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Industrial Robot Arm Becomes Giant Catapult

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the excellent-gift-ideas dept.

Robotics 149

wintersynth brings us a story about a group of enthusiasts who made a catapult out of a 2,800lb industrial robot arm. They used it to launch bowling balls, fireballs, and cans of beer toward a stationary target, and they controlled the catapult's aim with a graphical UI on a laptop. "I wanted to be able to control the rotation of the robot so we could aim the robot from the laptop, but I quickly realized that since the desert is so flat, we could do some basic ranging on the target too. I also wanted the targeting to be overlaid in 3d over a photograph of the target area. The software needed to control the robot like an MMO or RTS game. I suspect that video games, in general, have some of the most optimal control interfaces. I wanted to try a control scheme similar to the area effect spell targeting in World of Warcraft."

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Does it catapult everything? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22089382)

Like niggers?

*Uncomfortable Cough* (-1, Offtopic)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089392)

Nothing to see here...move along.

ATTENTION MODS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090172)

LEARN WHAT REDUNDANT MEANS!

Re:ATTENTION MODS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090290)

yeah

mods are dumb niggers

ron paul 2008

Re:ATTENTION MODS (0, Flamebait)

ricree (969643) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090326)

(-1+1: funny flamebait)

Re:Does it catapult everything? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089610)

About as well as it would catapult you.
Unless you are a very small shell script.

Re:Does it catapult everything? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22089816)

What about very tiny niggers? [nationalgeographic.com]

Tall ones? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22089874)

N N N N
  I I I I
  G G G G
  G G G G
  E E E E
  R R R R

Re:Tall ones? (1)

datablaster (999781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090320)

how far do you suppose an Anonymous Coward could be thrown by such a device?

Re:Tall ones? (1)

caferace (442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090538)

You'd have to talk her into stepping into the sling first. Troublesome.

Re:Does it catapult everything? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22089940)

I'm a bit perplexed by your phrasing...

Are you asking if it has universal-catapulting capability (allowing to to hurl any object, niggers inclusive) or if it catapults everything, in the manner that niggers do?

As niggers are well-known for their spear-catapulting ability, this ambiguity needs clarification.

double entendre (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089404)

wintersynth brings us a story about a group of enthusiasts who made a catapult out of a 2,800lb industrial robot arm.

And it's all thanks to the second amendment.

Re:double entendre (-1, Offtopic)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089502)

And yet I can't buy a Glock 18 [wikipedia.org] .
That is an Armament, but I am not allowed to bear it, why?

Re:double entendre (-1, Redundant)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089534)

The right to bare arms does not give you the right to have nuclear warheads either. The right was granted in the age of muzzle loaders.

Re:double entendre (4, Insightful)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089758)

The right was granted in the age of muzzle loaders.
...and cannons[1], mortars[2], bombs[3], and landmines[4]. Most people seem to forget that.

[1] [wikipedia.org] [2] [wikipedia.org] [3] [wikipedia.org] [4] [wikipedia.org]

Re:double entendre (1, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090070)

I don't think you could seriously argue that the second amendment covers cannons, mortars, bombs, and landmines.

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms." implies personal firearms.... not the sort that would be solely used in large-scale warfare.

Landmines, on the other hand, would seem to fall into the same category as handguns, as the victim more often than not has no idea that his opponent is armed, or that he's even in danger. I fail to see a reason for those to exist.

Although I do respect the founding fathers' intention of keeping the population armed so that the people have a "last resort" should the government cease to act in the interests of the general populace, I'm just not sure that a ban on concealed weapons would violate that purpose.

Handguns strike me as "murder weapons" and "weapons to be used in self-defense against other handgun-toting criminals". Larger weapons scare me a lot less, since the unpredictability element is mostly gone.

Re:double entendre (3, Insightful)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090118)

.... the founding fathers' intention of keeping the population armed so that the people have a "last resort" should the government cease to act in the interests of the general populace....
It never ceases to amaze me ... Exactly specifically WHAT EXAMPLE OF "government ceasing to act in the interests of the general populace" are you all waiting for?

Does "the president" need to DROP NUKES on The Continental US of A before people WAKE UP and DO SOMETHING?

Or do you all think that "having a vietnam war" in the middle of the desert is in the interests of the general populace?

Re:double entendre (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090308)

So far, peaceful methods have yet to prove ineffective in stopping that.

Re:double entendre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090122)

Calling handguns "murder weapons" is just plain wrong, quite foolish and rather stupid. The handgun is the best personal defense weapon available, when a larger gun is not. A 250 pound man can easily rape a 130 pound woman. That woman with a handgun and some training has the advantage.

The thought that guns are only useful against other guns is denying a whole lot of physics.

Re:double entendre (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090244)

Landmines by themselves will usually kill only wandering civilians and stray dogs. The enemy is clever enough to figure out that landmines exist and might be planted somewhere, and as soon as they discover a minefield they'll find a way to avoid being killed by it.

Landmines, in conjunction with other defenses, are extremely effective. For example, if the North Korean army were to swarm south across the DMZ, they would come under heavy machinegun fire, and would lack the time and ability to safely go through the minefield. Their only choices would be to retreat or to go recklessly into the mines, doubtlessly incurring heavier casualties than they would against the machineguns alone.

Not far south of those landmines and machine guns is a peaceful liberal democracy that holds a significant place in the world economy. Now do you understand the reason for landmines to exist?

Re:double entendre (1)

Ours (596171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090672)

"Now do you understand the reason for landmines to exist"
As long as kids and farmers will keep loosing limbs or worse in past conflict zones, no I won't understand. It's not because in one case they are used in a well defined DMZ that their existence is justified.

Re:double entendre (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091834)

Ok how the British army deal in short order with a mine field,
http://www.armedforces.co.uk/army/listings/l0066.html#MINE%20CLEARANCE [armedforces.co.uk]

" The Python has the ability to clear a much longer safe' lane than its predecessor. It is also faster to bring into action and far more accurate. It can clear a path up to 230m long and 7m wide through which vehicles can then safely pass.

The system works by firing a single rocket from a newly designed launcher mounted on a trailer which has been towed to the edge of the mined area.

Attached to the rocket is a coiled 230m long hose packed with one and a half tons of powerful explosive. After the hose lands on the ground it detonates and destroys or clears any mines along its entire length. It is claimed that in a cleared lane, over 90% of anti-tank mines will have been destroyed."

Re:double entendre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091916)

So you're only 10% dead if you run over one it missed?

Re:double entendre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090392)

What part of "shall not be infringed" do you....

aw, forget it

Re:double entendre (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090582)

Landmines, on the other hand, would seem to fall into the same category as handguns, as the victim more often than not has no idea that his opponent is armed, or that he's even in danger. I fail to see a reason for those to exist.

Try living right next to Stalinist/Soviet/Putinist Russia for a while and the idea of putting booby traps between them and you starts getting a certain appeal.

Re:double entendre (2, Insightful)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090602)

I don't think you could seriously argue that the second amendment covers cannons, mortars, bombs, and landmines.

I suggest you read "Common Sense" [gutenberg.org] by Thomas Paine.

"If premiums were to be given to merchants, to build and employ in their service ships mounted with twenty, thirty, forty or fifty guns, (the premiums to be in proportion to the loss of bulk to the merchants) fifty or sixty of those ships, with a few guardships on constant duty, would keep up a sufficient navy, and that without burdening ourselves with the evil so loudly complained of in England, of suffering their fleet, in time of peace to lie rotting in the docks."

His advice was to have privately owned cannon, on privately owned ships, subsidised by the government to compensate for loss of trading ability, as the basis of the navy.

Handguns strike me as "murder weapons" and "weapons to be used in self-defense against other handgun-toting criminals"

You consider using a pistol for self-defense to be a criminal act?

Larger weapons scare me a lot less...

Weapons scare you? Why do you fear inanimate objects? How strange!

Do you ever consider the Rwandan genocide [wikipedia.org] in which many of the protagonists were armed with machetes? 500,000+ dead.

At my local markets, a man sells ornamental swords. They do not have shrapened edges, because in my country that would mean they had to be registered as weapons, which would make them very difficult to buy or sell. A few steps away, machetes and other edged instruments are available without restriction for a few dollars. It's ludicrous. Most weapons legislation I've seen is ludicrous. It doesn't prevent murder, it doesn't prevent mass murder. It just gives the advantage to the physically strong.

Re:double entendre (1)

AdmiralWeirdbeard (832807) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090860)

Though I am of the opinion that 'it was a different historical context' is a flawed argument for constitutional interpretation, there are more practical implications in this case. Basically either some weapons can be restricted, or no weapons can be restricted. If no weapons can be restricted then anyone should be able to own nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons, shit, whatever you want. Because otherwise the logic breaks down and the argument is no longer internally consistent. Or, some weapons can be restricted, and we are free to legislate on the subject and keep a fluid and everchanging list of death-making devices that we are and are not ok with the general populace having. As I dont want my neighbor packin anthrax and the minigun from an A-10, I'm in the second camp. it just makes more intuitive sense to me that a citizen not in the armed forces should be prevented from owning high-yield and efficiency military weapons. I'm not implying anything about the respect and care w/ which you personally might treat said weaponry, but I really dont trust most of my cohorts to use a fucking stapler safely.

Weapons scare you? Why do you fear inanimate objects? How strange! Do you ever consider the Rwandan genocide in which many of the protagonists were armed with machetes? 500,000+ dead.
I dont believe he ever said he wasn't scared of machetes. look how effective this argument is, I'll reverse the language to agree with my position, and it sounds just as silly. You're not afraid of inanimate objects designed specifically to kill people? how strange. You're getting at the 'guns dont kill people, people kill people' thing, and you know what? people using guns kill people with surprisingly more efficiency than people without guns killing people. Both happen. a lot. but guns just make the whole process that much faster and easier. I'm not scared of guns, but it do have a healthy respect for things that will kill a guy, and generally avoid them.

Re:double entendre (3, Insightful)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091600)

Personally, I think it was in a different historical context, but the appropriate response is not reinterpretation of the constitution but amendment, for which there is a proper procedure. I think the US constitution (2nd amendment) is fairly clear and in the context of the revolution seems to mean full military armament. Taken in the context of a world in which nuclear weapons etc exist, I do not think this is a good idea. However, if the constitution is reinterpreted according to every change in technology (or other historical context) it ceases to be really usefull as a constitution as I understand it.

Where we draw the line between personal nuclear arms and total weapons bans is not the point as I see it. The point is that the government is supposed to be regulated/limited by the constitution. Where the government is freed to reinterpret the constitution at will this is no longer the case and political liberty is effectively over. Under such a system, you no longer have rights in any real sense, you have priveleges granted or revoked by the government.

I dont believe he ever said he wasn't scared of machetes.

I put the comments about fear of inanimate objects and machetes in separate paragraphs for a reason. It is two separate points being (1) It is silly to fear inanimate objects, and (2) prohibition of firearms does not prevent murder or mass murder. Point (2) is not opinion, it is demonstrable fact. Sure it is easier with more advanced weapons, but that makes people equal, rather than the weak being subject to the violence of the strong.

You're not afraid of inanimate objects designed specifically to kill people? how strange. You're getting at the 'guns dont kill people, people kill people' thing, and you know what? people using guns kill people with surprisingly more efficiency than people without guns killing people.

No, I'm not afraid of objects designed specifically to kill people. I've owned guns in the past and they never struck fear into me. I've known other people, police etc that have guns and they didn't strike fear into me. In any case, firearms regulation where I live has given rise to a thriving illegal gun trade, according to media reports. I don't really see the point of the laws. Any anyone with high school level chemistry and some initiative can make high explosives anyway. For people that don't know how, there are always molotov cocktails. I can see it's possible to prevent people having nukes, but for personal weapons it just seems to be a waste of time to legislate against them.

We are all surrounded by things that can kill, electricity, knives, cars. If we are going to let everyone buy petrol, without restriction and without license, then laws against personal firearms are just a farce.

Re:double entendre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090126)

and at the time the government also only had muzzle loaders. the second amendment was put in there so the people could overthrow the new government if it went bad. just look at the bill of rights and the mind set, at the time, of the people who made it. they had just (give or take a few years) fought a war, and got rid of one government. now this new 'constitution' idea is being discussed, and they want to be sure it doesn't become another england. enter the bill of rights, clearly designed to curtail the government's ability to crush a revolution.

1. the first thing a tyrannical government will do, is shut up the people so they cannot organize into a resistance.
2. obviously a thinly veiled threat of what awaits a tyrannical government.
3. you cant put police in every house to watch everyone all the time. (major obstacle to holding a successful revolution).
4. you cant go through my files to find out if I'm planning a revolution.
5,6,7,8. the whole justice system is placed firmly in the control of the people (no arresting revolutionarys in the middle of the night and making them 'disappear').
9,10. everything else is reserved by the people. (the government, must not grow too big for its britches)

therefore the people must be allowed to have the same class of weapons as the government.

(I'm not saying to just give out fighter jets to every shmo; even in colonial times, you didn't get your dads gun until you first learned how to use it.)

Re:double entendre (4, Funny)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090082)

The right to bare arms does not give you the right to have nuclear warheads
No, but it does give people the right to wear hideous hawaiian shirts, which is almost as bad.

Re:double entendre (1)

deimtee (762122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090666)

But having nuclear warheads does give you the right to do whatever you damn well please.

Re:double entendre (2, Informative)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091280)

The right was granted in the age of muzzle loaders.

Uhm, in the US, neither the Constitution nor government "grant" rights; they eixst and are the people's independent of either. The people give the government certain powers; and we can argue what those are and how broad they are, but that's different than teh people's rights.

Re:double entendre (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091974)

The right was granted in the age of muzzle loaders.


Rights are not granted by the constitution or any government, they are supposedly protected by the government.

Re:double entendre (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089752)

I'm sure with a Class III license you might have a shot at finding one, if you can pony up the cash to buy one (Are they even legal to import? I'm too lazy to look it up.) I'm happy with my 17, however. :D

Re:double entendre (1, Offtopic)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089810)

Nope, they are fully-automatic, and manufactured after 1986, so there is no way for a US Citizen to own one legally.

Re:double entendre (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089862)

It's not even that bad. There's no need to get a license of any sort. Here's what you need to do: #1 The firearm must be registered with the BATF. #2 get a signature from your county Sheriff, or chief of police. #3 pass an extensive background check #4 receive BATF permission to move the device across state lines (getting it to you) pay a $200 transfer tax. Most importantly, you need to live in an area where the weapon you want is not outlawed, and that obviously precludes any of the above. In other words, good luck in Kalifornia... And you need to find someone willing to sell you what you want, and this is the hard/expensive part. NFA registrable Glock 18s are probably pretty rare, for example, unless the important components are manufactured on US soil. Other US auto guns will be much cheaper because of the rarity value of the genuine auto pistol.

The class 3 license of which you speak is a license which is simply needed to sell weapons, as a dealer.

Re:double entendre (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089662)

wintersynth brings us a story about a group of enthusiasts who made a catapult out of a 2,800lb industrial robot arm.

And it's all thanks to the second amendment.
Cyborg bears can't be far behind...

Re:double entendre (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089684)

Well, if they combined this with a RealDoll, they might have something useful.

Re:double entendre (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089934)

So she throws you away right before you...

Re:double entendre (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090452)

I thought you meant this [deviantart.com] .

Re:double entendre (1)

The New Andy (873493) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090812)

I don't know much about the American constitution, but I was sure that you had the right to bear arms, not robot arms. And good luck hooking your laptop up to a bear.

I for one... (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089410)

Welcome our giant catapult enabled robot arm overlords.

Re:I for one... (4, Funny)

scottrocket (1065416) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089448)

...and the next time the mongols attack our shitty walls in their motorhomes, we'll be ready!

Screw Myminicity Trolls! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22089420)

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Technically this is probably illegal, but call me reckless. As I said, I'm pissed off

It's not a catapult. (5, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089430)

It's a trebuchet, as can clearly be seen from the sling which holds the bowling balls. It also does not have an optimal sling length, but that just makes the robot itself all the more impressive.

Re:It's not a catapult. (2, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089488)

You're correct. Except that a trebuchet is still a catapult.

Re:It's not a catapult. (4, Informative)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089540)

It's a trebuchet, as can clearly be seen from the sling which holds the bowling balls. It also does not have an optimal sling length, but that just makes the robot itself all the more impressive.
A trebuchet is powered by a counterweight, this thing is powered by some sort of mechanical actuators meaning that it certainly is not a trebuchet. As for slings, the Roman onager used slings despite being driven by torsion rather than counterweights. Of course back then a catapult was defined as a sinew torsion based crossbow that that fired a spear. A ballista was similar but fired rocks instead, though these days we call an onager a catapult, a catapult a ballista and don't really have a name for a ballista.

It's not a nut launcher. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22089604)

"A ballista was similar but fired rocks instead, though these days we call an onager a catapult, a catapult a ballista and don't really have a name for a ballista."

let's call it...ow!

Re:It's not a catapult. (4, Interesting)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089776)

A trebuchet is powered by a counterweight, this thing is powered by some sort of mechanical actuators meaning that it certainly is not a trebuchet. As for slings, the Roman onager used slings despite being driven by torsion rather than counterweights. Of course back then a catapult was defined as a sinew torsion based crossbow that that fired a spear. A ballista was similar but fired rocks instead, though these days we call an onager a catapult, a catapult a ballista and don't really have a name for a ballista.

There were non-counterweight trebuchets as well, called "traction" trebuchets. Instead of a counterweight you had a number of people tugging on ropes. I had one based on this model built for me for SCA combat as the result of a siege engine competition (Stormhold) some years ago. 60-90 metre throws with a cargo of softballs was customary with a 6 metre composite rattan arm. One advantage of a traction trebuchet is it's more mobile as you don't need to score or drag a tonne or so of counterweight along to the launch site.

So to stay on topic, I think you could call the robot arm a form of trebuchet. I've not seen onagers with slings in my researches though, will look for that. Onagers btw were so named because of the bucking motion they make, mitigated by curved ends of their foundation rails. Onager = Donkey in Latin. They were also called "rocking donkeys".

And another name for Ballista could be "ZOMG Look at the size of that effing crossbow!". They didn't always use rocks, some of them used mucking great iron bolts.

Re:It's not a catapult OR a trebuchet (2, Informative)

SilverRayn (984075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090016)

What categorizes a trebuchet as a trebuchet is the counterweight (not the sling). The qualifying factor for the catapult is the stored tension. This has neither. Sling or not, it's a robot, not a trebuchet or catapult.

Re:It's not a catapult. (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089836)

aren't ballistas the people who go to college for four years in order to serve drinks at starbucks?

Re:It's not a catapult. (1)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090736)

this thing is powered by some sort of mechanical actuators meaning that it certainly is not a trebuchet.

Those are AC servo motors. From the colour of the robot and be blurry photos I think it's a KUKA KR 150-2 K [kuka.com] or something similar.

Re:It's not a catapult. (1)

Henry Pate (523798) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090806)

Your ideas intrigue me and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

P.S. Can I come over to your house and launch a piano from your trebuchet? (I assume you have a few)

Re:It's not a catapult. (2, Funny)

Ours (596171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090688)

Indeed, source code for the robot states that correctly.

Overlord (-1, Redundant)

Jefan (1096649) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089440)

I, for one, welcome our bowling ball wielding overlords!

AWESOME (1)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089458)

AWESOME. They do have a good point of the video game interface. Moving maps, with hotkeys...though I doubt they have the complexity for everything.

Let me be the first (3, Funny)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089476)

to offer my services as a target for this thing. Catapult a beer my way every 15 minutes. Thanks.

Re:Let me be the first (1)

Faylone (880739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089974)

I hope you have a sturdy helmet.

Re:Let me be the first (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090258)

Let's hope you prefer light beer.

Re:Let me be the first (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090524)

*burp* I dunno... I suspect they're heavies that are being thrust through the air by the trebuchet.

I can see the future now, and you DON'T want to be (4, Funny)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089504)

on the WRONG arm of the LAW

Re:I can see the future now, and you DON'T want to (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090272)

I read and understood your comment as:

Re:I can see the future now, and you DON'T want to be on the WRONG side of my LAWN!

Damn hippy youngsters!

Graphical UI (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089562)

gorilla.bas?

Obligatory (-1, Redundant)

elec1cele (764343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089572)

I for one welcome our giant robot beer throwing overlords

minus 4, Tro1ll) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22089590)

posts on Usenet are the facts and as fiitingly the political mess

HD Camera (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22089602)

Let me get this straight... they "Rented" the camera by buying it at Fry's and returning it?

I'm sure some people will defend this tactic, but its stuff like this that causes awesome return policies at stores to be restricted, and prices to go up. (as recently happened at CostCo)

I can't believe they posted that tidbit on the site...

Re:HD Camera (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089734)

I bought a reciprocal saw the other day at Home Depot. One of the saws' outside packaging was missing - it was a return, but it as the only DeWalt left. I asked the store clerk to open it (it had anti-theft a lock on the handle) so I could make sure all the parts were there. Upon inspection I found that the instructions, and saw blades were missing and the saw itself was extremely dirty and had a gash on the front hole where the saw blade attaches. Some asshole had bought it, used it on a job and then returned it.
       

Re:HD Camera (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089774)

Let me get this straight... they "Rented" the camera by buying it at Fry's and returning it?

I'm sure some people will defend this tactic, but its stuff like this that causes awesome return policies at stores to be restricted, and prices to go up. (as recently happened at CostCo)

Yeah, I was pissed at them when I read this too. I hope that when Fry institutes a 20% open-box charge on returns, that everybody look this guy up and send him a thank you note. Wrapped around a bowling ball.

Re:HD Camera (5, Interesting)

wintersynth (915045) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089950)

Okay, I have to admit, we felt pretty bad about this "renting" tactic until we actually tried the camera. It was hands-down the worst HD camera I have ever used. I mean seriously, it had all sorts of proprietary software with weird codecs so that the footage was extremely difficult to transcode at high resolution.

I felt absolutely no remorse returning that thing. I know, that still doesn't make it right, because we didn't know that going into it. But I hope it is at least a mitigating factor. Plus, I give Fry's tons of (non-"rented") business, and their awesome return policy is a big part of the reason.

Re:HD Camera (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090002)

I mean seriously, it had all sorts of proprietary software with weird codecs so that the footage was extremely difficult to transcode at high resolution.
And this is Fry's fault? Fry's Problem? No, it's yours. You picked the camera out, you "bought" it.

I hope it is at least a mitigating factor.
No, it's not.

I give Fry's tons of (non-"rented") business
So fucking what? You're a jerk. Fuck tard.

Re:HD Camera (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090104)

And his screen name ia stupid, too. I mean, look at them: A bunch of rich emo trust fund kiddies. Good grief.

Re:HD Camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090410)

Screen Name? GTFO back to AOL kthxbye

Re:HD Camera (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090380)

And this is Fry's fault?
uh, yeah it is. The camera sucked so he took it back.

Re:HD Camera (4, Insightful)

errxn (108621) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090534)

Sorry, but you intended to return it from the very start. The lame excuse that the camera sucked does nothing to change that fact, and really just makes you seem like that much more of a tool.

Re:HD Camera (2, Insightful)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091010)

If so - good on ya. You just made a crappy product slightly less profitable! I hope you also sent a mail to Fry's to explain why you returned that camera.

Re:HD Camera (1)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090124)

I hope that when Fry institutes a 20% open-box charge on returns, that everybody look this guy up and send him a thank you note. Wrapped around a bowling ball.
...Delivered by catapult, I assume?

Re:HD Camera (3, Informative)

manamonkey (1222298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090428)

Our budget was $1K to get this all done and a great deal of that hinged on the resources we had available between the three of us. Our camera loan fell through last minute (literally) and we did not have time to research the purchase of a new one. If the cam was good we would have kept it, but it really was a piece of crap. We are about as far from trust-fund kids as you can get and that was not my first or last Fry's return for a piece of disappointing hardware.

Re:HD Camera (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091652)

And also where did they "borrow" an industrial robot? (and then get permission to use it as a toy?)

You don't exactly see them sitting out on the street every day....

Calculon proves even robot arms can move up (4, Funny)

4d4m (584216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089636)

As we can see from Calculon, you aren't just stuck as a robot arm. Thespomat, David Duchovny - the sky is the limit.

Omg (1)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089652)

"The software needed to control the robot [is] like an MMO or RTS game."

Oh I can see it coming... "OMG fsking WALL HAX N00BZ!" ...shouted right before you get shelled by 16 pound bowling balls. :(

No wireless. Less range than a trebuchet. Lame. (1)

jdschulteis (689834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089664)

Seriously, they threw bowling balls 120 feet. Yawn.

Re:No wireless. Less range than a trebuchet. Lame. (1)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091416)

No kidding. A (very strong) human could probably throw a bowling ball half that far. A trebuchet could probably throw objects 10x heavier 10x the distance, and with better incendiaries to boot.

Still, kudos on innovative use of tech.

Re:No wireless. Less range than a trebuchet. Lame. (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091430)

Yes, but it is a prototype made with off the shelf components. Scale the motors up 20x and give it a hopper capable of holding a couple thousand incendiary bowling balls and it would be a lot more impressive.

yes but can it fling.... (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089712)

a giant wooden badger?

Re:yes but can it fling.... (0, Offtopic)

thatnerdguy (551590) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089860)

did someone say badger? [badgerbadgerbadger.com]

Catapult? (5, Funny)

Teufelsmuhle (849105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22089714)

It's not a real catapult unless it's flinging cows or pianos.

Re:Catapult? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090574)

Fetchez la vache

Re:Catapult? (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090932)

It's not a real catapult unless it's flinging cows or pianos.
Or trojan rabbits [imdb.com] . You can't get real-er than that!

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090020)

So now we are training robots to kill us even when we aren't inside their arm radius.

Now all we need to do... (1)

unbug (1188963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090036)

...is plug in the monkey [slashdot.org] !

Why waste beer? (1)

weharc (852974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090094)

Why waste beer? Oh the humanity!

Build your own! (1)

Narmacil (1189367) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090490)

Because honestly, for what that arm was, it could have fired alot further than they had it going. I built a floating arm trebuchet 2 years back for my high school senior project and it had a least twice the range of that arm.( It could fire a half gallon of water about 250 feet. )I admit, that may have been less weight than their arm was firing, but that was because I only had about 300 pounds of counterweight. Their problem is in the release time, and the sling could stand to be a bit longer. Its still pretty cool that they got ahold of it, but for about $150 worth of wood, screws and some rope and you could build yourself something just as good or better.Oh, and here's a link to a pic of my treb slightly before it was finished (i dont have the arm up on the tracks yet here.) http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r284/risknc/Treb/DSCN0138.jpg [photobucket.com] I'll upload a video later

Get 2 Of These.. (1)

Layth (1090489) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090544)

That's a recipe for an awesome game of beer pong.

In Russia? (1)

Mackmannen (1217710) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090918)

Ok, let me try this... In Russia the catapult flings you - or - In Russia you fling the catapult - ?

correct timing of motors (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091714)

They said they had some trouble determining the optimal movement of all the motors for maximum range. iirc, when trying to accelerate something, a 'whiplike" motion is preferred, similar to how a pitcher throws a fastball.

Ah, memories... (3, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091868)

I used to work for an industrial robot company. I worked on the big arms that carried spot-welding guns around, mostly for the auto industry. Those arms were strong - there was one case where the gun welded itself to the truck frame it was building (as will happen if you don't clean the tips enough) and the robot kept right on going, and ended up tossing a truck body into the aisle when it returned to rest. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

But that incident, among others, spurred work to develop collision detection. They finally got some software running on the DSPs that'd estimate what the current to the motors should be, and measure what it actually was; too big a difference and the robot would halt. And then comes the fun part...

I got to test it.

For six months, my paid job was to take huge industrial robots and bang them into things.

I'm pure software now, and it's fun and pays better... but I still think about those days with fondness.

Not the first robot to fling something. (4, Interesting)

karlandtanya (601084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091948)

In the floorpan line of a well-known auto manufacturer, the safety folks wanted to test the OSHA safe stopping distance calculation used to place some light curtains.

The way you protect workers from getting killed by a robot (and these things are way stronger than you think, even after seeing it fling rocks) is to put up light curtains around the robot.
The OSHA safe stopping distance calculation is used to prove that the hazardous motion will stop in the time it takes the person to traverse the light curtain and come into contact with the equipment.

So, the safety folks find the robot with the biggest, fastest moving load on the line--the floorpan skin transfer robot. A floorpan skin is basically a sixty-pound razor blade.
The end effector held onto the floorpan skin with suction cups, which are a cost-effective and reliable method for the process.

The robot guys set up a test, where they got all 6 axes of the robot moving in such a manner that the end effector achieved its maximum possible speed.
Not something you'd normally do, but a worst-case scenario for use as safety systems challenge.
We all wanted to see this robot haul ass, so the safety folks had us all standing back...
Robot dude picked up the TP and initiated the path at 100% speed...
Somebody waited for the arm to get to full extension and speed...and stuck their hand into the light curtain.

The robot stopped almost instantly--well within the expected stopping distance.
No way that person would have been injured by the robot.

The skin (remember the sixty-pound razor blade) stopped a couple bays over.

Hard clamps were added to the end effector and the test was repeated with improved results.

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