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dIy, Robot — Why Now?
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dIy, Robot

[with apologies to Isaac]

Carnegie-Mellon University has created robots for the rest of us. The Telepresence Robot Kit [Terk] provides a reasonable path to building your own robot from parts purchased at a local hardware store controlled by a Qwerk Linux-based computer.

The computer has a built-in wireless module so you can control your home-built robot over the ‘Net. This is a truly evil way to annoy pets when you are at work.


1 Anntichrist S. Coulter { 04.26.07 at 11:33 pm }

Not kosher, to annoy the pets.

Roommates, neighbors, Mormons, Amway salesjerks, allllll good. But not to pick on the critters who can piss in your bed, or try to smother you in your sleep. They will know how it happened and where it came from, they always do.

If it’s got a programmable voice chip, then you can train it to answer the door to Amway cultmembers with “Help! Help! Call for help! My floor-cleaning solution won’t remove my waxy buildup! I need a superior product but I can’t open the door! Help!”

2 Bryan { 04.27.07 at 12:13 am }

They are totally programmable, so you can be as insane as you wish.

3 Steve Bates { 04.27.07 at 12:17 am }

I don’t know, Annti. Back in the 70s, I spent a night in Buffalo, NY prior to a concert of very difficult music the following evening. I stayed at an apartment kindly loaned to me by a local violist, who stayed with her boyfriend, but she didn’t take her young kittens with her. They were a little older than the Tax Day Four; they were quite mobile… and they saw my hands as I tossed and turned that night as the greatest playthings they had ever encountered in their short lives. They were lovable, and it’s a good thing, because if I’d had a programmable robot to turn loose on them…

I survived. The kittens survived. Hell, they had a great time. On one level, so did I. The concert went decently well; even the review was not scathing. This was back in my meat-eating days, and the presenters fed us Buffalo wings after the concert. Today, I am very grateful that Morningstar Farms produces quite respectable vegetarian Buffalo wings.

Hmm. I wonder what the kittens would have thought of spicy Buffalo wings… no. I’m bad for even thinking that!

4 Steve Bates { 04.27.07 at 12:27 am }

<pensive> Afterthought: it occurs to me that those kittens lived out their lives and died at least a decade ago. Sigh. It all goes by so fast… </pensive>

5 Bryan { 04.27.07 at 12:28 am }

The ferals will eat them. The manager of a local Hooters used to live down the street and he brought leftovers, including chicken wings, home with him and put them out for the cats. Everything is a toy to a kitten.

6 Anya { 04.27.07 at 8:37 am }

Kaylee’s answer to “How can I get you to share your dinner with me?” is the old “If I lick it, is it mine?” maneuver. She loves chicken. Buffalo sauce is no deterrent.

At the moment, Kaylee’s kittens have no fear of anything. They would just play with the robot; Koshka would probably climb on it and use it as a high-dive platform.

7 Bryan { 04.27.07 at 9:32 am }

You just have to bear down and discipline the cats, Anya. With a firm hand you can end bad behavior. [Yeah, right, like you can teach pigs to fly.]

8 Anya { 04.27.07 at 3:19 pm }

What Kaylee doesn’t realize is that I’m not deterred from eating cat-licked food. Then, she gets unceremoniously dumped on the floor.

I dunno if I can end her bad behavior, firm hand or otherwise, but the old squirt bottle trick still works pretty well for getting her attention, as does the mew-until-she-feels-guilty routine.

9 Bryan { 04.27.07 at 3:30 pm }

Anya, I was kidding. I had a squirt gun that I used, until my Koshka stole it and hid under something. At first it was effective, then she decided it was just annoying. Sox thinks it’s a game, so I gave up on it.

10 Anntichrist S. Coulter { 04.27.07 at 9:50 pm }


I wish that I could still live with my chirrens (Biddy & Boy, the two most fat, spoiled-rotten cats on the planet), but noooo, I live in L’Hotel du Fucktards, so I only get VISITING HOURS every day, seeing as how the Fallen Uterus and Her Dick are allergic to cleaning cat boxes, giving medicine, cleaning-up hairballs, etc., that’s pretty much how I have to spend my visiting hours.

But at least the chirrens get to frolic on 3.9 acres and be teased and tormented by about 40 species of birds who always get away. And if I’m lucky, I’ll get to watch the new feral babies play from my window, and then, when they’re old enough, another round of TNR.

11 Bryan { 04.27.07 at 11:52 pm }

It’s hard, but they are doing what they do best – being cats.