So Let it be Written, So Let it be Done!

May 3, 2008

I’m the Beast of the East and the Best in the West

Filed under: kamakula — kamakula @ 8:01 pm
Tags: ,

So, for whatever reason, I decided today to re-attempt one-handed pushups. I was always jealous of Jennifer Gardner’s character in Electra for being able to do them. After failing miserably, I decided to look at some youtube videos of people doing it to see if there were any special tricks to maintaining balance or if I was just too weak.

Well, turns out there are a couple tricks. The most important one – spreading your legs. Widening your stance gives you much great stability. So, with that, I was able to bang out a few one-handers with the left and right hands (yay – no strength bias!).

There are a couple other things I need to work on to help maintain stability as well as to increase my reps. Certainly improving core strength, which I’m already working on, will help. Also practice will help me learn how to better shift my weight to remain balanced with only one hand.

Certainly, it will be interesting the next time me and the guys are working out and I slip in one-handed reps when we start doing pushups 🙂


April 7, 2007

One Week Left

Filed under: kamakula,robot,trinity firefighting — kamakula @ 11:52 pm
Tags: , ,

Herein we join the adventure already in progress, where kamakula (that’s me!) has one week left to complete his robot (appropriately and presciently named LastMinute) in time for the Trinity Firefighting Competition. I’m a little pumped since I just completed a 5k run (32:04) – my first such in pretty much ever and my first week running in almost half a year.

LastMinute is supposed to be a two wheeled balancing robot that utilizes the ubiquitous Tamiya motor gearbox for locomotion. It will sport homebrew optical encoders (to determine it’s pose and speed), an accelerometer (feel that tug – it’s gravity!), ultrasonic sensors (echolocation like a bat), infrared (I can’t remember which animal sees in infrared. . . but I know you’re out there!) for distance measuring and to detect (hopefully) the bright spot of the candle (fire!). We’ve also got the cheap SN754410 quadruple H-Bridge to drive those motors. What ties all this together is a Philips LPC2131, an ARM7 controller in the package of a TiniARM from New Micros.

At this point, everything is pretty much in pieces. The ARM7, H-bridge, an accelerometer are on a breadboard. . . but not hooked up together. I’m still getting up to speed using WinARM to compile programs for the controller, so that still needs to be worked out. I’m not sure if I can get the optical encoders to work and I’ve never used the accelerometer before.

However – the goals for this evening:

  1. Setup timer interrupts correctly on ARM7 by creating a clock application that counts up H:MM:SS accurately (displayed over a serial link).
  2. Layout and solder optical encoder circuit then test it detects black/white transitions using an LED (and inverter as a buffer).
  3. Test quadrature encoder code by outputting over the serial link counts per second and direction.
  4. Layout H-Bridge circuitry on breadboard and test capability of driving gearbox motors with PWM output from ARM7.
  5. Test closed loop speed control of a wheel.

Create a free website or blog at