Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rockets and Robots

This post is for my Nephew, who loves both Rockets and Robots.

Here in Phoenix Arizona, model rocket enthusiasts are fortunate in that we have multitudes of rocket clubs, as well as the rainbow valley launch site (land designated for the sport close by Estrella park.

One of the founding fathers of the sport, G. Harry Stine lived here in Phoenix. I recommend that anyone who has children with any interest in science pick up a copy of his book, "The Handbook of Model Rocketry". The book is a must for anyone who plans to participate in the sport.

In the photos you will note that my launch pad and ignition system are all hand built. Some variations of plans presented in the Handbook. There is free software available at the N.A.R. that helps determine your CP, how high your rocket will fly etc.

The Robot was a Lego Mindstorm unit  my team put together while attending CSE101 at Arizona State University.This class was the most work for a 3 credit course I have ever experienced. However, the work was also the most rewarding and fun. I have heard that Dr. Chen conducts courses outside of ASU for young children. In these courses children can learn how to program a robot in a weekend. The Microsoft Robotics Studio is a free download from Microsoft. Coding is very similar to coding microsoft SSIS packages.

Robotics clubs also are abundant in town. We have an older nephew who participates in one.

I love working with robots as the programs you write get to work in three dimensions, rather than just two.

Some day soon amputees will gain the use of new robotic limbs that will be indistinguishable from their natural ones.

The lessons these children learn from these hobbies will open up possibilities that have not yet imagined.

Anyhoo, enjoy the videos. Stuff shooting up into the sky.

big daddy

frank | MySpace Video

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