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.

kates_after

Continue reading “DIY: Shoes, Dye and Paint”

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.

Continue reading “Dr. Leonard, Georgia Tech RIM Seminar Series”

Light Bulb Efficiency Calculator

8/18/2012 UPDATE: From the comments, Andy pointed out that I had a mistake in my calculations. In the c_total equation, I should have divided by 1000, instead of multiplying by 1000. After he pointed this out, I checked the java script code as well. I had made an even more egregious mistake there. I had correctly divided by 1000 but I also had divided by power cost (dollars per kilowatt hour). I’ve now fixed the equation and the script. I also regenerated the results from the examples.


I am slowly upgrading the incandescent light bulbs in my house with more efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. However the higher purchase price of the new bulbs has me wondering if they are actually “worth it.” I also thought whether an even more efficient type of bulb, perhaps an LED light bulb, would be better.

bulbs.JPG

So, I set out to determine a value which would best quantify the “worth” of different bulbs and rank each based on this value.
Continue reading “Light Bulb Efficiency Calculator”

Dr. LaValle, Georgia Tech RIM Seminar Series

Last week, Dr. Steven M. LaValle, a Professor of Computer Science at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented as part of Georgia Tech’s Robotics and Intelligent Machines (RIM) Seminar Series. This was the second is a series of eight seminars spanning the Fall 2006 semester and I had the pleasure of attending and hear him speak.

Dr. LaValle structured his lecture around his new book, Planning Algorithms, which is available for free download here. He describes the book by saying:

This book presents a unified treatment of many different kinds of planning algorithms. The subject lies at the crossroads between robotics, control theory, artificial intelligence, algorithms, and computer graphics. The particular subjects covered include motion planning, discrete planning, planning under uncertainty, sensor-based planning, visibility, decision-theoretic planning, game theory, information spaces, reinforcement learning, nonlinear systems, trajectory planning, nonholonomic planning, and kinodynamic planning.

While he was there to present his entire book, he chose to focus on three areas of overlap between mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science which present “great potential for impact”: motion planning with differential constraints, feedback motion planning, and information spaces.
Continue reading “Dr. LaValle, Georgia Tech RIM Seminar Series”

Atlanta’s Historic Architecture

When I found out that my roommates and I would eventually have to move out of our West 14th Street loft, I began exploring different buildings around Atlanta. My hope was that I would find another historic space that would provide us with a similar atmosphere and lifestyle. I realized that with so many buildings to keep track of, I needed to compile a list complete with pictures, maps, descriptions, etc. I collected possible buildings as I rode around the city on my daily commute or sometimes I would explore with the intent of finding new places. I was specifically looking for late 19th and early 20th century industrial/commercial buildings. These were exclusively brick-and-mortar buildings, most of which served as infrastructure to Atlanta’s vast railway lines. I furthermore became interested in finding and cataloging some of Atlanta’s different neighborhoods and districts.

My list is horribly incomplete and only contains buildings which I, myself, have seen and photographed. I recorded the street address and then performed a Google search to find information about the availablity of each building. When possible I include a description of the building, its current status, and what I think is the correct name of the building. Those with the most appealing location and amenities are denoted with a red star.

Atlanta Historic Architecture List

Even though we have now found a place to live, I plan to continue to fill in this list including more detailed pictures and descriptions and expand it as I discover new structures around Atlanta.