Okay, so usually when I get a horrid case of Writer's Block and just can't seem to push through a project, I just walk away for a while and pick something that satisfies any or all of 3 conditions:
(1) It has to be completely non-productive from a business angle.
(2) It should involve some sort of purchase that I might regret later.
(3) It should take away 2 to 3 hours that I won't get back.
I'm happy to announce that my latest NXT project has satisfied all 3 conditions, making it a worthy blog news item - it's a non-autonomous tri-wheeled rover with virtual exploration capabilities.
Okay, it's a remote controlled tribot with a wireless camera that feeds into some virtual goggles I bought and allows me to drive my tribot while I'm not in the room.
Here's how it breaks down:
2. 2nd NXT Remote Control
3. Wireless Camera (with microphone!)
4. Wireless Camera Receiver
5. Video Eyewear (goggles)
The latest issue of MAKE magazine spurred me to do it - the cover has a remote control car that sends a wireless video signal to its owner's goggles. You've probably seen similar toys that allow you to view the action from the vehicle's point of view. Well, it works... and then some.
1. You can get dizzy if it gets moving too fast.
2. Turning left and right will actually cause you to either turn your head or lean in your chair.
3. It's addictive.
4. It makes your spouse shake her head and walk away mumbling something...
5. It's like having a 50" widescreen TV about 8 feet in front of you.
6. Yes, those goggles have ear pieces for sound (woo hoo - patrol your house for hostiles)
7. Did I mention you can get REAL dizzy doing it?
8. Yes, the goggles look a little goofy, but did I mention how fun it is to see things from your tribot's perspective?
9. I've got ALL KINDS of new robot ideas to try with this thing.
I wish I could post a video of what the experience is like - I'll do some digging and maybe I can find a way to split the signal and send it to my laptop so you can see what I see...
And... magically... my Writer's Block feels over. Back to work.