Thursday, April 18, 2013

Drones in the Bathroom

There is always an interesting line of thought popping up in my life.

In this case, I was describing the vibration challenge of mounting a video camera on a motorcycle.  My friend K came up with an elegant, if technically challenging suggestion.

'What you need is drone with camera mounted on it that would follow your motorcycle and bank through the turns to match the motorcycle's lean.'

With that thought fresh in my mind, I excused myself to the bathroom, where I thought about the technical details of this interesting idea.

When I returned from the bathroom, I was telling K that I thought the drone would want to have user selectable modes, for example;

  • Above and behind the motorcycle with a panoramic view for a road with sweepers
  • Low and close behind the bike with aggressive banking for tight and twisty roads.  Maybe something like this little guy following the SR-71.

About that time, along came Tyler, who listening to some of the conversation, asked the question, "There are drones in the bathroom?"

The conversation continued with my suggestion that maybe the drone could be towed by a tether from the motorcycle so that you wouldn't have to provide propulsion to the small drone.

Also discussion about how you might use image processing to keep the drone from hitting a bridge overpass, etc.

I think this is a very entertaining idea that is probably technically possible at some level.  Of course, I don't know how to accomplish it.  I also haven't figured out how to slow the drone down when you put the brakes on the motorcycle.  Also, launching and recovering the drone may be tricky.

Meanwhile, Tyler found this video showing how amazing remote vehicle control algorithms have become.  Definitely worth a watch.  Actually, it's more than that.  You gotta see this.

Hmmn....  Maybe a quadracopter would be better.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I have been thinking about getting a gmail account because my little ISP seems to be unreliable.  The problem is that everyone else, already has a gmail account, so most of the names I think of are unavailable.  I admire those that took good names early and kept them.  Roadscholar, Rallyfreak, Honesteffort,  and Gasflow are among the names I admire.  I also like the email address of a friend who's email is  Actually, my old email was pretty good too.

As I continue to think about names, a couple of inappropriate names have popped up this week.

First is a coworker who got the message on his computer, "Your dinkey dongle has been installed."  I'm pretty sure I'm not going to sign up for "dinkey dongle."

At lunch today, someone explained how you get your "porn" name.  Apparently, you take the name of your childhood pet and combine it with the street you live on or the street you lived on as a kid.  I won't be using my "porn name" either.  It is better suited to a woman.