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Thread: Steam Automaton Groucho

  1. #31
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    Re: Steam Automaton Groucho

    Spinny magnetic stuff not get broken by writing process as fast as non-spinny memory stuff. 8GB spinny thing in thin thinky thing from 2001 survive 12 years of torture by many users. 160/320/640GB spinny storage things from 2005/2007/2009/2011 and mobile 500GB spinny thing from 2011 all chug along nicely, while 8GB USB3 storage thingy from 2013 die in 6 months of little use. While 32GB non-spinny memory thing from late 2013 very fast, it used little because so small, and bigger non-spinny memory things not in reach of poor, learning flesh sack with broken thinky meat.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
    "You have failed me, Brain!"
    bleh

  2. #32
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    Re: Steam Automaton Groucho

    Considering that the flash memory used in USB sticks and SD cards and mini-SD cards are mainly supposed to be used to transfer files (such as images from cameras) rather than be used as hard drives, I'm surprised all those mini-Linux boards work for more than a few weeks on a card.

    As for your brain, I think it must be composed of non-spinny stuff like the rest of us. Though sometimes it *feels* like mine is spinny.
    -
    A little learning is a dangerous thing.

  3. #33

    Re: Steam Automaton Groucho

    sometimes it *feels* like mine is spinny
    Are you sure that's not the Tequila shots from Cinco de Mayo lingering? :-)

    I agree that USB sticks and cards are not super durable for writing. But properly wear-leveled SSDs from reliable providers (Intel, mainly, except for that one bad batch) have performed great for us, for many years, including in production database servers that re-write all of storage on a regular basis.

    Yes, in the glory days of good mechanical engineering, some spinny disks were made that last a long time before the inevitable head crash. With increasing density, that MTBF is going down, and SSDs are better. Even so, for laptops and robots, I want no moving parts other than the actuators if I can help it.

    Anyway, SSDs are coming down in price and up in capacity (8 TB SSD from Samsung due soon) -- the days of the spinny discs are numbered. You can't even get an 8 TB magnetic clunker.

  4. #34
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    Re: Steam Automaton Groucho

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    Anyway, SSDs are coming down in price and up in capacity (8 TB SSD from Samsung due soon) -- the days of the spinny discs are numbered. You can't even get an 8 TB magnetic clunker.
    The largest I've seen is 1 TB. I'm curious about the price of an 8 TB disk. Luckily I don't need one yet because I don't think I could afford it yet.
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    A little learning is a dangerous thing.

  5. #35
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    Re: Steam Automaton Groucho

    Quote Originally Posted by DangerousThing View Post
    Groucho has the topside slot filled with one and has a 1 TB SSD on the bottom..
    Why such a large hard drive for a robot?

  6. #36
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    Re: Steam Automaton Groucho

    Because Groucho will store data from the other robots of the Troupe (Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo). Also i plan to do some visual experiments and I may want stored feeds from all the cameras so I can figure out what went wrong.

    Groucho will be large enough that he can store enough batteries to keep a lot of things. He's an art work as well as a robot. At this point I just set up his brain as a small computer. Right now I don't really know what I'll want to store. And I can always get a smaller drive if I'm not using this one to its fullest.

    A long while ago I was the computer geek for my unit as Penn State, and I made a recommendation for hard drives based on what I thought was a reasonable increase in usage. We had to buy extra hard drives for everybody because I made a mistake. I find that it's better to get more than I need right now if there is even a possibility of needing it.
    -
    A little learning is a dangerous thing.

  7. #37

    Re: Steam Automaton Groucho

    I found that if you capture live streaming video from a HD stereo camera at 30 fps, available disk space gets eaten in a hurry...

  8. #38
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    Re: Steam Automaton Groucho

    Sorry, I've been away and not working on robots. I'm hoping to help set up a robotics club for children and young adults, but that's up in the air now. I've ordered more Groucho parts from eBay, including another wheelchair frame, motors, and wheels. I then used up most of the rest of my budget and bought a laser rangefinder from RobotShop.com, a Hokuyu URG-04LX-UG01, as well as getting some basic woodworking tools.

    I should be getting a bunch of packages (see above) starting today.

    We took a lightning hit that fried our computers and the DSL modem and parts of the entertainment center. Luckily Groucho's brain wasn't effected. So now I have to put together a NAS to backup important files before I get to work on robots. Then I am going to have a go at fixing Lee's computer. Once I get a second computer I'll be using that, until then I'll be using a BBB. The NAS will connect wirelessly because the lightning came from the DSL modem through the ethernet wires.

    And then I have to clean house. Sometimes I wonder why I got married.

    More robots. Real Soon Now!
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    A little learning is a dangerous thing.

  9. #39
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    Re: Steam Automaton Groucho

    I now have two different wheelchair frames and a battery that doesn't fit either of them. So now I have to figure out how to modify one of the frames or else make a new frame from some 8020 aluminum extrusions and plywood.

    Modifying a frame will probably leave its strength intact.

    Building a new frame has the advantage of looking like I want it to look, and I think I can make it strong also. I'd also need some curved areas which I might not be able to do with my current knowledge and skills. On the other hand, I've rarely let that stop me before.

    Decisions, decisions. I think it will come down to how easily I can attach the motors to a plywood box. I *really* wish that I hadn't let Lee talk be into getting rid of my CNC mill. It would be very useful right now.
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  10. #40
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    Re: Steam Automaton Groucho

    Quick update: I am redesigning SA-Groucho to be a two-wheeled balancing robot (AKA a Mobile Inverse Pendulum Robot). This will allow him to fit better in our home.

    However, before I go all crazy with a 5' tall behemoth powered by wheelchair motors, I'm going to be making a prototype Mini-Groucho with some smaller motors using only 12 volts. Mini Groucho will only be 2-3 foot tall and have a lot less weight. I'll be powering MG with a 12v 10 amp-hr battery, and for the electronics I'll be using a cell-phone charger battery for the electronics.

    I'll probably be using a Teensy 3.1 for the brains.

    This is mainly to test the theories regarding control of a MIPR. I have the parts for this I only have to construct the motor support from thin sheet plastic cut and glued together. I'll also have to cut some scrap 8020 extrusions to fit. So a couple weeks work and I'll have a bot that can fall down easily. And yes, I will be making a blooper reel.
    -
    A little learning is a dangerous thing.

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