[vcf-midatlantic] VCFed @ World Maker Faire this weekend

Evan Koblentz evan at snarc.net
Thu Sep 29 02:21:06 EDT 2016

Jeff B., Corey, Mouse, and yours truly are staffing the VCFed booth at 
World Maker Faire this weekend. They said we're in a tent this year. 
That is all I know for now, location-wise.

Our theme is the same as at HOPE -- vintage computer robots.

Jeff is showing an improved version of his Capsella robot controlled by 
a BASIC program on a Commodore 64. He has many more parts available now 
than he did for HOPE.

I'm showing a Lego robot powered by a LOGO program on an Apple //e, vs. 
at HOPE my Lego demonstration used BASIC on a Compaq 386 luggable (in 
the form of a Network General Sniffer).

By coincidence, Jeff's robot and mine are both car-like and they're both 
around the same size. So let me just say:


Here's mine: http://vcfed.org/evan/legobot.jpg

I figured a black frame, red racing stripe, and huge rear spoiler all 
give it maker-cred.

One motor controls forward/backward, another motor (via the exposed 
chain drive up front on the left side of your screen) controls steering, 
there is a touch/bump sensor on front, a light sensor in back, and 
working head/tail lights.

I need to put a little Lego dude and steering wheel in the cockpit!

Of course, the point of this is to show people (mostly children) that 
Lego computerized robotics are not a modern invention, but in fact 
existed 30 years ago. LOGO works like BASIC -- you can type a program 
and run it instantly (no compiling) or type commands directly. But in 
most ways it's even more basic than BASIC. Instead of FOR-NEXT loops you 
have REPEAT; instead of GOSUB you have LIST-TO-RUN; there aren't line 
numbers; and I'm trying to understand their oddly formatted IF-THEN 
method (which is also called something else; I forget what right now).

Maybe I'll disable the front bump sensor and program the 'bot to go full 
speed into BraceBot. :)

All in good fun, of course.

Hope to see many of you this weekend.

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