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Comment: Re:Idiotic approach (Score 1) 74

by flygeek (#43071081) Attached to: AirBurr UAV Navigates By Crashing Into Things

I don't think it's that crazy. I did some robot navigation work for a thesis project, years ago, when compute power was abysmal and sensor capability was very limited as well. The lesson learned was that navigation and mapping is relatively easy regardless of the data source (we did nav and mapping with an original 128KB Macintosh), but spatial sensor processing is hard and unreliable (nothing that we had available could keep up, and the raw sensor data sucked too).

The key is reliability; you can certainly do optical/sonar/laser etc. sensors quite effectively these days, but it takes a lot of processing horsepower to unambiguously convert what you're seeing into a map. Note that the amazing flying UAV demos frequently posted on here are not doing the sensor processing on the UAV platform itself; that's all being done by offboard visual equipment against a clean white background.

Some combination of bouncing around and low-quality sensors is probably quite a decent approach.

Comment: Re:How about something new? (Score 1) 922

by flygeek (#30728738) Attached to: What SciFi Should Get the Reboot Treatment Next?

Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series would make a great series of movies. Enough robots and explosions to make the general public happy, and some interesting story lines underneath. Or some of Niven's Known Space stories. Wasn't somebody working on a project to bring Ringworld to the big screen?

Comment: Re:3rd time in the last few months? (Score 1) 559

by flygeek (#26542825) Attached to: Seagate Firmware Update Bricks 500GB Barracudas

Iron Mountain uses enterprise-class RAID gear; those vendors get custom drive firmware loads from their drive suppliers, and the firmware is tested before it is given to customers. That provides an extra level of scrutiny that should minimize this problem, especially if it's that obvious.

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