Staying on the line with a homebuilt robot

Friday, November 25th, 2005
Amy and Wendy recently decided to build a test platform to further develop their programming skills.

20050919-Robot-Line-Follower.jpg

Specifically, they wanted to build a robot to follow a line. They emailed me this video clip of their latest LEGO robot following an electrical tape line around grandma's kitchen. (See below.) Programming a robot to follow a line can be a challenge. I'm proud of Amy and Wendy for taking the initiative to learn how to solve this problem on their own.

Learn more about their robotics team, The LEGO Mountaineers, here.

Click on the podcast link below to watch the video.

test podcast title

Baskets of Bread

Thursday, November 24th, 2005
Many years ago, my wife put together this display for our home. Five loaves of bread and two fishes in a simple basket. Her purpose was to create a powerful visual reminder of how God provides for our needs in the same way that He did when he multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the crowds.

20051124
- Loaves and Fishes.jpg

It's so easy for us to fall into a cycle of thinking about what we do not have, yet we are richly blessed. We have a father that loves us, cares for us, and will never abandon us. Our heavenly Father loves us so much that he has provided for all of our needs, even to the point of extreme sacrifice just so that we would not miss out on the most important aspect of life. It's easy, however, to get distracted from what we really need and think about what we do not have or what we want. Specifically there are times when we may think that we do not have enough ___ [fill in the blank; money, house, things, faith; hope; love, etc.] yet God provides abundantly, according to our need.

Continue Reading "Baskets of Bread" »

LEGO Mountaineers earn top award

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005
This weekend, our Robotics team competed in the FIRST Robotics competition in Manhattan Beach, California. Preparation for this year's competition was very different from all previous years. Due to a medical situation in our family, our team was unable to meet as a team after our first meeting. Rather than skipping the competition, the girls decided to split up the projects, with two of the girls working on the robot design and programming locally while Amy and Wendy worked on the research and presentation project remotely.

LEGO
Mountaineers research presentation

This weekend, the LEGO Mountaineers won the top award for their research and presentation on how undersea robots can be used to help restore the kelp forests. Amy and Wendy even built a mock-up of their proposed solution to demonstrate how it would work.

Continue Reading "LEGO Mountaineers earn top award" »

Thank You, Go in Peace

Friday, November 11th, 2005
Today, I attended a Veteran's Day memorial with my family. It was an opportunity to recognize the men and women who courageously served our country in order that we might enjoy the freedoms that we have today.

20051111_Veteran's_Day_Tribute.JPG

It was sobering to see the dwindling numbers  of retired solders in the honor guard, standing at attention, representing each of the branches of our armed forces. I'm proud to be an American. More importantly, I was humbled to think about what it costs to be an American. I grew up as an Air Force kid and I tasted a sense of patriotism that I've not seen often since moving to California twenty-five years ago. It's not that there aren't patriotic people in California, there are many. it's just that I don't often see many deeply patriotic people - the quiet ones. The ones who understand that freedom is not free.

Continue Reading "Thank You, Go in Peace" »