The physical manifestation of LabVIEW object actors? Oh yes.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:39 PM
So, I quickly ordered a set, because that's what you do when personally targeted by MFOA -- you don't want to make them angry. They arrived today. And, oh yes, they're neat. I had a couple false starts, but quickly built up the basic "come to my hand" robot. Shortly thereafter I had a robot running around, capable of turning to dodge my hands and flashing light patterns. But I quickly ran into the LEGO problem. You know the problem: You *never* have enough LEGOs. In this case, within a half hour of playing, I found myself wanting two inverter blocks, and I was "hacking" using a flashlight block as a data blocker block. And fifteen minutes after that, I had exhausted the permutations available with my limited set.
Why must the coolest toys be so expensive?! Check out the price list!
And then, I realized the answer to that question: it's hardware. Physical matter costs. And I looked at my cubelets, and I looked across at my laptop, which had on screen the cube control of one of my actor classes. Looking from one cube to the other, I realized just how lucky I am that nature made me a software engineer instead of a mechanical engineer. And then, my next thought... "Hm... perhaps we should start charging $25 per cube? If people are willing to pay so much for hardware cubes... and, hey, the software cubes are *reprogrammable*!" But then my cat started chasing my cubelet robot, and I realized this is the one area that the software just cannot compete, and I guess that justifies the hardware price: no software actor is going to have my cat pouncing quite so adorably. So I guess it's better to keep the software cubes priced like an all-you-can-eat buffet: buy LabVIEW and get all the cubes you want. And I'll just dream about the day when we *finally* get reprogrammable matter. And then we'll see software *can* keep cats on their toes!
(Side note: When one of the hardware cubes receives two messages simultaneously, it averages the messages. I wonder if there's any way a feature like that would be useful in a software actor framework? Add it to the brainstorm list...)
Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:19 AM
(youtube links in there)
They have hardware and software versions, though both rely on a screen.
If only each Sense and Action Cubelet could be turned into a Min, Max, Blocker, Passive or Inverse Cubelet when touched with a "Be This Instead" Cubelet. Or touch an Inverse to the business side of a Sense or Action to change it's behavior.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:31 AM
Posted 23 May 2012 - 04:14 PM
Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:02 PM
Did you all do this at the BBQ?
Hmmm - maybe NI could pitch in to give away 2 cubelet KT01 Robot Construction Kits at the LAVA/OpenG BBQ*?
The kit is currently out of stock. Probably a good thing for my budget.