Sunday, January 11, 2015

NCSS 2015 - Day 7

Thanks to EFF-Graphics for the use of their image
Back to Lectures and Labs.

Lecture 8:
Covered the way Bluetooth (named after a scandawegian pirate king Arrr!) works. There was talk about stacks and more acronyms than should rightly be introduced at one time. I feel fuzzy about this stuff (bad war flashbacks to Data Comms at uni). I did get the stuff about AT commands and their syntax (a good this to get). It's necessary to get the Bluetooth modules talking to each other for the project.

Lab 7: 
BLUETOOTH! We took a pair of Bluetooth chips (master and slave) and got them set up to send and receive messages. Much of the lab time in the morning was taken up with planning the video our team is making.We then only just had the circuit set up to send a signal from a soft potentiometer across Bluetooth to a buzzer on the other circuit when time was called D'oh!

Soft potentiometer in the foreground and buzzer in the background.
Lecture 9: ADC (Analogue to Digital Conversion). We talked about the requirements of ADC and it was really interesting to think about sampling in terms of the electronics rather than just generally. A continuous stream of data (Analogue) is not possible to represent on a digital device without infinite memory. The ADC has a resolution and a quantisation. Resolution being the range of values and the precision of those values. Quantisation is the clock speed and the resulting sample rate. (If you don't need that level of accuracy, you can use less than the maximum sample rate e.g. temp sensor for an airconditioner)

Out of interest, even exciting looking insects like Sydney Uni!
Lab 8: We get our teams and decide projects and get our ROBOTS! This lab was a time of pitching and negotiation between team members. There will be a Robolympics on the all nighter (Monday night) and we will be having volunteers from the Python teams to compete in our "challenge". First we had to define our challenge. Our team came up with 2 nice ideas: one was a robot race between 2 robots driven by people with arms outstretched (think zombies) left arm will steer depending on angle and right arm will drive speed forwards base upon up down movement -- in order to make it trickier, right arm will be weighted by something. The other idea was to have a "Bop it" type game where in stead of the small inputs that the game "Bop it" uses, we define big movements like windmill arms, planking, jogging etc and tell the user which to do based upon a light on the robot. The robots moves along the floor a set amount based upon the number of moves done in an amount of time and then the winner is the robot that reaches the end first. After much discussion our team went with the "Bop it" idea. (This is still in fleshing out stage so some of this might change.) we then got our robot moving around the table and following instructions. That's half the project done right?

Interesting Stuff Learned

Evening Activity: Cryptography Challenge. I have done this challenge twice and both times I have completely failed at it. I don't think I'm going to be working for ASIO any time soon. There are a bunch of teams who have a tutorial to follow and a two computers and one is meant to be used to decrypt existing codes and one should be used to write encryption functions. I had a really good idea for a decent encryption but based on tiredness, logic errors and lack of proficiency with Python I got it debugged just after the closing bell. (2 hours of frustration!!) I don't deal with that level of frustration well. Congratulations to all the amazing teams who managed much more than I did.

Murder: I am now undead.

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