OMG, HAS IT REALLY BEEN THAT LONG?!
Okay, a wee bit on the dramatic side, but I might as well make an entrance :-)
Well, I'm a good couple of months into my second year at Uni now with some pretty good grades from the first year under my belt and, as expected, the second year is proving so much harder to keep up with. That said, I am still enjoying it, especially now we're starting to get into the interesting stuff I signed up for.
In the first year, the Principles of AI and A-Life module was just a bit of a primer where we got to play with the NetLogo simulator, but that was about it from the technical aspect. This year, the module is called Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and we actually get the chance to build robots!
Now, before you start getting all excited like a geek in a gadget shop, I'm going to put a dampener on things ... we're not talking Terminator, Asimo, Nao or even Aibo here. No, we're talking Lego.
Yes, you did read that right. Lego. I quit my job to play with Lego. I guess I could have saved a lot of money if I'd just had kids instead...
Anyhoo, despite the low budget equipment being used, it is pretty good for teaching the principles of robotics, and you can have a bit of a laugh at the results of whatever control algorithm you've dreamed up. In the case of the video below, we were tasked with programming the robot to use proportional control to maintain a certain distance away from an object, which worked until I put my foot in the way :S
Today, Lego, tomorrow ... mechano????