Daily Archives: April 29, 2012

Ball Bearing Robotics

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Six Degrees of Freedom

Many months ago I was researching robotics and after many hours of watching stanford university lectures I started to draw up loads of diagrams of skeleton stick man who I could use to show my theory of ball bearing robots. This theory works off the Six degrees of freedom (6DoF) which are backwards, forwards, up, down, left, right, pitch, yaw and roll.

Six Degrees of Freedom

Six Degrees of Freedom Picture Credit Wikipedia

If you interlink a robot with ball bearings you will end up with many degrees of freedom because each ball bearing point will contain the Six Degrees of Freedom, this will allow the robot to become very flexible. When we bend our fingers we only have a certain amount of freedom where as a robot built with small ball bearings could in theory curl its finger joint and is able touch behind the knuckle joint.

The diagram below demonstrates how it is possible to use ball bearings to touch the back of a finger.

Ball Bearing Robotic Finger Compare

Ball Bearing Robotic Finger Picture Credit Marc Corn

In reality this is a simple concept but it will take some engineering to make it happen, let me know what you all think in the comments below.

Ad Supported Operating Systems

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A few years ago software giants Microsoft and Apple were toying with the idea to make an ad-supported operating system that allowed their customers to upgrade to the latest software at no extract cost but it meant you had ads showing throughout the day. According to some sources, they have stated the ads would have rolled on a 10 minute interval and it would appear near you clock.

Now, let me point out the biggest flaw in this concept… You need the internet to even have ads running and if you have the internet, you run the risk of leaving your system potentially open to more attacks than normal. All it takes is some smarty pants to override the ad API and it could be used to take your personal information or what your browsing throughout your computer.

I can see why this concept came to light, many users don’t want to pay the high prices for operating system upgrades because in some cases it can set you back around £100 or more each time, depending on the software vendor it could cost you less. In a practical world this concept would have paid off for the vendors because software upgrades would increase and the revenue obtained per install would leave them with a higher profit margin.

There is one thing that needs to be highlighted and that is the chances of the software vendor launching two versions of its software, ad-supported and no ads. In todays application world this is seen widely on mobile applications where you pay a small price to remove the ads but personally I don’t think this would work in operating system environment purely because the upgrade prices would be around the same price as buying it ad free.

Overall the concept is tangible but to the average user they will just dismiss the concept and pay full price for the upgrade, which means the concept is flawed. Depending on the ratio of paid and ad-supported installs it might not generate the right profit margins to cover overheads and other running costs to make it worth while.


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