Saturday, December 19, 2009


To celebrate the end of finals and the end of fall semester, I felt like a quick and easy electronics project was in order. The Drawdio delivered. It took about five minutes to assemble the easy-to-find parts, and the result promises to amuse me for hours, at the least.

I prototyped it on a breadboard and will fit it onto a pencil tomorrow. I used the Adafruit design but without buying the PCB or the kit, these are not necessary. Radioshack and a Veroboard/Stripboard will do just fine.

Again, everything you need to know about the Drawdio is explained here.

And yes, I am the kind of person who, when first introduced to the theremin, thought it was the coolest thing ever and dreamed of getting one and playing the Legend Of Zelda theme on it. Ergo, I love the Drawdio, and I will soon be trying to draw a keyboard with the right resistivity between the points so I can play music on an instrument I drew on paper. TOTALLY AWESOME

Now that I have tons of time, I think I'll be getting back to the rest of that Pacman assignment from last post.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Been a bit busy (and lazy) recently...

Winter break is almost here and as soon as finals are over DIY gift-making will follow.

For now though I've been trying to pick up the introductory topics of AI. With some help and a borrowed copy of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach I'm getting started. The project files are part of an assignment from a course whose resources I got access to.

The project is Pacman. The first problem is to help Pacman find the single food dot. The highlighted paths indicated nodes explored by the AI. The nodes that are most red are the nodes explored earliest. Once a path to the goal state is found, Pacman begins to move, and moves only along that path.

Depth First Search: Pacman searches along one path until he reaches a dead end before going down a branching path. Uses the Stack data structure (LIFO: last in, first out).

Breadth First Search: Pacman searches in layers--first he looks at nodes one step away from his starting position, then at nodes two steps away, and so on. This uses the Queue data structure (FIFO: first in, first out).

I have to take a break from this to study for finals, but there's a lot more of the assignment to complete, involving mazes where Pacman must avoid the ghosts, find all the food dots in a maze, so on...

Happy holidays! Those are coming up, aren't they...