Update on TrackBot code and Swarm of Brian (Greenfoot swarm sim)

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Bruce Boyes

Feb 13, 2009, 2:16:04 PM2/13/09
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Hi everyone

The economic meltdown is now affecting us. We have a small development contract for a Power Over Ethernet system, and have been working full time on it for the last two months. When the customer was late making their Jan 15 payment, and there was no response to emails, we eventually learned that several employees (including the manager of our project) had been fired (thanks for telling us!) and they were "analyzing" the POE project. So they are now trying to weasel out of paying for work delivered, as specified in the written and signed (by the company president) contract. What's doubly annoying is the lack of communication. Now they won't even return calls or emails. Sigh.

We are trimming all needless expenses here, such as our Fax line (which received 95% SPAM anyway), so 801-534-1019 will go dead on Feb 19. We have the Internet now... faxes seem so 1970's, don't they?

But I digress - TrackBot code was the subject of this message. Starting today we are back on it.

We are having difficulty getting a "clean enough" signal from the motor tachometer circuit. If we can't get that working acceptably really soon we will set it aside for the moment and focus on the Beaconing and Spatial Awareness aspects of the IR sensors. This is what will give TrackBot smart swarm capability. Our hope is to have something working in Feb with a new release for your downloading pleasure as soon as possible after that.

We have purchased several new battery chargers and analyzers and have learned more than we wanted to about NiMH cells. We now have a process in place to more quickly and precisely weed out sub-par cells from the battery packs we build for TrackBot. And we can test and plot the actual performance of individual cells or an entire pack, even with it installed in TrackBot.

We attended the Mobile and Embedded conference in Santa Clara and gave a Swarm of Brian update there.

Brian has started writing a Swarm simulator in Greenfoot. Download his instructions in the Weekly Report of 2/9 and check out the code from SVN and let us know what you think in the SOB user list (us...@swarm-of-brian.dev.java.net for which you need a java.net free account and membership in that mail list).

Thank you for using TrackBot. Let us know what you are doing with it and what we should be adding to the platform.

best regards

Bruce Boyes

------- WWW.SYSTRONIX.COM ----------
  Real embedded Java and much more
+1-801-534-1017  Salt Lake City, USA

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