The Beginnings of a Robot

A few months ago, I purchased and old lego mindstorms kit from a friend. He wasn’t using it much and I wanted to play around with some robotics in my spare time (as PhD funding is so hard to secure). I figured before investing in a new kit, it would be good to have a play around and install LeJos on an older model. Since it is not a USB kit, it has in fact caused a lot of hassle. Firstly, connecting to the Com1 port and making sure that the environment variables are set up. Secondly, ensuring that the battery that is used for the infra red port doesn’t drain quickly and thirdly having to re-install the firmware for LeJos everytime the battery dies on the RCX block. All I want to do is install LeJos so I can write code, instead of using the mindstorms software, which is in fact for kids!!! So tomorrow, I will set out in buying a new battery for the IR tower. In the mean time, here is a photograph of the robot so far. Currently, I have only built it in it’s basic elements. Additions to come soon… I am hoping to invest in the newer NXT Model soon. Lastly, watch this space for more updates on...

Robot Problems!

I have an old mindstorms kit (pre-usb days) which I recently acquired off a friend. This is to allow me to play around with robotics in my spare time. Now being an AI graduate and a developer, I don’t really want to be using the mindstorms software so I put LeJos (Java for lego) on it before. Once the battery dies, you have to re-install the firmware. Only it’s not working. At first I was having problems with the RCXTTY variable not being set, although I’ve solved that. The current problem I am encountering is that it tries to install the firmware and then I get the following error: C:Lejosbin>firmdl.batread firmware srec 100%Installing firmwareLoading native libsTower error: write failure I have spent a good part of the night trying to sort this out and only half watching the England game. I’ve googled for help and I’m at a loss. I have read and followed the the instructions and I’m sure they are correct. The only other thing I can think of is that the battery might not be at the capacity required to install this. I’ll try a battery replacement and if that doesn’t work just throw it out the...

End of Sprint

So we have finished the sprint for this release. The code freeze was last night and the demo this morning. The client were satisfied and the demo was short and sweet. This sprint hasn’t been very heavy going, as there hasn’t been any new functionality introduced just enhancements of exisiting functionality. Two recurring issues in this sprint have been: 1) The client constantly chopping and changing what they want and leaving it to the last minute to request these changes. 2) Dev’s digressing from the requirements set out in the story and trying to do ‘clever’ things. Although 1) might seem like the changes are minor, the issues are more around the bigger picture and the impact that it will have on making the change. This includes amending test scripts, deploying to the sprint test environment, re-testing, fixing any bugs that may arise and assessing any impacts on existing fucntionality. Now, at the beginning of a sprint it’s easier to be a little flexible, after all we are Agile but there’s a huge difference between flexibility and completely bending over backwards and becoming a bunch of yes people. It should never be the latter! For 2) Although it is nice to have innovation, when you are working for a client who has specified what they want, if you don’t meet that then the innovation means nothing. I witnessed the client actually tell a dev so you’ve done x, y and z, that’s great but not what I wanted. I wanted you to make a minor change to a and that’s it. Please can you roll back x,y and z...