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

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

Posts Tagged ‘Microship’

Microship Network Architecture drawing

This huge drawing (done in ConceptDraw) was my snapshot of the system during the heyday of its development, and it even lived on the server with image-mapped links in some of the boxes, intended to become a graphic front-end to the documentation library. A few notes are below; you can click it for a big…

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Microship Test in Wisconsin & 7,000 Mothership Miles

I’ve been doing this for so long that it hardly seems strange… until I think about it for a minute. I mean… it’s Monday night in a campground at the foot of Mount Shasta. I’m reclining on a king-size bed suspended above my old pickup truck by a 44-foot gooseneck trailer, tapping on a Mac…

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First Amphibian Launch of the Microship

This posting to the huge Nomadness mailing list was a pivotal one… it was the first reality check of the Microship with deployable landing gear. The event was described in the local paper a few weeks later, but the text below tells the story in much more satisfying geek detail, and the entire decade-long project…

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Microship System Architecture

Designing Technomadic Systems – Dr Dobb’s Journal

This was the most substantial published Microship system architecture discussion, and still, over a decade later, reflects the basic design concepts underlying my machines. Although the hardware implementation is completely different, the model is the same: distribute low-power networked nodes throughout the environment and provide a means for anything to talk to anything (even cases…

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Ship of Dreams: New Adventures of a Technomad – CQ VHF

There was a point in the 10-year Microship project that I think of as the peak of system design, and only two articles really capture it… the one below, and another in the venerable Dr. Dobbs Journal. I wrote both during a 2-month layover in a rented house in Bellingham where we stayed after first…

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Life Changes and Micro-Trimaran Development

Oh my. Y’all touched my soul. Two and a half months have flown since our pivotal tale of downsizing from Mighty Hogfish to a pair of micro-trimarans, and we have a lot of ground to cover in this issue… but first, I want to profoundly thank the 75 or so of you who took the…

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The Video Turret

“The time required to complete a task is inversely proportional to the number of words required to express it.” — The Roberts Law of Creeping To-Do List Complexity ABSTRACT:   This is the complete design for a microprocessor-controlled, environmentally sealed 8″ video turret with two cameras, remote or autofocus, zoom control, sun damage protection, 450-degree azimuth…

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Technomad Takes to Water – Cruising World

Cruising World has always been one of my favorite armchair-sailing publications, and it was an honor to find my way into its pages early in the Microship project. This was during the brief period in which the substrate was Hogfish, a one-off folding trimaran built by John Walton and Mike Michie, predating the establishment of…

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Technomad of the High Seas - Popular Mechanics

Technomad of the High Seas – Popular Mechanics

This is just a short and almost content-free snippet, but I include it in the archive since it carries a rare photo of my Fulmar-19 trimaran… an early choice of substrate before a crazy adventure around the Salish Sea demonstrated that we needed something more robust and flexible. Tech-Nomad Of The High Seas Popular Mechanics…

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The Microship Project Catalog – USCD

by Steven K. Roberts to UCSD Microship Student Project Participants October 13, 1993 In 1993, I landed at UCSD as adjunct faculty for the first two years of the Microship project… and this detailed “project catalog” was written to attract students to our development team. It was structured as a projects course (ECE-190B), and I…

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