Art without engineering is dreaming;
Engineering without art is calculating.

Steven K. Roberts

Posts Tagged ‘Microship’

Microship Seeks Geeky Skipper

by Steven K. Roberts Nomadic Research Labs A decade of my life (1993-2002) was focused on the development of this gizmologically intense amphibian pedal/solar/sail micro-trimaran, but as the project neared its end, my own nautical desires were shifting. She sat in my lab for a few years, nearly forgotten… then had a swan song in 2013 with dozens…

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Microship Hydraulics

These tattered drawings recently turned up in the lab… and it occurs to me that I have never done a proper article about the rather too-elaborate engineering of the hydraulic systems on the Microship for rudder and landing-gear control. Here is a quick overview of this essential subsystem. The boat’s hydraulic system is made up…

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Microship Electronics Photo Essay

As I settle into Datawake, wrapping myself in a console of rackmount blinkies, I often reminisce about the obsessive Microship project that occupied me for almost a decade (1993-2002). This amphibian pedal-solar-sail micro-trimaran is still in my life, and the plan is to launch it from the upper deck of my new mothership for local…

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Dark Side, with a Twist

Oh good grief, I’ve done it again. All those good intentions to blog frequently, and it’s been seven months since my last post! But I have a good excuse, and it has something to do with the Microship that I spent a decade building, ignored for a decade, then launched last summer. That, and chronic…

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Microship Revival

I didn’t expect this nautical non-sequitur, but even a career technomad needs to get shaken out of a rut now and again. Way back in 1993, after ten years and 17,000 miles of wandering the US aboard my “computerized recumbent bicycle,” I decided to build an amphibian pedal/solar/sail micro-trimaran and chase the same crazy dream…

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Intertwined Fronts, Stereo, and the Microship

Cold, dark winter days are demotivating and I didn’t get it together to go see how the boat handles a foot of snow loading, but I am happy to report progress on three simultaneous fronts: the ship’s Shacktopus network, the Boat Hacking book, and an online store to conjure a nickel generator from the first…

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Shacktopus Architecture

Real physical tasks are queuing up, but it’s a rainy holiday weekend and I find myself more engaged in gonzo engineering than rust patrol and plumbing. It began while sketching a simple controller, and suddenly the whole Shacktopus network design became illuminated in my brain… an area that had grown murky, overwhelmed by too many…

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Java, APRS, and Financial Madness

How bizarre it is to be at anchor in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, confronting the daily challenges of field electronics projects and keeping up with battery/food/water usage while slurping catastrophic financial news via the Internet and trying to assess the impact. Talk about a cognitive disconnect… kayaking the harbor at sunset while numbers…

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The Microship Puget Sound Mini Expedition

My life changed rather dramatically after the first real Microship adventure… relationship upheaval, a health issue, and a subtle but inexorable shift in passions. I found myself less and less able to visualize the planned expedition, yet the massive inertia of the 8-year project kept me working on it for another two years before finally…

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An Interview With A Mac Using, Pioneering, Technomad

by Eolake Stobblehouse The Mac Observer Apr 19th, 2001 This is a nice interview piece from the Microship lab, with a Mac focus – the full text is here. It includes quite a bit of detail about the project… Eolake was a great interviewer and we had an excellent and thoughtful conversation.  

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