web analytics

Uncategorized

Little on earth

Would please the howling freaks on the left like an altercation in which one of them is harmed in a public and violent way. They are throwing thestupidest and most vulnerable into the fray hoping one of them ends up the next Phan Thi Kim Phuc.

The purpose of their violent demonstrations is simply this: To create an atmosphere in which ordinarily coolheaded people, fed up with the childishness, retaliate. And then that retaliation will be used by all who can to de-legitimize the right. It will take very little to make this happen. It took very little to turn the tide of war for North Vietnam- only a few cherrypicked photographs taken out of context, and the treachery of people like Walter Cronkite and John Kerry. And the punks who got their heads cracked at the Ann Arbor, Berkley, Kent State, and Washington protests are all teachers now, and infuse the mush they fill their students heads with, with the “Glorious” memories of their youths fighting back at the Man.

So there are many, many cattle waiting to be led to the slaughter. And they all hope to be slaughtered, and they all hope that you do it, and they all hope that they can use video clips of you doing it to demonize us all.

Just don’t.

I don’t have to tell most people about this, most of you already have it figured out. It’s very tempting to think of how easy it would be to defend yourself against these shit flinging monkeys, but that is what they want- no, what they need to accomplish their goals.

This is the point where we need to take a page out of Gandhi’s book. No, I’m not a huge fan of the skinny little naked pacifist shitbird. But he’s got it right here, and as unpleasant as it sounds, this is how we have to do this.

From On Nonviolent Resistance by Mohandas K. Gandhi

There are two ways of countering injustice. One way is to smash the head of the man who perpetrates injustice and to get your own head smashed in the process. All strong people in the world adopt this course. Everywhere wars are fought and millions of people are killed. The consequence is not the progress of a nation but its decline…Pride makes a victorious nation bad-tempered. It falls into luxurious ways of living. Then for a time, it may be conceded, peace prevails. But after a short while, it comes more and more to be realized that the seeds of war have not been destroyed but have become a thousand times more nourished and mighty. No country has ever become, or will ever become, happy through victory in war. A nation does not rise that way; it only falls further. In fact, what comes to it is defeat, not victory. And if, perchance, either our act or our purpose was ill-conceived, it brings disaster to both belligerents.
But through the other method of combating injustice, we alone suffer the consequences of our mistakes, and the other side is wholly spared. This other method is satyagraha. One who resorts to it does not have to break another’s head; he may merely have his own head broken. He has to be prepared to die himself suffering all the pain. In opposing the atrocious laws of the Government of South Africa, it was this method that we adopted. We made it clear to the said Government that we would never bow to its outrageous laws. No clapping is possible without two hands to do it, and no quarrel without two persons to make it. Similarly, no State is possible without two entities, the rulers and the ruled. You are our sovereign, our Government, only so long as we consider ourselves your subjects. When we are not subjects, you are not the sovereign either. So long as it is your endeavor to control us with justice and love we will let you do so. But if you wish to strike at us from behind we cannot permit it. Whatever you do in other matters, you will have to ask our opinion about the laws that concern us. If you make laws to keep us suppressed in a wrongful manner and without taking us into confidence, these laws will merely adorn the statute books. We will never obey them. Award us for what punishment you like, we will put up with it. Send us to prison and we will live there as in a paradise. Ask us to mount the scaffold and we will do so laughing. Shower what sufferings you like upon us; we will calmly endure all and not hurt a hair of your body. We will gladly die and will not so much as touch you. But so long as there is yet life in these our bones, we will never comply with your arbitrary laws.

Remember how much he accomplished.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Always remember we have the moral high ground. We have to keep it.

Here’s the thing.

All the previous posts have been about the motion of the robot and the math it takes to achieve that motion. And most of that motion is anchored solidly to the ground.The machine tools and robots and etc, I mean, some of them work on moving objects, like robots painting cars or robots welding, but in reality, it’s all bolted down.

Lets take a look at positions, for a moment. You have a position in space, and so do I. We can look at our positions several ways, most commonly by distance and direction. This generally only works if there’s a road between us, which generally, there is not. We can sort of imagine that, though, as an airplane flight.

Once the airplane takes off, it is no longer connected to the planet. We have to give it’s location as a group of numbers. Imagining for a moment that the earth is flat, we can give that group of numbers as lat, long, and H above G. (Actual pilots have different ways of dealing with this, I’m just trying to simplify) Those three numbers would correspond to x,y, and z. If you know the origin and the destination and the location of the plane and it’s speed, it’s simple enough to calculate the time since departure and the time until arrival.

But this all treats the plane, the departure, and the arrival as dots. They arent, they have mass and occupy space. So there are three other important dimensions- they’re important to the passengers of the plane and damned important to the pilot. Pilots call them “Roll, Pitch, and Yaw”, and they correspond to the robot/machine tool A, B, and C.

The plane has it’s own six axis coordinates. The destination and departure places do as well. So do all of the people on the plane. So do all the parts of the people on the plane; as you move around your left foot has it’s own location in relation to your right, and it becomes fractally complex very quickly.

Now, I don’t know anything about football, but I know a powerful lot about motion. If you watch a football game, you will regularly see a man running, throwing a football at another man running, who catches it.

Think about this for a moment. This is of course a skill learned with some practice, but the sheer computing power required for the thrower to judge the distance he has to throw, compensating for the speed he is moving, all the while controlling his muscles to increase/decrease the speed, while watching for and examining obstacles, actually throw the ball, to another player who must also watch for and avoid obstacles, and intercept the ball, which has it’s own speed and direction and location, being simultaneously slowed by air friction and sped up by gravity in minute increments. And yes, there are incomplete passes but the fact that anyone catches a ball ever is downright astounding. And NFL players do it without ever thinking about it.

So now, do you still fear robots will be taking over soon? No, none of the things i have discussed are impossible to do with a robot, given resources, time, and money, but what would the point be?

Now, you’d think

Having such complexity would require incredible processing power. And you’d be right! But the simple fact is, the algorithms are really all the same, they just move in ways that are foreign to almost everyone.

The simple fact is, G code programming in machine tools, and TP programming in robots, is the simplest way to do the job. That’s why it’s still done that way. In the 80’s FANUC developed a language called KAREL, named after Karel Čapek , the man who coined the term “Robot” It was a compiled language much like Pascal, and was very powerful. It lasted a couple years, and mostly died. It was loved by code geeks, but not by customers who might need to change the code, because it meant paying a wad of cash to a programmer to make even the simplest change. KAREL took several weeks to learn and several months to be good at, even for a programmer accomplished in other languages.

So TPP was written (By FANUC, other robots use other similar languages) so you could teach someone the basics in a couple of days. I know, I’ve gotten TPP+ programming into people’s heads in under three days, a sharp guy can pick the most up in an afternoon. And it’s powerful. Now, there are a few things that KAREL is still useful for, mostly doing difficult communications via serial and Ethernet to pass data back and forth to other items- but even that functionality is being superceded, because as TPP (and other, similar languages) become ever more powerful, the needs for compiled code get fewer and fewer. And even that is nothing compared to the power of “basic” robot programming to deal with frames and user coordinate systems. So a robot sitting on the floor in a factory has it’s own “Frame”, and it’s gripper has it’s own “Frame”, and it has a mathematical image of the “Frames” of the conveyors, and the regrip stands, and the machines, and even the fixtures in the machines. And if those positions change, it is only neccesary to reteach the frame, not the whole program. That’s pretty sophisticated, but it’s just the beginning. Now take the frame that is attached to the workpiece, and put it in motion.

Yes, the robot has a program that it used to paint the part, in this case an axle, and the axle is moving, and the program modifies itself in real time to accomodate the motion of the part, and always paints the part in the same way. This is actually really simple to do, they teach the program when the part is stopped, and then just tell the robot how fast it’s going, and when it enters the robot envelope, and it just does it. Pretty neat, huh? Easy peasy. Now let’s put the robots on rails and move them too.

Yes, those robots- and there are at least six working on the car at any point- are following a car down a paint line. And they are painting it as it moves. And as they move. And several of the robots at any given time are being operated by the same control, so one CPU might be calculating the motion of a six axis robot, the three axis door opening robots, the rails that the robot move along, and the relationship between them all and the moving car. All the while monitoring the temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity in the paint booth and modifying the paint process in real time to optimize the amount of paint used. And the paint is electrostartically applied so there is almost no Fordite to be had, anymore. And the robots can pant each car it’s own color, there is no changeover of the assembly line to switch to a new color. And this is still not really even difficult to do, if I spend three or four days with anyone who can understand X, Y, and Z, they can do this; to have a firm and complete understanding of the geometry is rare, but it is also unnecessary. You teach the points, the robot does the work.

Next »