Jimmy's blog

A modular robot that is in the New York Times

August 16th, 2009

This is old news (no pun intended) but I never got the times (pun intended) to write a proper blog post about it. Anyways, CKbot got written up in the New York Times on July 28! Yes I know, that is almost three weeks ago.

My buddy from college Graham Roberts is one of the science editors at the New York Times. I’ve been pitching him CKbot stories for the past 2 years and he’s finally taken me up on it.

I got to work with him pretty closely explaining all the inner workings of CKbot, and then helping him with some of the wording. I am used to writing papers for other roboticists so it was a nice change to write to a much broader audience. With such a small amount of space and keeping in mind that readers will have a more limited knowledge of robotics, every word really counts. For the word “bump” in particular we went back and forth through a couple iterations just for that one word.

As for the graphics, I gathered all the SolidWorks files we had of CKbot and drew cad drawings of the individual module, the cluster and the dog assembly. I then converted those to Maya and sent them off to Graham. Then Graham took those 3D drawings and did the coloring, texturing, shading, posing and generally making things just look cool. Check out the reflection on the ground plane.

He went above and beyond and also made us an online interactive animation. Click here.


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