Design Tips Programming For A Self-Driving Snow Blower Prototype

Since the advent of vacuum robots, designing programs for machines to conduct household chores has been an extremely popular challenge among home enthusiasts. Thanks to companies like iRobot, the average Joe can buy devices to automatically vacuum floors, mop floors, and more recently even mow the lawn. But there are still countless household tasks that can be automated in similar ways. With winter around the corner why not team up with a hardware buddy, bust out your programming chops, and take a stab at a self-driving snow blower prototype? To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve put together some tips for getting started with tackling this project.

Forget The Brains – It’s All About Logic

With the availability of sensors and hardware for huge amounts of data collection and processing, it’s all to easy to fall into the temptation of designing a nearly intelligent algorithm to tackle anything that the weather throws at your prototype. Here’s some advice – learn from those who have come before you and leave it down to simple logic.

Tinkerers have been making robots that travel all over enclosed areas with basic switches, relays, and capacitors for years. Don’t overthink it. Sure, a human could clean up the snow more quickly than a robot programmed with basic logic, but that’s not the point. What you are trying to do is negate the need for human interaction in snow removal, rather than removing the snow as efficiently as possible. Keep this part simple and straight forward, your brain power is going to be needed for the more complex programming tasks that will follow.

Adapting To Different Types Of Snow

One of the biggest challenges you will face is programming the prototype to adapt to different types of snow. Snow can be wet, fluffy, a dusting, or a dumping. If you’ve ever used a snow blower in the past, then you know it can be quite easy to remove the snow from one storm and quite a headache to clean up after another. Your best bet is to start off on the right foot and choose a base model that is designed to handle the winter weather that is common to your region. After that, it’s going to come down to load and level sensors.

Load sensors might be best set up to measure the torque on the wheels, or the torque on the impeller – you’re creative design will come in useful here. The idea however is that you’ll want to throttle the speed of both the wheels and the impeller when the snow height and density changes. This will ensure that the robot is not only clearing the snow effectively, but also that it won’t get jammed up when it comes into heavy snow.

Additional Considerations – The Real Challenge

Designing a snow removal robot to clear snow from an enclosed, walled-off plot of land is one thing. What you’ll really need to think about (and what could really make for a great product!) is how the robot could work in the real world. How will the robot know when it’s reached the edge of the pavement, or the end of the driveway? How will it know when the snow is cleared so that it can return to the charging dock to prepare for the next storm? And perhaps most importantly, how is it going to know which direction is best to throw snow?

There are many factors that influence these design decisions, and they are probably the main roadblocks holding back the big companies from making snow-clearing robots today. If you can figure this out you’ll not only be a true prototyping champion, but you could stand to make some seriously big bucks and get into the game full time.

Put Your Technical Skills To The Test With These Home Automation Tasks

Are you searching for more ways to turn your house into a true smart home? There are a great many hacks that you can implement in order to accomplish this goal. Here is a handy list of some of the most popular improvements that you can make. When you’re done, you’ll be the proud owner of a fully automated smart home.

Control the Lights in Your Home with a Raspberry Pi

One of the most common complaints that people have is regarding the lights in their home. If you can’t be there to turn them on and off yourself, you risk using up a great deal of energy. This lack of energy conservation soon translates into a hefty figure on your next utility bill.

Of course, if you are at home, you now have the privilege of going around to every light in your house in order to turn it off by hand. Is there an easier way that doesn’t involve a half mile hike every night?

It will take a bit of doing and some solid soldering skills to combine your Pi with a remote control device that can control your lighting system from the web. But once you are done, you will be able to turn all of your lights on and off from a laptop, PC, or phone.

Open Up Your Curtains with a Remote Controlled Timer

One of the most interesting things you can do with the new smart tech is to open and close your curtains on a remote controlled timer. First you’ll have to attach a few pulleys and a counterweight to the curtains. Once the hardware is in place, there are a number of kits that you can buy in order to send the signal to open and close from your smartphone, laptop, or PC. It’s an open and shut case with smart tech!

Control Your AC Unit from Your Phone

Did you know that you can control your AC unit from your phone? You can buy any number of new intelligent devices, such as a Sensibo, to attach to the unit. From there, you simply coordinate the add-on device with your smartphone. This will enable you to turn your AC on and off, even if you aren’t actually in the home itself.

Using a smart remote device will also control when the unit is set to heat or cool the home as well as how long each session lasts. As noted above, you can buy a ready made remote unit to do the job. You can also purchase several DIY kits that will enable you to achieve the same purpose. This is an excellent way to regulate your energy usage and cut down on your monthly utility bills.

Open Your Garage Door Using Your Smartphone

One of the best things you can do with the new technology is to use your smartphone as a garage door opener. Don’t wedge the phone literally under your door! You can instead use your smartphone as a remote control to open the garage door safely from your car. This is one of the finest uses you can make of this amazing smart tech and it won’t cost you a massive amount to implement it. You can buy several ready made apps right off the web that will let you perform this feat.

If you prefer to make your own mod, you can do so very easily. All you have to do is go to your local electronic parts outlet and buy a simple transistor. This shouldn’t cost you more than a dollar. If you already own a Bluetooth, you’re in business. From there, all you need to do is wire the transistor into your Bluetooth using the soldering iron.

The ultimate idea is to send a signal from the audio amplifier in your Bluetooth headset to your garage door opener. It’s a quick and simple process that will save you a great deal of time and trouble in the long run. Meanwhile, there are plenty more of these simple automating hacks that can be found on the web. It’s up to you to find and make use of them in order to make your life even more easy and convenient.

Revitalize Your Coding: How A Mattress Topper Can Improve Your Sleep

What do great minds have in common? The ability to think without hindrance. Whether you’re designing new software, sifting through lines and lines of coding, or something basic as adding HTML tags in your e-mail, you’ll want to make sure that your brain is well-lubricated for all the coarse thinking you have ahead of you. Put simply, it all comes down to a good night’s rest.

The U.S. loses over $400 billion a year due to poor work performance and it’s safe to say that some of those billions were meant to go programmers like yourselves. Let’s be honest, computers are the future IF we haven’t already made it there already! Coding languages have become the backbone of both our economy and day-to-day operations. If you are operating on a couple hours of sleep per night, then you’re not fulfilling your potential as a programmer, nor are you benefiting the person(s) or company that you’re coding for.

The most basic rule to remember is this: the less hours in bed equals more errors in red.

If you get your average six hours of sleep a night, you will find that it dramatically improves both your short and long-term memory. It will make remembering all those courses you took, or books you’ve read that much easier while also keeping track of your current work and how to implement more elements in your coding that you thought you’ve forgotten long ago. So, if you’re the type of person to wake up in the middle of the night or have trouble sleeping, chances are that little bits of information are slipping through the cracks without you even knowing!

Computer programming demands high activity from two parts of the brain. The inferior frontal gyrus which controls basic knowledge combined with innovative thinking (understanding languages, attention span, memory utilization) and the parietal lobe (mathematical and analytical skill). Studies have shown that just after a single night of sleep deprivation that both behavioral and cognitive functions were significantly lower than that of a person who has had a full night’s rest of good old fashioned sleep. Which goes to show that when you don’t sleep well, your brain will literally receive signals that ‘do not compute!’

So, how can you achieve optimal coding results? Start with eliminating caffeine and energy drinks, even if they may be helpful during long nights of coding, these stimulants are actually harmful to the brain’s process. If you’re a smoker, make sure to get all your puffs in hours before going to bed. Same thing goes for you greasy food and snack lovers, do it well before you lay down to rest. And most importantly, be comfortable in bed! Fluff your pillow, cover your feet, and eliminate pressure on the body by either buying a new mattress or simply finding ways to make the one you have now less lumpy; a quality mattress topper is the best option.

The best programmers are excellent problem solvers, so if you’re dedicated to the code, you will find a way to feed your brain those well-deserved Z’s at night. With all that being said, here’s one more fun anecdote for you to remember: you don’t want to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and have white noise in your head. Get some (comfortable and sound!) sleep and get out there and show the world what you’re made of…or rather, the code that you make.

Take a Break from Programming and Try the Hottest New Trend: The Electric Skateboard

Being a computer programmer is not easy, it requires long hours of sitting in front of the computer designing, writing, and testing computer programs. It requires writing a source code in a special programming language that the computer can interpret which is not easy. The brain needs a break from the computer screen and needs to be distracted by a fun activity that will help relieve stress. What better way to relieve stress than to go outside and ride an electric skateboard.

An electric skateboard is a skateboard whose speed you control using a hand-held device or by adjusting your weight by tilting the board side to side. These skateboards vary in prices so you can decide how much you are wanting to splurge on it, they can range anywhere from $140 at Walmart to $1000+ by different companies. One of the hottest electric skateboards on the market is the LOU Board that offers a hidden battery, is water resistant, is super lightweight, has replaceable wheels, is manageable via an app, and is small enough making it portable, even on the plane.

When buying an electric skateboard there are three things to take into consideration and that is range, reliability, and speed. You want to be sure that the skateboard can travel a good distance before the battery needs to be recharged, you need to ensure that the skateboard material is reliable enough that it can withstand your weight and all weather and street conditions, and you want to ensure that it can travel at a decent speed because you do not want the skateboard to go so slow that you are barely moving and you do not want it to go so fast that you can barely keep your balance.

One of the fastest electric skateboards is the Boosted 2nd en Dual+ Electric Skateboard that is made of Bamboo material, uses a Lithium-ion battery that has a one hour charge time, and you can go up to 12 miles at a speed of 35mph, and it can hold a weight of up to 250lbs. Another thing to consider when buying an electric skateboard is the charge time, because many electric skateboards, like the Evolve Skateboards GT Street Electric Longboard Skateboard, Yuneec E-GO2 Electric Longboard Skateboard, Evolve Skateboards Bamboo GTX Electric Longboard Skateboard, MotoTec MT-SKT-1600 Dirt Electric Skateboard, and SKATEBOLT Electric Skateboard have charge times of 2-5 hours, and if that is something you are not interested in then electric skateboards like Boosted 2nd Gen Dual+ Electric Skateboard, Boosted Dual+ 2000W Electric Skateboard, MAXFIND Dual Motor Electric Skateboard Longboard, ACTON BLINK S Powerful Electric Skateboard, ACTON BLINK S2 Electric Skateboard, and Inboard M1 Premium Electric Skateboard have a charge time of 1-1.5 hours.

Buying an electric skateboard is not cheap so you want to be sure that whichever one you choose is something you can see yourself riding every day to give your brain break from computer programming. Each electric skateboard has something different to offer, so you will have to decide what matters most, the range the electric skateboard can travel, the speed at which it can go, the amount of time it takes to charge the battery, or the weight that it can withstand because some electric skateboards have a weight capacity of 130lb only like the ACTON BLINK Lite Electric Skateboard which also does not go faster than 10mph and no further than 5 miles. Take a look at all the electric skateboard options and choose one that will work best for you.

How to Clean Your Computer Hardware

Routine maintenance is an essential task to help maintain the cleanliness of your computer. Hence this article is about using an air compressor to clean your pc or laptop. As a note, a can of compressed air is a fine alternative to using an air compressor to clean your computer. However, using an air compressor is a single time investment and may be appealing for this reason. Thus, before we dive into a discussion about air compressors, you may want to know when is it time for you to clean your pc?

Here are a few warning signs that it is time for you to clean your PC:

USB devices don’t work in a specific port: Your USB devices can have a lousy connection due to dirt and dust accumulated in the port

Frequent computer crashes: If your computer randomly crashes continuously, it may be due to over-heating. Dust can collect in your pc disrupting the ventilation of the fans in your computer. If this happens your computer may crash or restart frequently and present you with errors at start-up.

Your computer is louder than when you bought it: An increase in noise from your computer can indicate that your computer parts are clogged and therefore are working harder to achieve efficiency. Thus, if this occurs for you, it is usually a sign that dust is stressing your computer’s fans and processors.

Now let’s talk about choosing the right air compressor for this job. Purchasing an air compressor can be a daunting task especially in the event you don’t understand what things to search for. Also, as an added note, most air compressors are too powerful to use for computers and can end up damaging your equipment. Therefore, for our purposes, we want an air compressor with excellent functionality and is inexpensive (if you pay more than $100 you are spending too much). Hence, the best portable air compressor is an affordable option that is versatile enough to use in many applications where highly pressurized air is necessary.

Once you select the right air compressor, here is how you can dust off your computer. Also, if you are not a fan of having dust spray all over the room you can always take your computer outside to perform this task. Also, make sure that you give your computer enough time to cool off once you turn it off and before you begin using an air compressor. You will want to dust off each hardware piece at a time so use your compressor for a minute and wait for the dust to settle again. When you get started cleaning, the dust will fly everywhere. Finally, inspect the computer to be sure the dust is out of a hardware component before moving on to the next part.

How Learning Computer Programming Will Change Your Life

Learning computer programming will change your life because it helps you learn something that is very good for you. It can help you make certain that you have a skill that will be right for you. You will be pretty happy to have something that you can do to get a lot of different jobs, and you can apply that information to any career that you think would be the best for you. There are some people who want to make video games, and there are other people who actually want to job that will allow them to make websites. They just have to make choices that they think will be right for them, and they also have to know what they will be able to do.

There are some people who will want to have something that will make it easy for them to design their own things, or they can get jobs working on databases and other things that are interesting to them. That is why it is very easy for someone to have the sorts of options that will be best because that makes it so much easier on someone who will want to have the results that they will have the best results. There are some people who want to have the best kinds of programming job because they dream of making these things, and that is why you need to learn computer programming.

The computer programming that you learn will be pretty good for you because you can learn how much easier it is for you to have something that will be right for you. You should have to know that you will have a way to do these things, or you can actually learn to make art through computer programming because that is just like what you would have done before because it will help you make sure that you will have the information that can help you make the kinds of art that you ant which could include animation.

If you want to have other things added to this, you have to remember that you learn different kinds of programming because all of that can be applied to you and make it easier for you to get a job. All the certifications that you have will start to add to what you are doing, and it will make it very easy for you to get something that will be better for you and your livelihood. You also have to see if you can get something that will be helpful to you that does not take too long. If someone has taken too long to do these things, they are learning that they have not the time or the money. You can actually get into computer programming easily, and you can save a lot of money that will be very helpful to you because it can make things right for you because it saves you time and makes everything easier on you overall as you work.