Dennis L Hitzeman's world of science and technology
 
 

December

Posted at December 2, 2013 by

So, Amazon engaged in an amazing bit of free advertising Sunday night when it announced its research initiative, Prime Air, on 60 Minutes. From the moment the piece aired, sectors of the internet have been abuzz with the news.

But what has amused me the most has been the response of the technology media, led by the likes of Wired. If these writers are to be believed, if man was meant to receive packages by air, God would have given bicycle messengers wings.

Certainly, I’m being sarcastic, but I wonder if these writers really look around themselves at the age we actually live in very often . There is a very good chance you are reading this post on a device you pulled from your pocket that contains more processing power than the entire Apollo 13 mission–spacecraft and ground stations combined–that functions as a phone, network access device, and computer and was produced just 137 years after the phone was invented, 40 years after the cell phone was invented, and 21 years after the smartphone was invented.

That’s a course of development 40 times faster than it took to get from the wheel to the car.

My point here is that history is replete with examples of  people, especially the so-called well informed, declaring that something is impossible because it is different or outside the mold of what we consider normal or beyond our current technological means. It’s actually quite amusing how often the march of progress has proven such Luddites wrong.

Now, I am not saying that Amazon will succeed, or that drone delivery is the thing of the future, but I am saying that the idea is now there and that someone is going to figure out how to make some version of it–maybe even a version we haven’t imagined yet–work. And when they do, we can look back at these prognostications and laugh like we do at the early 19th century writers who said people would not be able to breath if they went faster than twenty miles per hour.

DLH

 
 

August

Posted at August 6, 2012 by

In case you missed it, the Mars Science Laboratory, dubbed “Curiosity” by its builders, landed safely on Mars last night. Trust me, even if you don’t care, it’s a really big deal, and an important step for NASA after shutting down the Space Shuttle program.

What’s more, compared to a lot of things the government spends money on, Curiosity was cheap and produces a measurable good result in terms of raw science, development of technology, and inspiration.

We should do more of this stuff.

DLH

 
 

April

Posted at April 28, 2011 by

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m back in the robot building game, and more so today because the next load of parts I needed to continue working on those projects arrived. I’ve also created pages for all of my currently active projects, and as I have time I will post pictures and build notes. If I get a lot of time, I will post schematics and parts lists.

DLH

 
 

April

Posted at April 25, 2011 by

After a long hiatus–cut me some slack, I got an associates degree, took over a sustainable farm, and started an IT consulting business since I last posted on my projects–, I have finally restarted my robot building enterprise with several promising-sounding projects that will eventually get their own pages on this website including (but not limited to):

  • A Vex-based Farmbot
  • A cardboard cat, to be followed by:
  • A catbot
  • A firetruck toy for use with special needs kids
  • A sun tracker/solar panel optimizer

As these projects develop, I will post updates and, eventually, build notes and parts lists on this site.

DLH

 
 
 
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