A-Pod: Ant Inspired Hexapod Bobot

This is just begging for a nice commercial jingle.

A-Pod is an ant inspired hexapod robot with a 2 DOF abdomen (tail), a 3 DOF head with large mandibles. 6 legs with 3 DOF each. Total 25 servos. This video demonstrates body movement and mandible control. I still have to do some mechanical improvements to the legs (therefore little walking). The robot are remotely controlled with a custom 2,4 GHz RC transmitter.

Here is a link that documents the build

Grass Is Always Greener?

This old saying (as do many others) still rings true today and I imagine it always will be relevant. Most people are never fully satisfied with their own situation, and always think others have it better. Sometimes it is true, other times it is not, and sometimes it is just an argument of semantics. If you let it, this thought process can lead you to a depressed state or it can light a fire under your ass and push you forward. It’s a fine line to walk.

While reading an article and some of the user comments today, a commenter offered a few words to another responder that helped put my professional thinking back into a more positive perspective.

You are effective at all levels of the stack, and can build entire webapps (given enough time) by yourself, and you’re complaining about it?

The reason this little response hit so close to home is because I’ve grown into the “jack of all trades” role. I didn’t start out there, I was a “master at one” with a few other skills that were required and hard to find. I was worried about loosening the strangle-hold grip I had on my main skill-set. I thought my “master” level of ability would disappear and I would be left with a bunch of knowledge across a wide array of skills, and not really mastering any of them.

Though this can lead to a career killer, it didn’t for me. I’m able to stay relevant, I’ve learned so much more than I ever would have and it helps me to bring many different assets to the table that prove to be very beneficial to all involved. However, I do still try to concentrate on certain aspects of my skill-sets so I can say I am a master of at least one. And that quote above helps me to stay positive, something that is hard to do in today’s world, yet is so crucial.

Your mileage may vary.

John Resig: The DOM is a Mess

John does an alright job at explaining today’s functionality issues across various browsers and platforms. Earlier in my career, I had a very hard time explaining how complex of an issue this actually was and convincing people that there needed to be a line drawn in the sand. If no line was drawn, I would be forced to use old methods and in the rare case not be able to provide the intended functionality across all platforms and browsers. I’ve had many confrontations with team members as to why I chose a certain method for implementation while they had no clue of the numerous pitfalls and necessity for my implementation to reach such a wide a varying market of browsers and platforms.

For example, in 1995 I had to support just about every known browser and platform – no matter how slim of a market share they had or how far out of our demographic they were. Doing that caused me to bloat the code by probably 50% in some cases and still experience a few small issues in some of the less common browser markets.

Even back then, we looked toward the future where browsers would become more and more standards compliant and relatively use the same, or near the same, set of rules or standards. While advancements have been made towards that goal, almost every browser still has proprietary implementations that do not follow a strict guideline. This makes for a hard time when trying to code / script with new technologies and still meeting old requirements. User experience and performance are typically the two that probably suffer from it the most.