Technology Posts

Paper Jam

When providing technical support you get some pretty interesting support calls.  One of the most interesting was when Mark Janke called and said that his printer wouldn’t work.  There was some type of paper jam.  Upon investigation we found a small snake which had escaped from the biology lab curled up tightly deep inside the printer.  Snake 1 – Printer 0.

Lego Mindstorms UAV

Lego UAV?  Un-manned Arial Vehicle?  Yes, someone took the Lego Mindstorms NXT system, hocked up some gyros and had it control an RC Airplane.  Sound cool?  Take a look…

Build Your Own Drone

Think all that fancy drone talk is just for military nerds? Think again!

A laptop, RC plane, and some GPS sensors are all you need to get stared.

Paparazzi Control Station next to Toulouse, FrancePaparazzi is a free and open-source hardware and software project intended to create an exceptionally powerful and versatile autopilot system by allowing and encouraging input from the community. The project includes not only the airborne hardware and software, from voltage regulators and GPS receivers to Kalman filtering code, but also a powerful and ever-expanding array of ground hardware and software including modems, antennas, and a highly evolved user-friendly ground control software interface.

Robotic Challenge 2005

I just wrapped up what is becoming the biggest event of the year for me at work. Monday, May 2 was the Adventist Robotics Challenge a Great Lakes Adventist Academy in Cedar Lake, Michigan. Twenty-nine teams from Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Texas came together to test their skills at building and programming LEGO Mindstorms robots. We partnered with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) and their First Lego League to put on the challenge.

It was a fantastic experience. A lot of groundwork by a dedicated management team set the stage for a very smooth operation. We had about 50 volunteers and a Management team of seven individuals. A representative from FIRST was at our event and she said that it was a great event and so well run that she couldn’t believe it was only the second challenge we have run, much less the first one of this size and scope. Needless to say, I’m still on Cloud Nine! A great time was had by all!
For more information, visit the Adventist Robotics League. Photos of the event can be viewed here.