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Welcome to Project FRAME: Future Robotics Advancement in Modular Elements

Mission Statement:

This is a collaborative discussion website meant to take the world's technological development to the next level. It was started by Moshi Badalov, Freshman student at the University of Arizona. The scope of this project is physically impossible to carry out by a single engineer with a vision, so this website was created to make the endeavor reasonable.

The focus of this project is to discuss and conclude practical methods that will globally standardize an (affordable) advanced robotics parts system for land based robots and vehicles. Advanced land robots especially feature walking machines, which will inevitably become of wide use in the world's future, across very many industries. The purpose of this discussion is to determine how to, just like the automobile industry, create a globally standardized etiquette for building advanced land-based robots and vehicles who's parts are modular. This means that any assembly (such as the legs, if it walks) can easily be switched out with elements from an entirely different company. For example, if you want to upgrade your American car, you can do it with car parts from Japan, or any country that has the same car model on the streets. Just imagine this idea with advanced robotics, where certain robot frames are as standard as certain car frames.

If you wish to author posts on this blog, kindly send an email to moshibadalov@ymail.com. You are requested, however, to please watch this public presentation that led to the creation of Project FRAME. It explains the significance of this project clearly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO79r39_11Q.

Also, take a skim (or a full read, if you please) of the online research paper that corresponds to the presentation: http://www.scribd.com/doc/146767581/Analysis-and-Development-of-Advanced-Robot-Designs.

The content in the above links are of vital importance to Project FRAME.

Anyone is free to share ideas, photos, and videos to communicate their opinions on how to develop this into reality. If this discussion gets enough participants, it might shift into an official website. It's time to engineer the next generation of robotics.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Modularity in Media - A Modern Dream (and reality)

EDIT: I actually found a playable version (In Java 7 Update 25 or older) of the Stormrunner game if you're hankering to play it. It's a bit buggy, but then again it's 13 years old!

I remember long ago that one of my favorite flash games was the Lego Mindstorms RCX StormRunner game. The game, launched in the year 2000 (yeah, we're getting real nostalgic up in here) featured programmable RCX robots which you used to perform tasks in a hostile alien environment. More to the point, the RXC robots featured customizable parts. You could equip them with tracked or legged mobility, with a couple types of attachments, and with a variety of sensors. It was my first real encounter with robotics, modularity, and programming, and I loved it. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a playable version of the game when I searched today. I did find the intro of the game on the developers' website. Oh, 90's flash game animation. Gotta love it.

I digress - the point of this rambling nostalgic intro is that modularity is a compelling concept. Here's a much more recent example: PhoneBloks, the modular phone sensation that took phone-lovers' facebook feeds by storm this year.

It's an extremely similar concept to what we're proposing with Project FRAME, and it's gathered quite a bit of traction in public interest. So maybe we could do the same thing. We could call it RobotBloks... or RoBlox... whoops.

Which brings me to my point. Modularity is a huge deal in the public opinion. I'd venture that a large part of the reason Minecraft is so incredibly popular is that it's so modular.

Everything is a block, and all the blocks fit together in about every arrangement you can possibly imagine.

But that's not all. Oh no, you can't explore modern media without running into fantasies about or showcases of modularity. What shooter is complete without attachments for your guns? (Armor Mayhem, but that's another story)

And let's not forget that so many games include upgrades which modularly combine with your existing abilities.
And why stop at games? Movies have it too, like Hawkeye's arrows with modular heads in the Avengers

And let's not forget astromech droids like R2-D2 in Star Wars which seem to plug into everything.

The point is, people love modularity. It's a great tool for the user of any technology, enabling easy specialization and repair. It's already a reality in many places: desktop computers, cars, military weapon attachments, and - perhaps humblest of all - 3-ring binders.

With Project FRAME, we aim to help bring modularity to the next level with the promotion of advanced modular robots for a variety of applications. Join us, and help bring on the robotic revolution. The kind that helps humanity, not the kind where they take over the planet. Although that kind is always fun too.

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