May 2nd, 2004:
A trip to Chicago. A cat-finding robot.

Gina and I went to Chicago last weekend to attend her cousin’s wedding. It was very nice… the reception was in a nature museum… and they left the exhibits open so we could check them out. While we were there we did some shopping. Although Detroit is improving, the “downtown experience” still falls far behind Chicago, Boston, New York, etc. We visited dozens of stores, a couple of restaurants, even a museum or 2… all within walking distance of each other. I hope that Detroit can get it’s act together. Although the casinos and stadiums appear to have helped… there’s a lot more work to do.

While in Chicago, Gina and I visited the Lego store. There were some nice Lego sculptures around and I bought a few bags of Technic parts. I put those parts to good use as soon as we got home. I’ve built a cat-finding robot (named BlinkeyFinder5000) that uses a passive infrared sensor to locate and chase a mammal target and a dual-infrared proximity sensor to avoid obstacles. The robot chassis is amazingly flexible in design as well as robust. I must say that I’m rather impressed.

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