First up, AIME.

I spent many happy hours working on both the software...

AIME could count, and use basic symbols to communicate I used solid shapes with up to 9 sides, and an empty shape to represent zeros. She also had OCR software as well as the stereo motion capture and image recognition.

I never did wean her off a pretty heavy duty power cable.

Basically, like a lot of robots she was a PC with arms and legs, and a head full of sensors.

Powering up for the first time was a genuine Muahahahah moment...

She had asymmetrical hands that she could both walk on and use to manipulate her environment. I did this for a reason, our hands are awesome and hard to copy because they are flexible and opposable. We can make lots of different shapes to hold different things.

We also communicate with them constantly. AIME understood some basic visual sign languge, and I made one of her hands look enough like ours that she could sign back. It wasnt perfect, she had to turn her hand upside-down to give a thumbs-up, but the thumb and fingers crossed over at the palm so she could also hold a pen in there.

When there wasnt anything happening in her field of vision, she seemed fascinated by my guitar hung on the wall, and stared at that for hours. Luckily, machines dont get bored...

It didnt matter where on the workbench she was, she'd pick it out, and I never programmed her for that. I didnt even have image recognition working back then, she was keyed to complexity and movement.

She had friends.

BLAIR (Bear-Like Autonomous Interactive Robot) was her predecessor, sort of like a room guard. He had face recognition and could both record and pass on messages and pass on small items like pocket money but he couldnt move around. Again he tracked motion and could gesture with both arms but only had the one gripping hand.

I managed to make him really quite annoying in the end.

Poor BLAIR, but his software lives on.

There are many iterations of AIMOS, that do slightly different things.
Nowadays I've given up on stereo image processing, its really hard work for the small processors I'm now using.

Tales from the Ether

Here's an early version of my #Bluetooth & WiFi Antenna Upgrade core technology. Its based on a quadratic loop antenna that began floating around for early FPV rigs. Back then they were all handmade, and my friend who was into it asked me to develop a better antenna.

The first thing I did was switch from Quadratic to Trifolar zones in the antenna coverage, then added a loop to behave like a full loop. I noticed it also amplified the signal and wound up hybridising it into the dish rig.

This one has both planar and multipolar elements, and bends space-time all to hell.

Its a hobby of mine.

I invented these. They are dread-bands... If you have stupid straight hair like mine, which is also resilient to any form of styling less btrutal than this, or a crew-cut, then dreadlocks are really hard to maintain long-term. Not only do they try and come apart, the amount of work you have to do to get the growing ends to tangle by pinching them and rubbing them against your scalp is rather extensive. Caribbean genes do this without trying, but like many other I had to resort to elastic bands round them to aid the process.

Thats expensive, and if you leave them in the dreadlock eats them and goes all sticky as the latex liquifies over time. Pretty vile really...

So, reasoning that thicker latex takes longer to degrade, I made super-thick elastics that didnt have to be wound over the dreads like the shop ones. These just roll down the dread and keep the base tight.

They are formed by painting a steel rod with latex, about 6 inches, and colouring with a marker. Then the latex is rolled off the rod, and sticks together like that with the ink inside it.

Other weapons at my disposal included the sewing machine. I made a series of giant hats to bundle my dreads in. This one is constructed similarly to a football, but with darts to flatten it. The peak is cut from a pop bottle and sewn inside the fabric. It doesnt bother the sewing machine at all.

I also tied them up.

They are all in a bunch while I did my halloween makeup one year...

I walked into the Kentucky Fried Chicken after leaving the party and joined the back of a small queue of hungry people, a couple of families with kids and teenagers. My stomach rumbled, and one of them turned around and saw me. She tugged her dads sleeve, and he turned around, followed by the rest. XD

Guess who got served first.