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CONGRATULATIONS - 1000 plus Forum members

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(@pugwash)
Sorcerers' Apprentice
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 923
Topic starter  

Congratulations are definitely in order!

But the silence from the silent majority is deafening, 2/3 of the members have not posted a single post. The platform is not perfect but do they feel intimidated or something? I know "you can lead a horse to water" but I would not join a forum if I wasn't prepared to contribute something!

For some of us more verbose members, it has been a success, so keep up the good work! ? 


   
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(@dronebot-workshop)
Workshop Guru Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 1104
 
Posted by: @pugwash

But the silence from the silent majority is deafening, 2/3 of the members have not posted a single post.

Yes, that is rather disturbing.  It's also a bit confusing as to why someone would join a forum and not even make a single post.

If anyone has any suggestions as to how to encourage posting from our "shy" members I would love to hear them.  Is there, perhaps, something about the design or layout of the forum that is confusing people? 

And my sincere thanks to those of you who have been posting regularly and keeping the forum alive. 

?

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
Member Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 1040
 

@robo_blue

Welcome to our 1000th member!  Post something and introduce yourself to the forum Robo_Blue

SteveG


   
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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 1669
 
Posted by: @dronebot-workshop

Yes, that is rather disturbing.  It's also a bit confusing as to why someone would join a forum and not even make a single post.

A lot of people may have joined strictly for the technical aspect.   They have no desire to "waste their time" shooting the bull like us verbose members tend to do. ?  They'll more then likely post when they have a serious technical question they need help with. ? 

Posted by: @dronebot-workshop

If anyone has any suggestions as to how to encourage posting from our "shy" members I would love to hear them.  Is there, perhaps, something about the design or layout of the forum that is confusing people? 

I suspect that people might be more encouraged to post if the fellow who started all this would post a video once in a while. I recall from other thread where he said:,...

Posted by: @dronebot-workshop

Actually I've been working "behind the scenes" for a while, by the end of October you'll have heard so much from me you'll be wishing I'd stay silent!

The end of October is nigh
but the video volume is shy
where is the guy
who said he'd comply
with a video oversupply?

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


   
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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
Member
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 2045
 
Posted by: @dronebot-workshop
Posted by: @pugwash

But the silence from the silent majority is deafening, 2/3 of the members have not posted a single post.

Yes, that is rather disturbing.  It's also a bit confusing as to why someone would join a forum and not even make a single post.

Perfectly normal behaviour.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1%25_rule_(Internet_culture)
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/lurker-majority-youre-not-weird-reading-never-posting/
and so on ...

My reason for joining this forum was the motivation it gave me to pursue my desire to build an actual working robot. However I am not finding any real connection with others in this respect so I may eventually just look in occasionally 'just in case' as I am now doing on another forum I used to regularly contribute to.

I will keep checking on the progress of DB1 as an educational interest however its cost and now usage of Jetson Nano instead of just a Raspberry Pi makes it less likely I will ever be able to make my own version or contribute in any way.

 


   
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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 1669
 
Posted by: @casey

My reason for joining this forum was the motivation it gave me to pursue my desire to build an actual working robot. However I am not finding any real connection with others in this respect so I may eventually just look in occasionally 'just in case' as I am now doing on another forum I used to regularly contribute to.

It's difficult to make a connection with others if you aren't building basically the same robot.  I don't feel that I have  made any connections with anyone specifically on that front either.   But then I didn't expect to since no here is working on my robot, nor do they even know how it is built.   I'm hoping to change that over time by posting detailed videos on exactly what I'm building.

I saw  your post on your Mechanical Bumper.   I was going to post some suggestions, but my suggestions would be radically different from what you actually did.   I'm not terribly thrilled with other people suggesting to me options that are radically different from what I'm doing (which is usually the case 99% of the time).  So I thought rather than suggesting a better idea, it would probably be better to just not say anything.  I guess I should have given you a thumbs-up for your own progress.   At least that way you would have known that someone read the post. ? 

Posted by: @casey

I will keep checking on the progress of DB1 as an educational interest however its cost and now usage of Jetson Nano instead of just a Raspberry Pi makes it less likely I will ever be able to make my own version or contribute in any way.

I agree, about the DB1 project.  It started out fairly simple with less expensive parts, but it appears to be rapidly growing into a far more complex project that may require far more expensive parts.

I think the idea of creating a single Robot Project where everyone can get on the same page is a great idea.  But if it's unclear where the project is going, and the cost continues to climb fewer and fewer people are going to take it on (at least that's what I would expect).

Another problem (or trap) that I think Bill might be innocently falling into is trying to make DB1 into DB2  or DB3 while it's being developed.   That's great for a lone hobbyist to do, but if  you're creating a  YouTube series intended to bring along followers that approach might not be the best approach to take.

I don't know what bill's financial situation is, but instead of going off on tangents with more  expensive equipment I would suggest maybe investing the money into at least TWO DB series robots.  DB1 and DB2.

They could have a LOT in common, with two major differences.  DB1 shoots for the LEAST EXPENSIVE build.  Like using a Raspberry Pi 3B as the main brain and maybe something like TF Mini as the LED LIDAR system, etc.   While DB2 is the more expensive counterpart where things like a Jetson Nano, and 360 LIDAR are employed.

I don't know if Bill can afford to build two robots like this.  But if he could squeak it out he could build them side-by-side as they would have very much in common.   And then the followers could choose what fits their pocket book.   I hate to always be complaining about money.   But I just can't afford to be buying every latest and greatest gadget that comes out.   So I would personally be more interested in a project that promises to take cost into consideration as a #1 priority. 

Just my thoughts for whatever they are worth.  

After all Bill does ask us for suggestions, so there's mine. ? 

I enjoy Bill's videos no matter what he does.  And apparently I'm the biggest blabber on the forums too. 

I'm not even building DB1 or DBx? whatever it turns out to be.  But I'm learning from watching the build anyway.  So I still appreciate Bill's DB1 series.  But I think he would do well to take a step back and think about where the project is ultimately headed.   Maybe make a video on what people who take on the project might expect to end up with when the project is done?

Like I say, if not sure, then build two of them side-by-side.  A less ambitious one (less expensive) and perhaps a more ambitious one (more expensive).   And then let the followers decide which one they want to build, if any.

One way to get people to speak up would be to make a thread on this very question and see how many people show interest and what their preferences are.

I'm only trying to help with these suggestions.  I support Bill's channel whatever he does.  I just think he might get more people climbing onboard if they have a better idea of exactly what they are getting themselves into and what to expect in terms of total costs, etc.   At least in terms of the DB1 series.   The other Workshop videos are usually just projects in and of themselves.  So those are just fine as they are.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


   
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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
Member
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 2045
 
Posted by: @robo-pi

I saw  your post on your Mechanical Bumper.   I was going to post some suggestions, but my suggestions would be radically different from what you actually did.   I'm not terribly thrilled with other people suggesting to me options that are radically different from what I'm doing (which is usually the case 99% of the time).  So I thought rather than suggesting a better idea, it would probably be better to just not say anything.  I guess I should have given you a thumbs-up for your own progress.   At least that way you would have known that someone read the post. ? 

Yes I noticed you tend to give encouragement to others and suggesting a better way would have been good. However I have removed the motors and electronics and thrown that robot base in the bin because it was rubbish not because I received no interest in mechanical bumper design. The designers of vacuum robots had to make a robot that actually worked and there is a reason most of them chose a circle for a base and I am going to do likewise. 

Whereas you seem very ambitious and appear to be starting at the top (thus the need for your Jetson Nano) I am starting at the bottom and hope to get that right first and build on it over time just as nature did with living control systems. This doesn't mean I am not interested in the so called AI that can be run on the Jetson Nano (or RPi) and indeed have read and watched videos on how it is used,  it just means I am not there yet.

Building a "real" robot like the db1 is a major project and Bill wrote up front he didn't want to do it alone however without people with the know how and money to also work on the project it does become a project for Bill alone. People following the project were I suspect hoping to gain know how which is the reason they watch Bill's other tutorials.

 


   
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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 1669
 
Posted by: @casey

Whereas you seem very ambitious and appear to be starting at the top (thus the need for your Jetson Nano)

You appear to be jumping to conclusions based on limited information.   In truth I'm starting at what I feel is the extreme bottom.  Here's a couple of my current robots:

Robot (2)

It doesn't get much simpler than this.  In fact, right now I'm only using the Mega 2560 and an ESP8266 for WiFi.  The old model A+ pies aren't even connected up yet. But they do have some intelligence software that I have written already onboard.   Nothing I would even call A.I.

As far as the Jetson Nano is concerned, it took me a very long time to make the final decision to buy it.   And I bought it mainly for learning A.I.  I didn't even buy it with the intention of necessarily incorporating it into a robot.   Although I may do that down the road.

I never even heard of a Jetson Nano until Bill reviewed on his channel.   Even then I wasn't overly thrilled with it.  From my perspective it's "Just another SBC".   There are so many coming out anymore it's difficult to keep track of them all.   However, after learning about it I did start looking around to see if I might be interested in   trying a more powerful SBC.  Not just for learning A.I. but for other applications as well.

As I searched for what all was available I began to realize that a lot of people were giving the Jetson Nano a huge thumbs up as the best processing power for the buck.  (especially if you only pay $99 for it ?)

I did a LOT of research on it and watched it being reviewed and compared with other SBCs by may different YouTubers and articles.   The Jetson Nano  typically came out on top.   Then I realized that NVIDIA is the world's leader in A.I. Technologies (or at least one of the leaders). And the reports kept coming in praising the little Nano for it's awesome capabilities.

The straw that broke the camel's back for me was the fact that Paul McWhorter started his series "A.I. on the Jetson Nano" . He's not only promising to teach about the Nano itself, but he's also promising to cover Python, Numpy, Matplotlib, and even OpenCV.   All of which I had been starting to learn using a standard Notebook computer.

So I finally dove in a bit the bullet and bought the little sucker.   Ended up costing me $350 for everything I wanted  including a 22" HDIM monitor that Bill MADE me buy. ? 

I'm really glad I got this  set up though. I'm already using it for making videos.  Haven't even done any A.I. on it yet.

But no, this is not a "Top down" approach to building a robot.   The robots are starting from the ground up just like everyone else builds them.   The only difference is that when my robots grow up physically and have better physical capabilities I'll already have a lot of A.I. research under my belt by then and won't need to start from  scratch when it comes time to give them a higher level brain. 

By the way, most of the brain power my robots will have can be done on a Raspberry Pi.   The Jetson Nano is actually overkill IMHO.   A lot of what the Jetson Nano does is "Brute Force A.I." (i.e. the Artificial Neural Network approach).     I actually prefer a semantic approach to A.I. that even a Raspberry Pi can handle.

Not saying that ANNs are worthless.   I'll no doubt incorporate them too.  Although I'm hoping to incorporate ANNs has hardware rather than as software.   But the Jetson Nano can play a major role in helping to design those hardware ANNs.

I'm 70 years old.  If I wait until I perfect a physical body before starting to learn the A.I. part of things, it's highly unlikely that I would ever do it.   So I'm learning the A.I. part whilst building the physical bodies too.  I can do more than one thing at a time. ? 

If I wasn't studying A.I. I'd probably be studying physics anyway.  It's better than watching TV. ? 

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


   
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(@pugwash)
Sorcerers' Apprentice
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 923
Topic starter  

@casey, @dronebot-workshop

1-9-90 rule made for very interesting reading, I didn't realise that this phenomenon had even been researched, but it certainly explains something that I had noted when I ran a forum for Freelance Third Party Inspectors. I thought it was just down to pure selfishness that very few were actively engaged.

My forum was totally private i.e. only available to members and protected with a number of hurdles written in PHP, to discourage unwanted visitors.

Like Bill, I was having to delete dozens of signups every day, most of which came from porn sites.

I was honestly very glad when I closed the forum for good.


   
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Spyder
(@spyder)
Member
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 846
 

When I decided to buy the Jetson Nano, it was a decision I made before Bill even introduced it. I had first bought the Atomic Pi because it was supposed to run ROS better

I had been experimenting with ROS on the Raspberry Pi with poor results, so that's why I went to the Atomic Pi, which was also only $35, so I figured I had nothing to lose, but then the Jetson came out, claiming to be built specifically FOR AI and ROS, and, for me, it was a no brainer. I had already planned on building my "toolcart" when Bill started his DB1 project, and I saw that as serendipitous, and then he started the forum, and that was another no brainer for me

90-9-1 I do occasionally do my share of lurking on forums that are time worn and established, just to see if I would fit in, and how the people interact with each other, but, since this one was brand new, I totally skipped the lurking part because everybody was brand new to it

When Bill started the DB1 project, I just figured that I'd let him do all the hard work of figuring things out, and I'd do the easy part and just build the hardware my own way. I'm still sort of planning that, I've got a few robots in progress, with the "toolcart" actually ready for the "brains", and another in sort of almost the same state, and I'm actually in the middle of training the Jetbot right now. So I guess a total of 3, 4 if you count Otto, which I don't

I've also got an "Otto" that I built that I almost don't count, since all I did was follow instructions for both the hardware and software. It was easy cuz I didn't have to think about it, and now I heard of an upgrade that I might look into, just so that when I run into a stopping point, I'll have something else to work on

I honestly enjoy this forum. I expect that it may take some time for it to get "established", but, I do enjoy and appreciate it, and the people in it, even our absentee landlord ? 


   
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