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Mac DevCenter

Run with the Mac Pack!


Frankentosh: Creating Robots on Mac
Ted Stevko, Stevko Studios

Track: Hardware
Date: Tuesday, October 01
Time: 5:45pm - 6:30pm
Location: Bayshore

Why spend the whole week talking about programming robots for users... when you can create your own!

Ted Stevko delves into two ways to build your own robots: using Mindstorms, the amazingly popular Lego system which can be programmed with intense detail, and Robocode, a new Java-based gaming system which pits your robots against other people's code.

Mindstorms is Lego's programmable code, and works in Mac OS X amazingly well. From household fetchers to tape switchers, people can cheaply experiment with robots made of that ubiquitous toy. We'll explore NCQ, leJOS, legOS and show at least one Lego robot in action. Robocode is a (code-only) Java-based dueling system developed by IBM; people develop robots using a standard code base, and pit them against one another in a combat duel to the death.

Stevko walks through the aspects of the two types of robots and how they're developed. It's a mad scientist's dream!

When asked what's particularly cool about his presentation, Stevko replies: "When's the last time you went to a professional conference to play around with Legos & build code robots? Macs were called for years a 'toy,' not worthy of being considered for business. But that's the key, for me--playing with these systems, learning from them, building with them, it is like a toy, both beautiful and powerful. Playing with Macs (and computers in general, for that matter) I gain understanding of the systems, which I can then apply to becoming a better front-end user and a better programmer."

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