NYC: Bike Punks and Coffee Geeks

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© demon cat

Back in February, I traveled to New York City to participate in Monstertrack and investigate the 3rd wave coffee shop scene. I drove up with my friends Seth, Gregg, and Chris. We left Atlanta at 4pm on Thursday and drove throughout the night, arriving in Manhattan about 10 am Friday morning. As soon as we pulled into the parking garage, we assembled our bikes and took off to explore the city. We had plans to stay with NY messengers Pablo and Victor, who were organizing the race, so first we dropped off most of our gear at Pablo’s house in the Lower East Side.

The race, which wouldn’t be until the next day, consisted of eleven checkpoints. Five of them were released on the internet several weeks prior, so the four of us decided to pinpoint their exact locations. Furthermore, I knew that I would need a bike helmet for the race so our next stop was one of the checkpoints: a track bike-only shop called Trackstar.
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Wankel Rotary Engine CAD conversion

3/7/2017 UPDATE: A commenter made some nice updates to both the translation and the geometry of the project. Be sure to read Martin’s comments below.

1/2/2014 UPDATE: After some interest from other folks in this project, I’m sharing all of my final Solidworks files. I’ve talked with the original sponsor and he has agreed to release them. You can download a zip file here. The files are organized by part. All of the final drawings and parts are annotated with “_finished” in the filename.  Some of the original scans are also included.

3/31/2013 UPDATE: A kind reader has found the original drawings in a model airplane magazine from 1964. I’ve included the PDF below in the Resources section. The blue prints are on pages 17-18. It is interesting to note that the model was submitted as an entry to a contest to generate an epitrochoidal engine (an epicycloid is a type of epitrochoid). However, as I show below, the chamber isn’t an epicycloid.

I have been contracted to convert the SW92 Wankel rotary engine from its original 1950’s paper format (in German) to electronic format (in English). I am utilizing Solidworks 2005 to reconstruct 13 of the 36 pieces included in the blueprints. Furthermore, I am relying on a tremendous effort from MacField Young to perform most of the German to English translations. The sole purposes of this blog entry are to communicate with my contractor, to document my progress, and relay certain concerns. In other words, this entry is a work in progress finished!.

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Dr. Khatib, Georgia Tech RIM Seminar Series

Georgia Tech’s Robotics Initiative has continued the free lecture series this semester. The bad news is that this semester’s schedule has been so poorly advertised to the public (no eye catching flyers like last semester) that I missed the first three of the year. The good news is that if you search for it, you’ll find that this semester’s schedule has lectures planned almost every week.

Last week’s guest speaker was Dr. Oussama Khatib, who is a member of Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and Professor in computer science. Furthermore, he is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research. Dr. Khatib presented his research which focuses on human-centered and human-friendly robotics.
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DIY: Shoes, Dye and Paint

As a Christmas present, I decided to dye and paint a pair of shoes for my sister. I wanted them to match some clothes I bought her for her birthday. I also knew that I liked the Van’s Prison Issue #23 shoe (which I bought from Abbadabba’s), so I bought RIT Fabric Dye and generic fabric paint. The canvas/rubber combination of the shoe served as the perfect setup to add color without loosing the white soles. I started with the buff white / true white shoe, dyed it pink, and painted-on white flowers.

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Dr. Leonard, Georgia Tech RIM Seminar Series

Several weeks ago , I had the pleasure of attending another lecture organized by the Robotics Initiative at Georgia Tech . This time the speaker was Dr. John Leonard who presented his current research in Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM). Dr. Leonard is a member of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). His lecture was an amalgamate of theory, research applications, and future aspirations.

Dr. Leonard concisely describes SLAM by saying on his website:

The problem of SLAM is stated as follows: starting from an initial position, a mobile robot travels through a sequence of positions and obtains a set of sensor measurements at each position. The goal is for the mobile robot to process the sensor data to produce an estimate of its position while concurrently building a map of the environment.

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