Officially started a year long robotics research fellowship today on 4 hours of sleep and 2 cookies. Needless to say I’m psyched to be paid to research and work on my own interests and have access to robots in the lab that would otherwise be too expensive to buy (on my poor college “salary”) and to be around other (smart) students who unwittingly motivate me to work harder - Stop fucking around on the internet, get back to coding, woman! I shall say to myself.
After introductions and simple demonstrations, we were paired up and given our first warm-up assignment to speed us into writing our own drivers. We were to write a controller for the iRobot Create (the educational version of the autonomous vacuum cleaner (Roomba) babies and cats love to spin on) in a simulated environment called Player/Stage. Not trusted (yet) to use the real things. As a side note, my lab partner, Alex, smelled like he just stepped out of a sweetly scented lavender bath and ate more cookies than i did.
After a few simple tweaks and additions to the code, our Roomba was exploring and getting itself out of obstacles and obstructions like a good robot should.
If you want to try yourself give it a go, the Roomba is very easy to hack, though I should warn you that you may have
trouble terrible, terrible problem s installing Player/Stage (if you decide you want to use it) - if you don’t have problems installing consider yourself awesome. Why there isn’t an easy install package for Player/Stage kills me, but i guess that’s one minor folly when it comes to open source.
Until then, back to learning Data structures…