MEP EP#9: Robots with Feelings

Podcast Notes

  • Parker and Stephen are continuing to work on the Super Simple Power Supply. There is a full-on simulation of the analog section on MultiSim.
  • Stephen found a better way to control the analog end with two separate 16bit DACs. One controls the negative end and the other one controls the positive end of the opamp. 16 x 2 Blast Bit Processing!
  • Parker is working on an ESP8266 development board for the Parallax Propeller called the Bit Flicker. We will use blynk.cc. This will enable the SSPS to be IoT-enabled!
  • SAIM Servos arrived. Chassis should be finished by Monday. They are past the built in servo “test” routine. See Figure 1.
  • Transistor Wars: The Vacuum Tube Strikes Back. Vacuum channel transistor that switches as fast as 460GHz. No substrate for the gate and has a helium vacuum.
  • What is truly a robot? The article states that people talk about robots in a broad fashion. Where “robot” is just used as a metaphor to describe the vast array of automation in the material world. Possible accepted definition of “robot” in academic circles has been: “Sense, think, act.” Who is in control of the action? Is it a pick and place a robot? See Figure 2.
  • Gallium Oxide substrate for Power Devices. Has a huge electron-volt band gap of 5eV compared to gallium nitrite which is 3.4eV. Gallium nitrite was what the transistors in the LittleBox challenge where made of. The higher eV of gallium oxide allows for a thinner substrate which will lower the resistance on of mosfets.

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Parker Dillmann
Stephen Kraig


Figure 1: Servos for the SAIM.

Figure 2: MacroFabs’ My200 Pick and Place. Is this a robot or just a automation machine?

Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro theme!