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'[OT]: Did someone think?'
2001\11\20@183049 by cdb

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face
Yesterday popped into my local Centrelink (unemployment office) and logged onto the jobsearch site. Up pops a splash notice saying

"If this notice does not appear in 15 seconds inform Centrelink staff". Is it only me that wonders on the logic of the Programmer/ Specification/Project checker for this bit of oxymorony?
Still on a letter they sent me it started off with "If you do not speak English ring this number" and the ATO have an automated phone system that says "Press 1 if you do not speak English". Perhaps I'm missing something here?

I ventured to mention my thoughts on this apparent contradictory use of language, but I was looked at with a blank stare and the comment 'I don't understand Pommy humour'

Still would you be reading that paper your sitting on?

colin

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2001\11\20@185915 by Jinx

face picon face
Mum (who's partially sighted) always gets a laugh out of the
"Blind Foundation" direction road sign

And there was a sketch in Not The Nine o'Clock News showing
a new device for the hard-of-hearing. A light hung from a hat in
front of their eyes and it flashed when the phone was ringing. Two
minutes of Rowan Atkinson shouting "HELLO IS THERE ANYBODY
THERE ?? HELLO ?? HELLO ?? STOP RINGING ME AND NOT
SAYING ANYTHING YOU BASTARD"

I ended up trashing a Wang PC when the BIOS wouldn't recognise
a floppy drive and to correct the problem helpfully insisted you
"insert driver disk into Drive A:"

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2001\11\20@191109 by Jerry Merrill

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Of course there is the infamous 'Keyboard error. Press any key to continue'


At 05:57 PM 11/20/01, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Jerry Merrill

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2001\11\20@191656 by Jinx

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> Of course there is the infamous 'Keyboard error. Press any key to
continue'

My nephew did actually con my sister into thinking they had a keyboard
that was missing the ANY key, little sod ;-)

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2001\11\20@202651 by Randy Glenn
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It's more fun to convince people that the reset button is the Any key...
until they call you to fix the "problem" ("The screen goes black whenever I
press that Any key!"

Since I seem to have gone off on a tangent of computer pranks, I feel the
need to point out Step #1 in diagnosing a computer in a High School lab:
check the voltage switch. It takes very little effort to switch it from 110
to 220V, but the ensuing confusion on the user is amazing. Happens to even
the most technologically adept, as long as they haven't seen it before.

-Randy Glenn

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{Original Message removed}

2001\11\20@202658 by Kathy Quinlan

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Hi All,

Jinx, Microsoft are about to release a new Keyboard that has an "Any Key" on
it so that they will stop help desk calls complaining that users can not
find the "AnyKey"

Colin, I have the same problem, with the internet job search site, you get
halfway through the options and it says DNS error server not found, and it
is like it was there a minute ago as all the data is on the one server sigh

Regards,

Kat. ( If you like peace and quiet shout)


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{Original Message removed}

2001\11\20@203459 by Kathy Quinlan

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Our 18 year old son thought to save power he could switch the 240 switch on
the powersupply to 110 ( It made a kewl noise I was told)

Regards,

Kat.
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Randy Glenn" <EraseMEpicxpertspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTCOGECO.CA>
To: <PICLISTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2001 9:23 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Did someone think?


> It's more fun to convince people that the reset button is the Any key...
> until they call you to fix the "problem" ("The screen goes black whenever
I
> press that Any key!"
>
> Since I seem to have gone off on a tangent of computer pranks, I feel the
> need to point out Step #1 in diagnosing a computer in a High School lab:
> check the voltage switch. It takes very little effort to switch it from
110
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2001\11\20@203926 by David VanHorn

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At 09:29 AM 11/21/01 +0800, Kathy Quinlan wrote:
>Hi All,
>
>Jinx, Microsoft are about to release a new Keyboard that has an "Any Key" on
>it so that they will stop help desk calls complaining that users can not
>find the "AnyKey"

I found some keytops once, from some specialized system, that fit my
keyboard, which had a blank key (!) The tops were labeled "any" and it did
work!

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2001\11\20@204529 by Mitch Miller

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So, if I switch my PS to 240, will my PC be more powerful? ;-)

On Wed, 21
Nov 2001, Kathy Quinlan wrote:

> Our 18 year old son thought to save power he could switch the 240 switch on
> the powersupply to 110 ( It made a kewl noise I was told)
>
> Regards,
>
> Kat.

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2001\11\20@204741 by David VanHorn

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At 09:38 AM 11/21/01 +0800, Kathy Quinlan wrote:
>Our 18 year old son thought to save power he could switch the 240 switch on
>the powersupply to 110 ( It made a kewl noise I was told)

I once spent a day fighting a computer that wouldn't run right, though it
would run almost completely right. Turned out that the PS switch was on 220.

That's not so traumatic over here, and now it's the first thing I check,
even on my own gear.

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2001\11\20@205404 by Gennette, Bruce

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Depends on which part of the world you are in.
If you're in the 110V part then switching to 240V gets you no where (you get
around 45% of 110V).  If you're in the 240V part then you suddenly get a
loud bang as the power supply fuse explodes (if you are lucky) because you
have swiched the transformer input windings from the 45% one to the 100%
one.

Bye.

{Original Message removed}

2001\11\20@211859 by David VanHorn

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At 12:51 PM 11/21/01 +1100, Gennette, Bruce wrote:
>Depends on which part of the world you are in.
>If you're in the 110V part then switching to 240V gets you no where (you get
>around 45% of 110V).  If you're in the 240V part then you suddenly get a
>loud bang as the power supply fuse explodes (if you are lucky) because you
>have swiched the transformer input windings from the 45% one to the 100%
>one.

What transformer?

What you're actually doing, is reconfiguring the input from voltage doubler
(110V) to rectifier (220)
The idea is to end up with roughly the same DCV feeding the SMPS.

(yes, your computer will almost certainly run on high voltage DC.  It would
be the world's cheapest, and most efficient UPS)  You may need to supply a
60/50 hz input for timekeeping though.


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Bi-directional read of UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-8, EAN-13, JAN, and Bookland, with
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2001\11\20@214342 by Jinx

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> So, if I switch my PS to 240, will my PC be more powerful? ;-)

Just for a moment

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2001\11\20@214359 by Jinx

face picon face
> I found some keytops once, from some specialized system, that fit my
> keyboard, which had a blank key (!) The tops were labeled "any" and it did
> work!
>
> --
> Dave's Engineering Page: http://www.dvanhorn.org

When I went with my bro to pick up the 2nd hand P100 I mentioned
the other day, the seller turned out to be a thorough geek. He'd painted
most of the keys on his own keyboard black so his flatmates wouldn't
use it. I've been using k/bs a long time now but it had me thinking and
pecking

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2001\11\20@231238 by Eric Smith

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> So, if I switch my PS to 240, will my PC be more powerful? ;-)

No, there is finally scientific proof that a PC running Windows is more
powerful than one running DOS:

http://www.floobydust.com/winpower.html

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2001\11\20@234635 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 21 Nov 2001, Kathy Quinlan wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> Jinx, Microsoft are about to release a new Keyboard that has an "Any Key" on
> it so that they will stop help desk calls complaining that users can not
> find the "AnyKey"
>
> Colin, I have the same problem, with the internet job search site, you get
> halfway through the options and it says DNS error server not found, and it
> is like it was there a minute ago as all the data is on the one server sigh

If it's a secure (SSL) site, I bet I know why.  It's probably a "Server
not found or DNS error", which results because Internet Exploder's support
for persistent connections with SSL is badly broken.  The web server needs
to turn off persistence when it sees IE being used -- trivial in Apache,
but most people don't get it right.  The symptom is that you will get that
error seemingly at random (it's actually timing dependent, we've done a
LOT of research on this at work).

Dale

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2001\11\20@234640 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 21 Nov 2001, Kathy Quinlan wrote:

> Our 18 year old son thought to save power he could switch the 240 switch on
> the powersupply to 110 ( It made a kewl noise I was told)

We accidentally did it in the lab -- I didn't realize Sun rack power was
all 220.  The power supply did make a noise, but only once.

Dale
NED - Noise Emitting Diode.  Just like an LED, but when connected directly
across a DC or AC high current supply, makes a loud SNAP noise (one time).

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2001\11\21@040042 by cdb

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The other problem with this site is someone is not sequal to their server!

Click on a page and you get SQL error or OBDC, possibily due to locking on
the live updates. The system can't count either. today it reckoned there
were 5 Engineering Jobs and 12 Computer type. Click on the pages and up come
21 anf 83 respectively. Problem is there'd probably be a (temporary) 10%
lets fix our system tax added to all computer system sales if the Government
wanted to fix it. I think other listers in this country will get that one.

colin

If it's a secure (SSL) site, I bet I know why.  It's probably a "Server
not found or DNS error", which results because Internet Exploder's support
for persistent connections with SSL is badly broken.  The web server needs
to turn off persistence when it sees IE being used -- trivial in Apache,
but most people don't get it right.  The symptom is that you will get that
error seemingly at random (it's actually timing dependent, we've done a
LOT of research on this at work).

Dale

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2001\11\21@040056 by cdb

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yes, I recently worked for a gaming machine company. the SMPS on one (after
15 years of neglect in the field) had an attack of the surges should have
seen this Tantalum go pop and zonk across the room. Oh the smell.

When I was doing some training some years ago there was an experiment to
show TTL logic gates switching. All was well until a loud CRACK and
something wizzed through the room. On investigation there was a poor little
chip with its backside hanging out. The student was impatient to see the
change over so had increased the power supply voltage to 25v. Still it being
a TAFE course he still passed.



NED - Noise Emitting Diode.  Just like an LED, but when connected directly
across a DC or AC high current supply, makes a loud SNAP noise (one time).

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2001\11\21@044247 by Graham

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At 13:15 21/11/01 +1300, you wrote:
>> Of course there is the infamous 'Keyboard error. Press any key to
>continue'
>

there is also the windows 'plug and play'...which I forget the precise words
to, but amounts to:

"found unknown device"........."loading drivers for unknown device"

Graham


R.F. Professionals    http://www.rfpa.com
Radio Amateurs        http://www.rfham.com

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2001\11\21@052717 by dr. Imre Bartfai

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Hi,

the same you find in BIOS when starting up the PC:

Keyboard not present. Press F1 to continue.

Imre

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On Wed, 21 Nov 2001, cdb wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\11\21@052742 by dr. Imre Bartfai

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Hi,

I guess Kathy lives in country with 230V power line (as used to be in
Europe), and Dave in the USA with 110V (or 127V? I am not sure).

Regards,
Imre


On Tue, 20 Nov 2001, David VanHorn wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\11\21@084601 by John Pfaff

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Jerry Merrill wrote:
>
> Of course there is the infamous 'Keyboard error. Press any key to continue'

... and press any other key to quit :)

{Quote hidden}

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2001\11\21@102803 by Matthew Fries

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That's not the dumbest thing that Windows has done....

I am always annoyed when windows displays the message "Windows is
detecting plug and play hardware" and the animation is a picture of a
little computer being looked over by a magnifying glass. Well, the glass
only examines the monitor, not the PC. DUH!!! There is no plug and play
hardware inside my monitor (and if there is, I don't care because the
monitor is working good enough for me), it's all in my COMPUTER!



> there is also the windows 'plug and play'...which I forget the precise words
> to, but amounts to:
>
> "found unknown device"........."loading drivers for unknown device"
>
> Graham

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2001\11\21@103811 by Milan Pavlica (YU7AEC)

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part 0 44 bytes
his is a multi-part message in MIME format.
part 1 722 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=koi8-r (decoded 7bit)



Graham wrote:

> At 13:15 21/11/01 +1300, you wrote:
> >> Of course there is the infamous 'Keyboard error. Press any key to
> >continue'
> >
>
> there is also the windows 'plug and play'

or :"Plug&Pray"

{Quote hidden}


part 2 201 bytes content-type:text/x-vcard; charset=koi8-r;
(decoded 7bit)

begin:vcard
n:Pavlica;Milan
x-mozilla-html:FALSE
org:SuperSonic Systems
adr:;;;;;;
version:2.1
email;internet:RemoveMEmpavlicaKILLspamspamptt.yu
title:Chief
fn:Milan Pavlica
end:vcard


part 3 136 bytes
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2001\11\21@111100 by Arnold Chord

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I don't know I aways liked braile keypads for drive up windows.....

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2001\11\21@155532 by m.craig

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Oh Oh I got one!

What about those postcards that sit in the racks in pubs (on my case the
Student Union). On the back they say: "please inform your union if you find
the rack empty"


Mark Craig
KILLspamm.craigspamBeGonespamntlworld.com
Glasgow
Scotland
http://www.darksite.co.uk - its not much but its home

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2001\11\22@130617 by Peter L. Peres

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(posted from Australia - 220V country)
> Our 18 year old son thought to save power he could switch the 240
> switch on the powersupply to 110 ( It made a kewl noise I was told)

(posted from Canada - 110V country)
> check the voltage switch. It takes very little effort to switch it
> from 110 to 220V, but the ensuing confusion on the user is amazing.

Now you see what generalized relativity means. The confusion caused by a
nonfunctioning Canadian computer vs. the fun of the Australian fireworks.

Peter

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2001\11\22@142707 by Dave King

picon face
If you are wondering if only students and such can pull real boners how
about this one from today.

At 6:15 UPS bangs on door rings bell etc until somewhat smeg'd off person
aka me goes and
answers. UPS has yeat again managed to find a way to collect fee on prepaid
shipment with
no value.

After several cups of coffee and Tylenol I open packages which are two
shipping containers from
Analog devices. These box's would probably hold about 25+ ic tubes in each.
I open the
first box to find ONE tube with a single smt op-amp enclosed. In the second
box which is the
same 25+ tube size there are two ic tubes which contain 2 more smt op-amps.

So basically for five ic's that would all fit on a stamp they sent two
box's, and three tubes.
Makes you wonder whose in charge of shipping at the insane asylum doesn't it.

Dave

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2001\11\22@145157 by Martin Peach

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave King" <.....KingDWSspam_OUTspamHOME.COM>
To: <TakeThisOuTPICLIST.....spamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, November 22, 2001 2:25 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Did someone think?


> If you are wondering if only students and such can pull real boners how
> about this one from today.
>
> At 6:15 UPS bangs on door rings bell etc until somewhat smeg'd off person
> aka me goes and
> answers. UPS has yeat again managed to find a way to collect fee on
prepaid
> shipment with
> no value.
>
> After several cups of coffee and Tylenol I open packages which are two
> shipping containers from
> Analog devices. These box's would probably hold about 25+ ic tubes in
each.
> I open the
> first box to find ONE tube with a single smt op-amp enclosed. In the
second
> box which is the
> same 25+ tube size there are two ic tubes which contain 2 more smt
op-amps.
>
> So basically for five ic's that would all fit on a stamp they sent two
> box's, and three tubes.
> Makes you wonder whose in charge of shipping at the insane asylum doesn't
it.

I think they do it so industrial spies watching the loading dock will think
that vast quantities are being shipped.
/\/\/\/*=Martin

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2001\11\22@161212 by David VanHorn

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>
>I think they do it so industrial spies watching the loading dock will think
>that vast quantities are being shipped.
>/\/\/\/*=Martin

Might be more true than you think. :)

My personal favorite:

At most fast food places, they have a sign, saying that they have braille
menus.
Let's case this out.
If you're blind, you can't see the sign, and you'd just ask.
If you're not blind, you don't need them.

BTW: I asked a blind friend about the ATM braille, it's even sillier than
you think. The button labels say "1", "2", "3" etc.  So, with the modal
screen menus, which change every time they redo the software, you have no
idea what the buttons mean.

How about this one:  Braille signs on the walls for directions.. Just how
are you supposed to find the signs?  If you work there, you might know
where the signs are, but then again, how likely that you'll need directions?

Don't be me wrong, I'm not down on the blind at all, just the poorly
thought out, and usually, insanely expensive "solutions" to their problems.


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2001\11\22@163458 by Ian Hooper

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----- Original Message -----
From: "David VanHorn" <RemoveMEdvanhornspamspamBeGoneCEDAR.NET>
To: <spamBeGonePICLIST@spam@spamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, November 22, 2001 15:49
Subject: Re: [OT]: Did someone think?


>
> How about this one:  Braille signs on the walls for directions.. Just how
> are you supposed to find the signs?  If you work there, you might know
> where the signs are, but then again, how likely that you'll need
directions?
>
> Don't be me wrong, I'm not down on the blind at all, just the poorly
> thought out, and usually, insanely expensive "solutions" to their
problems.
>

That reminds me of  an elevator in an office building that I frequent. There
is an elevator with Braille symbols on the buttons... the interesting thing
is that this particular elevator services Only the underground parking lot.
The rest of the elevators in the building have non-Braille buttons. Go
figger

ian

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2001\11\23@035235 by Alan B. Pearce

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> So basically for five ic's that would all fit on a stamp they
>sent two box's, and three tubes.
> Makes you wonder whose in charge of shipping at the insane asylum
>doesn't it.

I have received samples from Analog Devices like this. I think it shows the
mentality of "one size packaging", i.e. the only boxes they have are 4
inches square cross section by tube length long. :) It also costs less to
ship a full length tube in that sort of packaging than to cut the tube to an
inch long and put it in an envelope. Ludicrous, I know.

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2001\11\23@082008 by miked

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Same thing happens when I oder samples. They treat each sample request as a
serperate order.
> ... I open packages which are two
> shipping containers from Analog devices. These box's would probably
> hold about 25+ ic tubes in each. I open the first box to find ONE tube
> with a single smt op-amp enclosed. In the second box which is the same
> 25+ tube size there are two ic tubes which contain 2 more smt op-amps.
>
> So basically for five ic's that would all fit on a stamp they sent two
> box's, and three tubes. Makes you wonder whose in charge of shipping
> at the insane asylum doesn't it.
>

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2001\11\28@153804 by Lawrence Lile

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So why do they have interstate highways in Hawaii?

Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?

How come they have handicapped accessible parking spaces at Dance studios?


But seriously folks.  I was around a university campus facilities department
when we were converting everything to handicapped accessible.  The US has
spent BILLIONS, no kidding, remodeling bathrooms, building ramps, making
curb cuts and so on.  Now this is a noble effort, and every time I have
needed to wheel out a cart full of computers I am thankful for the curb
cuts.

But what if we had spent BILLIONS on paying PICList denizens and other
engineers to make an all-terrain wheelchair that could mount curbs, turn on
a dime, and allow the person inside to sit on a regular toilet without
needing a stall the size of a modest bedroom?  Then give them away to the
unfortunates that need them?  I swear, this would have been cheaper than
remodeling every bathroom in every public building in the US.


--Lawrence

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2001\11\29@075128 by Jinx

face picon face
> But what if we had spent BILLIONS on paying PICList denizens and
> other engineers to make an all-terrain wheelchair that could mount
> curbs, turn on

Isn't this what Dean Karmen has under wraps - an improvement to
his wheel chair ? Supposedly possible that he's got a levitation
system devised (shoot, look at the money and resources he has
at his disposal)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1113000/1113537.stm

Just one of many many references to Dean Karmen and his work

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2001\11\29@124328 by M. Adam Davis

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The gov't has spent money on such noble projects - /and/ they also cut
the curbs.  Just like there are those who cannot (or want not) to use
HTML email and newsgroup messages, there will be those who will prefer
regular wheelchairs, which can be faster, lighter, easier to pack in
vehicles, etc.  You ought to watch a wheelchair basketball game, those
guys move quicker than a regular basketball game!  Electric wheelchairs
can only go so fast (for power and safety reasons, I imagine).

As an aside, there is a wheelchair soon to be released which can stand
on one pair of wheels so the user can reach cupboards and other
human-standing-height required objects, has a neat three wheel system
that can go up and down stairs, and other nice mobility questions.

But they'll cost as much as a /nice/ car.

-Adam

Lawrence Lile wrote:

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2001\11\29@215850 by Josh Koffman

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Are there any firm introduction dates for Ginger? All I've heard is
2002.

Josh

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2001\11\30@162408 by Jinx

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> Are there any firm introduction dates for Ginger? All I've heard is
> 2002.
>
> Josh

I was looking up http://www.abc.com for something and quite by chance
there's a current news story about the release of IT (Ginger)

abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/GoodMorningAmerica/GMA011130IT_Friday.htm
l

Only 3 more sleeps until you find out what IT is on Good Morning
America's Monday show

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'[OT]: Did someone think?'
2001\12\03@153129 by Jinx
face picon face
abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/GoodMorningAmerica/GMA011203What_IT_is.ht
ml

Anyone else underwhelmed ?

This was the best bet many months ago in a 60 Minutes program,
so perhaps the guessing-game hype never got to me

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2001\12\03@181659 by Dale Botkin

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I certainly wasn't impressed.  If most people could ride something otehr
than a car most of the time, we could...  somebody 'splain to me how I'm
going to ride that sucker the 8 miles from my house to work, in the rain
or snow, carrying my laptop, briefcase an a cup of coffee.  I don't think
so.  If I could figure thatout I'd own a motorcycle.  My kid's got an
electric scooter...  not as fancy, but the price had a decimal place in an
ENTIRELY different position, too!

Revolutinize the world?  Heh.  Maybe parts of Southern California or
Florida, but there's nothing new about that.

Dale
--
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curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
         - Arnold Edinborough


On Tue, 4 Dec 2001, Jinx wrote:

> abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/GoodMorningAmerica/GMA011203What_IT_is.ht
> ml
>
> Anyone else underwhelmed ?

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2001\12\03@203708 by Josh Koffman

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I agree. While I do think the technology behind it is cool, I think it's
applications are limited. You'd have to change a lot more than the way
we get around in order to revolutionize the world. I'd have trouble even
getting around campus as I don't use a bag, I carry my books. How can I
carry my books and keep two hands on the handlebars? Plus, since their
website crashed Netscape, I still don't know how you store the thing
once you get where you're going. Do you just lean it against the wall?
Plus, isn't it a little heavy to carry it up the stairs into a building?

Josh

Dale Botkin wrote:
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2001\12\03@214031 by Jinx

face picon face
> website crashed Netscape, I still don't know how you store the
> thing once you get where you're going. Do you just lean it against
> the wall? Plus, isn't it a little heavy to carry it up the stairs into a
> building?
>
> Josh

I think the idea is to buy one of his "all-terrain" wheelchairs as
a kind of Thunderbird 2

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2001\12\03@214038 by Dale Botkin

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On Mon, 3 Dec 2001, Josh Koffman wrote:

> I agree. While I do think the technology behind it is cool, I think it's
> applications are limited. You'd have to change a lot more than the way
> we get around in order to revolutionize the world. I'd have trouble even
> getting around campus as I don't use a bag, I carry my books. How can I
> carry my books and keep two hands on the handlebars? Plus, since their
> website crashed Netscape, I still don't know how you store the thing
> once you get where you're going. Do you just lean it against the wall?
> Plus, isn't it a little heavy to carry it up the stairs into a building?

Naah.  After Day 1 when it gets stolen (pretty much guaranteed at $3K for
the *light duty* version) it's no longer an issue.  8-)

Dale

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2001\12\03@222214 by Jinx

face picon face
> I certainly wasn't impressed.

Lucky he didn't call it the Segway Human Interactive Transporter

Like the unfortunate Floridan police team I saw on Cops once -
Fast Action Response Team. LAPD or FDNY looks OK on a
jacket but I'm guessing those cops had a unanimous show of
hands not to get theirs made up. "Thanks Chief, but no thanks.
We're just learning to live with 'Pigs' "

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2001\12\03@223813 by cdb

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Just think you could be the first person to be run over by an octogenarian
riding an IT instead of being squashed by over exuberent use of a Zimmer
Frame!

colin

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2001\12\04@064144 by Russell McMahon

picon face
Well, actually, I did think :-)
I "invented" this some while ago.
Didn't design it fully. Never even started to think about actually building
one, of course.
Which is, in this sort of endeavour, is (part of) what sorts the men from
the boys.
I had more in mind a "roadable" machine along the lines of a bikies trike
but with only two wheels.
I have a file where I keep my more notable weird ideas and it didn't even
get that far so I can't have thought to much of it.

I saw a very short clip on TV tonight and I am suitably impressed.
I am not underwhelmed by this - I think it has immense potential, but not
necessarily as currently envisaged.
Applied to "robots" it gives you something which approximates human mobility
in relatively confined spaces and would seem to be far more practical than
currently available consumer market  "walking" robots (eg Honda's) which
cheat rather badly in how they achieve bipedal locomotion.


>
abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/GoodMorningAmerica/GMA011203What_IT_is.ht
> ml
>
> Anyone else underwhelmed ?
>
> This was the best bet many months ago in a 60 Minutes program,
> so perhaps the guessing-game hype never got to me

Note that the hype was from the camp followers and not from the master. He
played down the import of his invention while still indicating that it was
significant. I think he may be proven correct. How superior it is to a very
short wheelbase conventional design is to be seen.


       Russell McMahon

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2001\12\04@064221 by Russell McMahon

picon face
> Like the unfortunate Floridan police team I saw on Cops once -
> Fast Action Response Team. LAPD or FDNY looks OK on a
> jacket but I'm guessing those cops had a unanimous show of
> hands not to get theirs made up. "Thanks Chief, but no thanks.
> We're just learning to live with 'Pigs' "

Police Interactive Ghetto Squad ?

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2001\12\04@064225 by Russell McMahon

picon face
> > I still don't know how you store the thing
> > once you get where you're going. Do you just lean it against the wall?

No - it just stands there by itself -at least till the battery goes flat.

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2001\12\04@073804 by Gerhard Fiedler

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At 20:30 12/03/2001 -0500, Josh Koffman wrote:
>How can I carry my books and keep two hands on the handlebars?

There's a low tech device (most of them don't contain any functional PICs)
called "back pack." It comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and --
yes! -- functionalities (even without PICs! :)

ge

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2001\12\04@092223 by John Ferrell

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Perhaps we are witnessing the reinvention of the motor scooter. They really
are marvelous devices!

Just think what the skate board crowd will be able to do...

Now to decide whether they belong on the side walk or in the street...

John Ferrell
6241 Phillippi Rd
Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
Dixie Competition Products
NSRCA 479 AMA 4190  W8CCW
"My Competition is Not My Enemy"



{Original Message removed}

2001\12\04@121033 by Jim

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  "How superior it is to a very short wheelbase
   conventional design is to be seen."

How superior?

Very.

When you consider that this uses an 'active'
feedback system to do it's *trick* compared
to anything inactive/passive (meaning *no*
feedback).

Jim



{Original Message removed}

2001\12\04@125147 by Dale Botkin

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On Tue, 4 Dec 2001, John Ferrell wrote:

> Perhaps we are witnessing the reinvention of the motor scooter. They really
> are marvelous devices!

Yes, my 13-year-old has an electric one with very nearly the same
capabilities.  It won't stand up by itself, but does have a seat and a
small basket for hauling newspapers.

> Now to decide whether they belong on the side walk or in the street...

On the sidewalk they're weapons, on the street they're targets... 8-)

Dale

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2001\12\04@135205 by Jinx

face picon face
> I saw a very short clip on TV tonight and I am suitably impressed.
> I am not underwhelmed by this - I think it has immense potential, but
> not necessarily as currently envisaged.

Unless Karmen & Co have indeed another use for the technology,
which undoubtedly they have and will rake in the licence fees, his
claim that a two-wheeled device that makes people fatter and lazier
will "change the world" is just a tad over the top. I appreciate the
technology of course, just the product doesn't appeal to me at all

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2001\12\04@145032 by Sean H. Breheny

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I don't even understand why people think the technology is so innovative.
Do people not realize that controls engineers have been stabilizing
unstable systems with feedback for a long time?

Sean

At 07:50 AM 12/5/01 +1300, you wrote:
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2001\12\04@151952 by Mitch Miller

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> Do people not realize that controls engineers have been stabilizing
> unstable systems with feedback for a long time?

Yep ... most people have no idea.

-- Mitch

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2001\12\04@153530 by Martin Peach

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Sean H. Breheny" <shb7EraseMEspamCORNELL.EDU>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTEraseMEspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Did someone think?


> I don't even understand why people think the technology is so innovative.
> Do people not realize that controls engineers have been stabilizing
> unstable systems with feedback for a long time?

Maybe it marks the first application of ordinary aviation engineering to
ground transport. Anyway, I can see it is definitely going to replace cars
in the cities within a few years.

/\/\/\/*=Martin

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2001\12\04@160409 by Mitch Miller

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> ground transport. Anyway, I can see it is definitely going to replace cars
> in the cities within a few years.

Sure ... that's what I'm gonna ride for 30 minutes in -40 degree weather!

-- Mitch

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2001\12\04@165106 by Tony Nixon

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picon face
Mitch Miller wrote:
>
> > ground transport. Anyway, I can see it is definitely going to replace cars
> > in the cities within a few years.
>
> Sure ... that's what I'm gonna ride for 30 minutes in -40 degree weather!

Wait a few years, they will have heaters, air conditiong, fairings, mag
wheels, turbo/supercharger battery packs, GPS, mobile phone, 100W quad
amps with 12" bass drivers (probably doubling as the wheels), Play
Station 6, twin 3" round mirrors on 2 feet long chrome supports with
tassles flowing off, ruck sack storage, passenger space (ala Dumb and
Dumber), PIC controlled indicators, Days of Our Lives, etc. etc. .......

I wonder how much fun they would be when you had a few too many and try
to balance your way home ;-)

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2001\12\04@170538 by Matt Pobursky

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On Tue, 4 Dec 2001 15:08:27 -0600, Mitch Miller wrote:
>> ground transport. Anyway, I can see it is definitely going to
>>replace cars  in the cities within a few years.
>
>Sure ... that's what I'm gonna ride for 30 minutes in -40 degree
>weather!
>
>-- Mitch  

Or pouring rain... or 110ºF heat... or...  

Face it, a car-like vehicle is an evolved form of transportation
influenced as much by utility as anything else. It's development
and consumer acceptance has also been formed by years of
consumers deciding what it is THEY want. If people really wanted
to ride around on tiny scooters as their main form of
transportation, it would have happened long ago.

Something else no one has brought up yet either -- where do
people think the power comes from to charge the batteries? The
batteries used are merely energy transfer devices (coal,
hydroelectric or nuclear power -> battery) and of course in any
transfer of energy there's losses. Battery powered vehicles are
not a particularly efficient or cost effective form of
transportation. The "pure" electric vehicle guys have found this
out firsthand.

Now if you could build a fuel cell powered car that could extract
it's own hydrogen fuel from the atmosphere... THAT would be cool
and I *think* you could sell them ;-)

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

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2001\12\04@171200 by David VanHorn

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At 04:05 PM 12/4/01 -0600, Matt Pobursky wrote:
>On Tue, 4 Dec 2001 15:08:27 -0600, Mitch Miller wrote:
> >> ground transport. Anyway, I can see it is definitely going to
> >>replace cars  in the cities within a few years.
> >
> >Sure ... that's what I'm gonna ride for 30 minutes in -40 degree
> >weather!
> >
> >-- Mitch
>
>Or pouring rain... or 110ºF heat... or...

With two bags of groceries, or potholes.
Around here, we put light poles in the middle of the sidewalk too.
Where we have sidewalks.

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2001\12\04@175915 by Dale Botkin

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> > I don't even understand why people think the technology is so innovative.
> > Do people not realize that controls engineers have been stabilizing
> > unstable systems with feedback for a long time?
>
> Maybe it marks the first application of ordinary aviation engineering to
> ground transport. Anyway, I can see it is definitely going to replace cars
> in the cities within a few years.

Not any cars in any cities anywhere near me.  I don't think most people
around hre, for example, would use an open 12MPH scooter for a year-round,
10+ mile commute -- and that's in a medium-small city.  We have snow,
rain, winds, traffic, and I haven't noticed my house moving any closer to
my office (or anywhere near my office suddenly becoming a viable pace to
live).

Maybe food delivery in LA or someting, but...  well, those people already
use mopeds and such that cost one heckuva lot less to own and operate.
What do you think those fancy flat NiMH or NiCd batteries are going to
cost to replace every year or two?

Dale

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2001\12\04@184800 by Jinx

face picon face
> Just think what the skate board crowd will be able to do...

Slow the X-treme Games down for a start !! Imagine trying
to get a Ginger around a half-pipe

Can we get a pool running on the first lawsuit for death or
injury ?

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2001\12\04@185750 by Jinx

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> I don't even understand why people think the technology is so
> innovative. Do people not realize that controls engineers have
> been stabilizing unstable systems with feedback for a long time?

The technology would be very familiar to anyone interested in flight
or aerospace

In fact, I heard a man on the talkback this morning who expanded
on simple gyros. You start with a gyro spun at high speed. The
container that the gyro is in is spun at high speed at 90 degrees
to the rotation of the inner gyro. Then the whole is spun at 90 degrees
to that (ie spinning in the X Y and Z axes), all in a vacuum to reduce
friction and power input. His claim (he says is backed and supported
by engineers world-wide) is that the end effect is levitation

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2001\12\04@191752 by Randy Glenn

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Sounds a lot like the machine in Contact.

-Randy Glenn

Measure twice, cut once, curse, discard. Repeat.
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{Original Message removed}

2001\12\04@195750 by Brandon Fosdick

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Jinx wrote:
> In fact, I heard a man on the talkback this morning who expanded
> on simple gyros. You start with a gyro spun at high speed. The
> container that the gyro is in is spun at high speed at 90 degrees
> to the rotation of the inner gyro. Then the whole is spun at 90 degrees
> to that (ie spinning in the X Y and Z axes), all in a vacuum to reduce
> friction and power input. His claim (he says is backed and supported
> by engineers world-wide) is that the end effect is levitation

That sounds a lot like the multi-axis chair that astronauts train on, or at
least used to. They had a version of it at Space Camp when I went eons ago. I
don't remeber it levitating. Although I did notice some odd sensations, maybe
that was levitation and I didn't realize it at the time.

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2001\12\04@204845 by John Ferrell

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When you park "IT", does it wander around a bit trying to remain stationery
in space or does it somehow reference the current earth position?

John Ferrell
6241 Phillippi Rd
Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
Dixie Competition Products
NSRCA 479 AMA 4190  W8CCW
"My Competition is Not My Enemy"



{Original Message removed}

2001\12\04@205114 by 859-1?Q?Alexandre_Guimar=E3es?=

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Hi,

> I don't even understand why people think the technology is so innovative.
> Do people not realize that controls engineers have been stabilizing
> unstable systems with feedback for a long time?

   We all know how hard it can be to stabilize a very unstable system ! The
problem is not trivial at all and I am sure that many people had the same
idea before and were not able to get it done. And besides that the
integration of motors, gears, batteries and control system is awesome. It is
not innovative as a technology launcher but it is a very good example of
good pratical applied engineering.

   If it did not cost $ 3000 I would like to have one. It looks like a very
nice toy :-)

Best regards,
Alexandre Guimaraes

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2001\12\04@205123 by Sean H. Breheny

face picon face
Hi Jinx,

That would probably produce an interesting kind of precession, but
"levitation", in the sense of being able to hold something up against
gravity without applying an external force to it, is definitely not
possible (under our current understanding of physics). In essence, it
doesn't matter whether something is spinning or what it's doing, F=MA still
applies, and if gravity is pulling downward, you have to be pushing upward
(from the outside, that is, the thing cannot be putting a force on itself)
to prevent its center of mass from accelerating downward.

He may be describing what happens when you support an object AT ONE END.
You can get an effect which LOOKS like levitation if you take a spinning
object which is at the end of a stick and just support the end of the
stick. The stick can be made to stay horizontal (even though  you aren't
supporting the other end), but this isn't really levitation, because you
are supplying a force equal to the weight of the whole thing at the end you
are holding up.

This demo is often done with a bicycle wheel at the end of a perhaps 0.5
meter stick with a handle connected to it via a universal joint. You hold
the thing by the handle and without the wheel spinning, it just flops down
(so the wheel is parallel to the ground). However, if you bring the wheel
back up to vertical and spin it, then let go, it goes in circles around the
handle, SLOWLY coming down perhaps a few degrees per revolution around the
handle. (This is hard to describe without a picture, but you may have seen it).

Sean


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2001\12\04@205930 by Sean H. Breheny

face picon face
Hi Mitch,

I should have been clearer. By "people" I meant people on this list. It
seemed to me as though some people here were amazed by the fact that this
works.

Sean

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2001\12\04@210528 by Sean H. Breheny

face picon face
Hi Alexandre,

At 11:49 PM 12/4/01 -0200, you wrote:
>     We all know how hard it can be to stabilize a very unstable system ! The
>problem is not trivial at all and I am sure that many people had the same
>idea before and were not able to get it done. And besides that the
>integration of motors, gears, batteries and control system is awesome. It is
>not innovative as a technology launcher but it is a very good example of
>good pratical applied engineering.

I have not studied Ginger in detail, but as far as I can tell, it is just
keeping you vertical by the way it moves. This is a standard "inverted
pendulum problem" which is given to students in many first semester
feedback controls courses.

I'm sure most people on this list could make the necessary hardware.
Getting it all together in a robust package and working out all the bugs is
nontrivial, but it's nontrivial for any product (as you state, an "example
of good practical applied engineering", not a real innovation).


>     If it did not cost $ 3000 I would like to have one. It looks like a very
>nice toy :-)
>
>Best regards,
>Alexandre Guimaraes
>
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2001\12\04@211127 by David VanHorn

flavicon
face
At 08:49 PM 12/4/01 -0500, Sean H. Breheny wrote:
>Hi Jinx,
>
>That would probably produce an interesting kind of precession, but
>"levitation", in the sense of being able to hold something up against
>gravity without applying an external force to it, is definitely not
>possible (under our current understanding of physics).

I'm intrugued as to how you are supposed to set this rotating, without
applying some force.
If such an antigravity force is produced (how does it know what vector to
take?) then presumably left on it's own, it would counter rotate, and relax
to a neutral position.

Is the force expended to turn it somehow less than the "anti-gravity"
force? Most likely not.

I think in the end, this will prove to be another byzantine illustration of
the second law, and you could get more upward force just by pushing upward.


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2001\12\04@215305 by steve

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> This demo is often done with a bicycle wheel
>  without the wheel spinning, it just flops down (so the wheel is parallel
> to the ground).

I've noticed the same thing with a bicycle wheel attached to its
standard apparatus. When it stops spinning, it just flops down
parallel to the ground.

> perhaps a few
> degrees per revolution around the handle.

Spinning the handle around seems to give the same flop problem.

For obvious reasons, it's a long time since I rode a bike. :-)

Steve.


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2001\12\04@222850 by Russell McMahon

picon face
> If people really wanted to ride around on tiny scooters
> as their main form of transportation, it would have
> happened long ago.


I take it you have never been to Taiwan :-)


       RM

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2001\12\04@222902 by Russell McMahon

picon face
>    "How superior it is to a very short wheelbase
>     conventional design is to be seen."
>
> How superior?
>
> Very.
>
> When you consider that this uses an 'active'
> feedback system to do it's *trick* compared
> to anything inactive/passive (meaning *no*
> feedback).


I  meant functionally superior, not technically.
If you can produce something that is about as useful without electronic
wizardry and with a much lower price and also possibly with some extra
utility (such as eg a carrying space) then it may do better overall.



   RM

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2001\12\04@222908 by Russell McMahon

picon face
> Not any cars in any cities anywhere near me.  I don't think most people
> around hre, for example, would use an open 12MPH scooter for a year-round,
> 10+ mile commute -- and that's in a medium-small city.  We have snow,
> rain, winds, traffic, and I haven't noticed my house moving any closer to
> my office (or anywhere near my office suddenly becoming a viable pace to
> live).

Probably not, but they noted that the average vehicle speed in London is
lower than the top speed of the Ginger.




   `    RM

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2001\12\04@222913 by Russell McMahon

picon face
> > Just think what the skate board crowd will be able to do...
>
> Slow the X-treme Games down for a start !! Imagine trying
> to get a Ginger around a half-pipe


When you see what skateboarders can do with "a piece of wood with wheels on
it" and no motive power then I can very easily imagine people doing
extremely extreme things with a Ginger.




       RM

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2001\12\04@233423 by Sean H. Breheny

face picon face
Hi Dave,

Perhaps I misunderstood the original claim, but I thought that he was
implying that you very plainly apply a torque and then somehow, the thing
"floats" as the masses continue spinning with no applied force or torque
(except gravity).

Sean

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2001\12\04@235422 by Tim McDonough

flavicon
face
> > If people really wanted to ride around on tiny scooters
> > as their main form of transportation, it would have
> > happened long ago.

Scooters in the 600-1500cc range are a lot of fun. :-)

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2001\12\04@235731 by Dale Botkin

flavicon
face
On Wed, 5 Dec 2001, Russell McMahon wrote:

> > Not any cars in any cities anywhere near me.  I don't think most people
> > around hre, for example, would use an open 12MPH scooter for a year-round,
> > 10+ mile commute -- and that's in a medium-small city.  We have snow,
> > rain, winds, traffic, and I haven't noticed my house moving any closer to
> > my office (or anywhere near my office suddenly becoming a viable pace to
> > live).
>
> Probably not, but they noted that the average vehicle speed in London is
> lower than the top speed of the Ginger.

But in London you'd have to go slow anyway so as not to ruin the umbrella,
correct?

I spend *part* of my 8-mile commute to work stopped or at a slow crawl,
the rest between 40 and 70MPH.  Max 15 to 20 minutes on a bad day.  On a
12MPH scooter - no thanks.  But hey, I live in the Midwest USA.  I'm sure
it would make more sense in, say, NY or DC...  oh, wait, no, people there
have **LONG** commutes.  LA?  Err...  maybe not.

No doubt there are people for whom a scooter might make sense...  of
course most of them can't afford and/or wouldn't put up with the hassle of
Ginger.  As long as both work and home are completely barrier-free (cause
I'm not lugging that thing up stairs) it's a workable solution.  And it's
got to be a *short* commute.  Of course, I have to live somewhere with
weather conducive to riding an open scooter year round.  Now there has to
be enough cash in the budget to spend the equivalent price of a reliable
used car on a new, very high tech, absurdly expensive to repair gizmo
instead of a $500 electric or gas scooter.  OK, so there IS a market for
Ginger, but it's so very narrow and limited that I think the people
claiming this will revolutionize the whole world are trying very, very
hard to sell something.  Thinking this toy will replace any significant
number of cars is -- well, a little naieve.  If that were going to happen
the Honda Spree or the Vespa before it would have already done the job.

Dale

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2001\12\05@010845 by Dale Botkin

flavicon
face
On Tue, 4 Dec 2001, Sean H. Breheny wrote:

> Hi Dave,
>
> Perhaps I misunderstood the original claim, but I thought that he was
> implying that you very plainly apply a torque and then somehow, the thing
> "floats" as the masses continue spinning with no applied force or torque
> (except gravity).

... let me guess...  perpetually?

8-)

Dale

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2001\12\05@012111 by Matt Pobursky

flavicon
face
On Wed, 5 Dec 2001 14:59:05 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:
>> If people really wanted to ride around on tiny scooters
>> as their main form of transportation, it would have
>> happened long ago.
>
>
>I take it you have never been to Taiwan :-)
>
>
>    RM

Actually I have been to Taiwan. And for cities like Taipei, these things might make some sense. But I agree with Dale B., for anywhere I've seen on the North American continent they'd be pretty impractical.

Not that I don't think it's a cool device -- I do -- I just see it as not very practical for the majority of people worldwide.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

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2001\12\05@012124 by Jim

flavicon
face
Without electronic wizardry?

That's all that makes this particular trick
work!

Jim


----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell McMahon" <apptechspamBeGonespamCLEAR.NET.NZ>
To: <RemoveMEPICLIST@spam@spamspamBeGoneMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 8:00 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Did someone think?


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2001\12\05@064750 by Gerhard Fiedler

flavicon
face
I don't know whether this thing is innovative or not -- I guess the near
future will show this clearer. But sometimes, "innovation" is not
necessarily a technical breakthrough. Like the GUI popularized by the early
Macs: there was nothing technically innovative in it, it was "just" the
specific way things were organized and working together. There was nothing
technically new in the first mouse, yet it was an innovation -- everybody
and his sister is using one today.

At 20:54 12/04/2001 -0500, Sean H. Breheny wrote:
>I should have been clearer. By "people" I meant people on this list. It
>seemed to me as though some people here were amazed by the fact that this
>works.
>
>At 02:25 PM 12/4/01 -0600, you wrote:
>> > Do people not realize that controls engineers have been stabilizing
>> > unstable systems with feedback for a long time?

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2001\12\05@095235 by Martin Peach

flavicon
face
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dale Botkin" <.....dale@spam@spamEraseMEBOTKIN.ORG>
To: <.....PICLISTRemoveMEspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 5:57 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Did someone think?


> > > I don't even understand why people think the technology is so
innovative.
> > > Do people not realize that controls engineers have been stabilizing
> > > unstable systems with feedback for a long time?
> >
> > Maybe it marks the first application of ordinary aviation engineering to
> > ground transport. Anyway, I can see it is definitely going to replace
cars
> > in the cities within a few years.
>
> Not any cars in any cities anywhere near me.  I don't think most people
> around hre, for example, would use an open 12MPH scooter for a year-round,
> 10+ mile commute -- and that's in a medium-small city.  We have snow,
> rain, winds, traffic, and I haven't noticed my house moving any closer to
> my office (or anywhere near my office suddenly becoming a viable pace to
> live).

A lot of people around here (Montreal) actually live in the city and use the
subway and buses, which are generally a pain to use if you enjoy freedom of
movement. They also learn to deal with extreme weather as pedestrians. I
suppose the rich will continue to insist on their right to breathe everyone
else's air but what can you do?

>
> Maybe food delivery in LA or someting, but...  well, those people already
> use mopeds and such that cost one heckuva lot less to own and operate.

Price will inevitably drop in time after development costs have been covered
and monopoly profits must decline when/wherever competition is allowed.
Think ten years or a hundred instead.

> What do you think those fancy flat NiMH or NiCd batteries are going to
> cost to replace every year or two?

I have already had the idea ( as have many others no doubt ) for a network
of battery stations that would replace your flat battery in 10 seconds or
less or your money back. All it would take is a big enough consumer base and
a standardised battery pack.
<rant>
But what can you do? These are the sort of things that require government
subsidy (financed e.g. via tax on petroleum products) to get off the ground
because the entrenched interests are already making quite enough money from
the way things are now.
</rant>
/\/\/\/*=Martin

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2001\12\05@104456 by M. Adam Davis

flavicon
face
His claim is false.  The only effect that a gyroscope has is that it
resists rotation.  To get levitation you'd have to have a device that
resists translation (movement along the x, y and z axis').

Problem with devices that resist translation is that they'd fly off the
earth at incredible speeds, which, while interesting to watch (from a
distance) is not a necessarily practical (or useful) technology, even if
it were possible.  Motion can only be measured relative to something
else, and I doubt one could create a device that resists translation AND
moves relative to the earth.

Physics encompasses larger areas than a small workshop, and too many
people fail to take the universe into account.

-Adam

Jinx wrote:

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2001\12\05@113547 by David P. Harris

picon face
good answer!
David

"M. Adam Davis" wrote:

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2001\12\05@124621 by Douglas Butler

flavicon
face
Sure I would like a small electric scooter, but I don't see a real
advantage to Ginger versus a battery powered Razor.  Sure Ginger can
balance at low speed, but I don't need a machine to do that!  They say
it can go 12 or 18 mph, but how well does it corner at those speeds?  If
you are zipping down the sidewalk and a dog runs out in front of you,
you are still going to get a face full of gravel.  As far as I can see
Ginger in a quick stop would have to accelerate to get your feet out in
front of you so you could the decelerate at even a fraction of a G.
That would feel pretty scary, and if your knees buckle, it's all over.

Nice toy, but Transportation Revolution?  No way!

Sherpa Doug

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2001\12\05@151111 by Russell McMahon

picon face
> Sure I would like a small electric scooter, but I don't see a real
> advantage to Ginger versus a battery powered Razor.  Sure Ginger can
> balance at low speed, but I don't need a machine to do that!  They say
> it can go 12 or 18 mph, but how well does it corner at those speeds?  If
> you are zipping down the sidewalk and a dog runs out in front of you,
> you are still going to get a face full of gravel.  As far as I can see
> Ginger in a quick stop would have to accelerate to get your feet out in
> front of you so you could the decelerate at even a fraction of a G.
> That would feel pretty scary, and if your knees buckle, it's all over.


How well it stops depends on how good the control really is.
To the uninitiated it would certainly be scary.
Once you get it REALLY leaning backwards you could conceivably decelerate at
a healthy fraction of one g !
This is limited by the fact that as you lean backwards you decrease the
downward force of on the wheels which is required for friction to act.
At the same time you need to lean backwards to counteract the decelerating
force which want to spit you off forwards.
As you approach horizontal the flipping moment approaches zero but the
stopping friction also approaches zero.
Should be simple enough to work out the limiting case but intuitively it
feels like it may be around 0.5g

The height of the overall cofg above the wheel contact point is also a
factor
Buckling knees would help as this gets your c of g down which then requires
less backwards lean to counteract your forward deceleration.
Hanging out the back would probably help even more.
Trusting the control system to manage this without spitting you off or
laying you on your back is another matter.

Not the sort of thing you would see Joe Average Ginger user doing but you
can imagine that after you have mastered doing an aerial off the top of a
half pipe the above manoeuvres would become not only second nature but
obligatory for survival :-)



       Russell McMahon

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2001\12\05@162442 by Gerhard Fiedler

flavicon
face
At 09:09 12/06/2001 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:
> > you are still going to get a face full of gravel.  As far as I can see
> > Ginger in a quick stop would have to accelerate to get your feet out in
> > front of you so you could the decelerate at even a fraction of a G.
> > That would feel pretty scary, and if your knees buckle, it's all over.
>
>How well it stops depends on how good the control really is.
>To the uninitiated it would certainly be scary.
>Once you get it REALLY leaning backwards you could conceivably decelerate at
>a healthy fraction of one g !

As I see it, IT can keep balance mainly through accelerating or
decelerating. I think it becomes really funny when you're at the maximum
speed and lean forward... :)

ge

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2001\12\05@165813 by David Minkler

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face
Hi,

Russell McMahon wrote:

> Should be simple enough to work out the limiting case but intuitively it
> feels like it may be around 0.5g

Depends on the coefficient of friction between the wheels and what's
under them ... think "on
wet ice"!!!

> ... but you can imagine that after you have mastered doing an aerial off the top of a
> half pipe the above manoeuvres would become not only second nature but obligatory for
> survival :-)

I'll do my surviving inside a car thank you.

Best regards,

Dave

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2001\12\07@114632 by Roman Black

flavicon
face
Nice post Doug, you can rely on someone that rides
existing 2-wheel transport to evaluate new 2-wheel
transport ideas I reckon. :o)

Is Ginger going to revolutionise transport??
Lets see:
* Bicycle is 10x cheaper.
* bike is faster
* bike uses no electricity
* bike can go up/down steeper grades
* bikes have good suspension these days
* bike better off road
* bike is a lot better under brakes!!
* bike is light (carry up stairs?)
* electric bike is more efficient
(most efficient electric vehicle on the
planet according to Calif EV magazine)
* bike has a SEAT (why stand to travel?)
* bike is skinnier, better in traffic

This Ginger technology is a fairly poor form of
human transport, an electric skateboard
(you can buy them) is easier to carry, faster,
smaller, and better standing transport on
concrete at least.

But I do see a use for this concept for robots,
being able to stand tall and turn on axis.
-Roman


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2001\12\07@114736 by Roman Black

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Russell McMahon wrote:

> How well it stops depends on how good the control really is.
> To the uninitiated it would certainly be scary.
> Once you get it REALLY leaning backwards you could conceivably decelerate at
> a healthy fraction of one g !

Whoa! I doubt it. I decelerate at 1G regularly
on my racing motorbike and it's not a force
to be taken lightly. :o) NO WAY that 2 wheeled
Ginger thing is going to decelerate as quickly
as a normal car, or even a good bicycle, never
mind a racing vehicle at 1G!

Max acceleration and deceleration must be a force
determined by the power of the gyroscope, and
1G with that rough vehicle and rider weight would
be close to 70kW. And WHAT happens if you exceed
the ability of the flywheel??

I'm really curious about the REAL performance of
this "vehicle". How good is energy efficiency per
mile compared to say a Californian electric bicycle??
What is the steepest grade? Max accel/decel?
What's the max gyroscope power? How does constant
use affect the flywheel bearings? Any accel/decel
will cause nasty precession forces on the flywheel
bearings, what life will they give?

And why does it need active feedback? My toy
gyroscope stands perfectly on a pinpoint (or one or
two wheels if you like).
-Roman

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2001\12\07@144237 by Douglas Butler

flavicon
face
The few sketches I have seen don't show any large gyros (reaction
wheels), just small sensing gyros.  I think the only hefty motors are
the ones driving the traction wheels.

Ginger would be a neat platform for building a home robot on.  But most
home robot builders would rather start from closer to scratch.

Sherpa Doug

> {Original Message removed}

2001\12\07@153504 by Jim

flavicon
face
  "And WHAT happens if you exceed
   the ability of the flywheel??"

Who mistakenly led you to believe this
device (Ginger) uses a flywheel?

Rate and position gyros of the solid state
variety (used in a feedback/control loop
to the two independently driven wheels) - yes.

A 'flywheel' per se, no ...

Jim



{Original Message removed}

2001\12\07@161117 by Jim

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Hmmm ... it seems that most of the ASSUMPTIONS
assumed below in the comparison of the Ginger to
a bicycle assume a human being in near perfect
physical shape (are you going to live forever at
your current physical capacity Roman?) AND operated
in an environ free from objects a necessary
distance and 'free space' ahead of it as is
normally required to operate a bike (a bike and
rider DO NOT BALANCE standing still) making the
bicycle ONLY suitable for unrestricted *outside*
use.

Ginger, however (until it's power source runs down),
may operate in a stationary 'static' manner which
a bicycle is unable to do - and in relatively tight
quarters ...

Two entirely different vehicles with completely
different missions and requirements/demands on
it's operator.

Jim

{Original Message removed}

2001\12\07@170652 by Scott Newell

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>normally required to operate a bike (a bike and
>rider DO NOT BALANCE standing still) making the

You've obviously never seen a skilled cyclist execute a track stand.  (Ok,
they might move back and forth a few inches.)


newell

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2001\12\07@193354 by M. Adam Davis

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Which is all that ginger is doing - except on the order of millimeters
instead of inches.

Of course, the axis of balnce is different, but the principle is the same.

-Adam

Scott Newell wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\12\07@203041 by Peter L. Peres

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> Once you get it REALLY leaning backwards you could conceivably
> decelerate at a healthy fraction of one g !

At 45 degrees angle you could brake at 1g and experience 1.4g's.

> As you approach horizontal the flipping moment approaches zero but the
> stopping friction also approaches zero.

If you are braking in equilibrum and not falling over backwards then the
vertical force on the board will NOT decrease. Your 'weight' would
increase due to the g's, and the respective (cosine) force on the board
would be compensated exactly.

Whether the control systems could take it is another matter. I have seen
circus bicycles doing tricks at almost 45 degrees (braking or
accelerating) with no trouble (and a wet control system well hidden behind
makeup and large false ears and nose). No problems, once the system is
properly trained ;-).

Peter

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2001\12\07@203055 by Peter L. Peres

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> As I see it, IT can keep balance mainly through accelerating or
> decelerating. I think it becomes really funny when you're at the maximum
> speed and lean forward... :)

Imho you need to see a film about, or read a book, titled something like
'legged walking robots'.

Also there was a demo for Tokin/Murata piezo gyros that consists of a
stick (about 60cm long) with two RC servos in the middle around a ball
joint and an electronic box with batteries and gyros on the top. You put
it down, electronic-less end down, and it stands there, vertically, servos
fighting any fall-down tendency by bending the upper side of the stick). I
do not remember where I saw this. I understand that it eventually fell
over (these gyros have offset).

Peter

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2001\12\07@203544 by Ian Jordan

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The Segway doesn't use a big gyro- it uses small semiconductor gyros as part
of the feedback loop. The wheels are powered by electric motors, and a
feedback loop controls the motors to keep it upright. There is no big
spinning weight in it. Gyro action is not what keeps it upright.

It should be able to brake just as well as a motorcycle does. In heavy
braking, almost all the weight transfers to the front wheels on a bike, so
you really only have a front axle anyway. On the Segway, you lean back,
which means all the weight is on the "front" axle, and there should be no
real performance difference. Of course, the Segway probably doesn't have
really sticky tires like a "racing motorbike" but I'm sure the aftermarket
will come up with some ;)

It goes up to 18 miles on "5c" of electricity, which I take to mean 1/2
kilowatt. It goes 12 mph, so it uses about 330 watts. I have found info that
an electric bike at the same speed uses about 100 watts. So yes, an electric
bike appears to be more efficient, but I'm not quite sure why. They should
have effectively the same efficiency the way I see it, minus the processing
power needed by the processors onboard the Segway.

--Ian

{Original Message removed}

2001\12\07@204319 by Peter L. Peres

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> His claim (he says is backed and supported by engineers world-wide) is
> that the end effect is levitation

Yep, right. Another victim of vector multiplication confusion. ;-)

Peter

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2001\12\07@204339 by Peter L. Peres

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> When you park "IT", does it wander around a bit trying to remain
> stationery in space or does it somehow reference the current earth
> position?

If you park it for 12 hours with the motor on you will find it standing
with the wrong end up ...

Peter

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2001\12\07@230321 by Bob Ammerman

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Roman,

I thought Ginger had a (small) gyroscope to determine orientation and
rotation and used that to control the motors that drive the wheels. I do not
thinnk it has a big flywheel for stability. Am I wrong?

Bob  Ammerman
RAm Systems


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2001\12\07@231522 by 859-1?Q?Alexandre_Guimar=E3es?=

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Hi,

> I thought Ginger had a (small) gyroscope to determine orientation and
> rotation and used that to control the motors that drive the wheels. I do
not
> thinnk it has a big flywheel for stability. Am I wrong?

   By what I have read it actually has 5 solid state gyros !! It can detect
attitude changes in any direction. Should have been a nice control program
to implement :-)

Best regards,
Alexandre Guimaraes

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2001\12\07@235119 by Russell McMahon

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> It goes up to 18 miles on "5c" of electricity, which I take to mean 1/2
> kilowatt. It goes 12 mph, so it uses about 330 watts. I have found info
that
> an electric bike at the same speed uses about 100 watts. So yes, an
electric
> bike appears to be more efficient, but I'm not quite sure why. They should
> have effectively the same efficiency the way I see it, minus the
processing
> power needed by the processors onboard the Segway.


The stability requires dynamic application of acceleration and deceleration
to maintain a stable position, even at constant velocity. This could require
significant energy.




       RM

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2001\12\07@235249 by Jinx

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> By what I have read it actually has 5 solid state gyros !! It can detect
> attitude changes in any direction. Should have been a nice control
> program to implement :-)

Don't know if Ginger uses any accelerometers, but anyway it's a
good opportunity to mention this new method under investigation
by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The
devices promise easier manufacture, lower cost, better reliability
and performance. The review I read of the work being carried out
was very positive

http://mems.nist.gov/Publications/ASME.Nov98.Veljko.pdf

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2001\12\08@005427 by 859-1?Q?Alexandre_Guimar=E3es?=

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   They seem to be using just the gyros.

> Don't know if Ginger uses any accelerometers, but anyway it's a
> good opportunity to mention this new method under investigation
> by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The
> devices promise easier manufacture, lower cost, better reliability
> and performance. The review I read of the work being carried out
> was very positive
>
> http://mems.nist.gov/Publications/ASME.Nov98.Veljko.pdf

   There are already some accelerometers being made that way ! I even have
a sample here and it works just as well as analog device "classic" devices.
I can not remember the name of the company right now but it was founded by
Ex-Analog devices employes and one of the investors is Analog devices ! My
project that would use the components did not move as I thought so I can not
say anything about price.

Best regards,
Alexandre Guimaraes

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2001\12\08@070455 by Roman Black

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Douglas Butler wrote:
>
> The few sketches I have seen don't show any large gyros (reaction
> wheels), just small sensing gyros.  I think the only hefty motors are
> the ones driving the traction wheels.
>
> Ginger would be a neat platform for building a home robot on.  But most
> home robot builders would rather start from closer to scratch.


Whoops!! Please forgive my ignorance. My knowledge
of the Ginger vehicle is limited to the few minutes
of fairly impressive looking footage I saw on the
TV news, showing it standing stable and being
"ridden" with no hands by tilting it etc.

Hmm. Now i'm even less impressed. Being an old
gyroscope enthusiast I assumed it had used a larger
flywheel to stand upright and gryoscopic precession
to convert tilt into forward motion.

So it's just two DC motors and a control system??
I wonder why was there no hunting when the machine
is standing unattended? Possibly the hunting was
too small or too high a freq to be visible in the
footage I saw. Surely that would take more energy
than an efficient gyroscope.

And what happens when you park it outside a shop
and the wind blows it??

I think maybe some innovative technology like the
"third wheel" or the "side-stand" would improve
this vehicle. <cheeky> ;o)

I wonder if anyone has built a one-wheeled robot
using a gyroscope or contra-rotating gyroscopes...
-Roman

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2001\12\08@081706 by Roman Black

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Ian Jordan wrote:
>
> The Segway doesn't use a big gyro- it uses small semiconductor gyros as part
> of the feedback loop. The wheels are powered by electric motors, and a
> feedback loop controls the motors to keep it upright. There is no big
> spinning weight in it. Gyro action is not what keeps it upright.
>
> It should be able to brake just as well as a motorcycle does.

Sorry about that, I didn't know it was a DC motor
vehicle when I posted that. :o)

> It goes up to 18 miles on "5c" of electricity, which I take to mean 1/2
> kilowatt. It goes 12 mph, so it uses about 330 watts. I have found info that
> an electric bike at the same speed uses about 100 watts. So yes, an electric
> bike appears to be more efficient, but I'm not quite sure why. They should
> have effectively the same efficiency the way I see it, minus the processing
> power needed by the processors onboard the Segway.

Energy efficiency at LOW speeds is primarily
dependant on rolling resistance. You need large
diameter wheels, and very small and hard contact
patch of the tyres, like a bicycle. And good
bearings help. Small chubby wheels won't perform
as well, and electric bikes have proven even more
efficient in the standard "coasting" setup than
in direct geared with regenerative braking, which
I suspect is the format in the Ginger.
-Roman

PS. "Segway"??? That's worse than "Ginger". ;o)

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