. You will get a chance to look into the world of unmanned robotic vehicles, see some of the things that I see, and puzzle over the challenges of making vehicles driverless. Welcome to my world!

 

 

Robotics for 4-H youth; did you see the Google driverless car?

4-H club pushes robotics and Lego Mindstorms; Did you see the Google driverless car? Link to 4-H robotics site and driverless car video.

November 11, 2010


4-H Robotics siteThe new 4-H year began Oct. 1, and the push toward robotics is on. Really cool robot posters are circulating around the country, the new 4-H Robotics website at http://www.4-h.org/resource-library/curriculum/4-h-robotics/ is up and running.  More downloadable materials will be added to it as the year goes on. One of the promised items that I am looking forward to taking a close look at is an updated robotics-training course. The one they have available now is based on a discontinued model of Lego Mindstorms.

Sometimes the training material development cycle is so long that the rapid developments in electronics overtake it before it is finished.  I hope that the new version of the course either will be less dependent on specific model or be based on the latest available model of Lego Mindstorms. I want to see more Lego cars out there parallel parking between the other toys on the toy room floor. I want to see them autonomously driving across the cluttered bedroom floor and throughout the house.

According to Honda’s actions, it appears that the tidal wave of robotics is due to hit our shores when the kids that were in high school three years ago are well established in their careers, are the establishment, and are our elected officials.  How far is that into a person’s career, mid-career?

Let us do the math. Three years ago was 2007. They were the high school graduating classes of 2007-2011.  Add four years of college makes the span 2011-1015.  Add 10 years to make them mid-career and that would make the years 2021-2025. The end of the initial surge will be when they have been in their career 20 years, which would be the years 2031-2035.  I must explain that this kind of social engineering is not my specialty so feel free to present your case for which years you see it all happening. Working this out here in my shop feels like a scene from the movie Back To The Future but in this case, the advice might be “buy stock in robots.”

ABC News does piece on Google driverless car

Did you see the ABC News video on the Google driverless car?No longer confined to engineering trade journals, vehicles that drive themselves are in the popular news this past month. Did you see the ABC News video on the Google driverless car? http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/test-driving-google-car-11857670 Ordinary people are openly talking about the subject on the street and even AARP Magazine has a story about cars that drive themselves.

See links below for more about 4-H robotics and automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

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Paul F. GraysonGO ROBOTS !

Paul F. Grayson - Chief Engineer

AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL MAGIC, LLC

"Small engine and machinery repair"

TC TINKERS 4-H ROBOT CLUB

"Science, Engineering, and Technology"

390 4-Mile Rd. S.

Traverse City, MI 49685

(231) 883-4463 Cell

pgrayson(at)aimagic.org

AIM: http://aimagic.org

TC Tinkers 4-H Robot Club:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/TC_TINKERS_4-H_Robot_Club/

Free 4-H club news letter:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TC_TINKERS_4-H_Robot_Club/join