Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Posts Tagged ‘Darpa’

Holiday Shopping List

Posted by infinitygoods on November 12, 2007

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Here are my picks for a 21st Century Holiday Shopping List, and you can shop right here from the Internet and not have to fight for a parking spot at the mall. Just click on the links to see more and to purchase.

Music Downloads The teens and music lovers will enjoy Amazon’s new music downloads for their iPods, MP3 players, cell phones and other musical gadgets. Starting at only 89 to 99 cents per download, it’s in anybody’s price range and can be given even to paperboys (do they still exist??), teen gardeners, babysitters and others you want to recognize with a gift but don’t want to spend a fortune on. Your own kids will love a more generous download amount, and you will love this clutter-free gift which won’t be sitting around your home gathering dust.

Video Downloads Forget driving to the video store or messing with mail order video memberships. Now you can download your videos straight from your computer. Video downloads can be either rented or purchased from Amazon, a trusted Internet source for years, not a new fly-by-night company you’ve never heard of before.

Planet Earth – The Complete BBC Series is “a tour de force … a masterpiece,” wrote the New York Times. Using revolutionary new filming techniques, with a budget of more than $25 million, “Planet Earth” is the epic story of life on Earth as you’ve never seen it before. The Chicago Times praised it as “an absolutely extraordinary achievement.” Five years in the making, using 40 cameramen spanning 200 locations, this 11-part series is hailed as the ultimate portrait of our planet. It also features a 150-minute documentary about our future. “Simply radiant” said Entertainment Weekly and “breathtaking” according to Time Magazine.

The Bible Experience: Old Testament (Inspired By) You can no longer say the Bible is boring or that you don’t have the time. Now you can be entertained during your long commute by an unprecedented cast of more than 400 actors, musicians and clergy, including Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Bishop T.D. Jakes, LL Cool J, Forest Whittaker, etc. in this dramatic audio recording of the Bible. Even the youngest child can “read” the Bible by listening to the Old Testament, the New Testament or the Complete Bible and the whole family can gather around, too. This audio Bible is from Zondervan, the world’s leading Bible publisher.

LEGO Mindstorms NXT This is much more than a toy, it is science lessons in a box and was recommended to our son by his science teacher, a research scientist who participates each year in the DARPA Urban Challenge with Autonomous Robot Cars. Mindstorms is exciting for children and teens (adults too) and will nurture their curiosity. Parents will love that it’s not some mindless, brain-rotting toy. If you missed the posts about the Urban Challenge, you can click here and here to learn about the cars that drive themselves and will be picking up our groceries in the very near future.

iRobot 560 Roomba Vacuuming Robot, Black and Silver The Jetsons have finally arrived. This round vacuum may not look like a robot, but it will automatically vacuum your home, spend extra time in the dirtiest spots and return to one of its two battery chargers to ready itself for the next clean up and you won’t have to lift a finger. Spend the extra time laughing with your children, cozying up with your spouse or pampering yourself.

This great carnival of shopping list ideas was thought of by Chili at Don’t Try It, where the rest of the participants are listed.

For more on holiday shopping, check out my post about Black Friday Sales, Deals and Savings and visit our store on November 23, 2007 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.
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Tell Your Car to Pick Up the Milk

Posted by infinitygoods on November 5, 2007

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And DARPA’s Urban Challenge Event autonomous robot car winners are:

  1. Tartan Racing — Carnegie Mellon and General Motors with “Boss,” a Chevy Tahoe taking the $2 million first prize;
  2. Stanford Racing Team — Stanford University with “Junior,” a VW Passat gets the $1 million second prize;
  3. Victor Tango Team — Virginia Tech with “Odin,” a Ford Escape Hybrid claims third prize of $500, 000.

I hope all of you reading this post realize just how exciting this all is. Our 10-year-old son is quite excited that his very own science teacher competes in the Pentagon’s DARPA Challenge each year. This is the third challenge. Nobody won in 2004, and Stanford won the $2 million first prize last year.

Our son, who already wanted to be a scientist to follow in his Grandpa’s impressive footsteps, is even more energized now that he has seen and touched his teacher’s autonomous robotic car.

His teacher tells us that not only will these “auto-mobiles” be used for military purposes such as transport through danger zones (DARPA’s goal is by 2015), but much sooner than we think, we’ll be able to tell our cars to go pick up the milk for us at the grocery store. This is not science-fiction fantasies, it is our own near future.

Already car makers are fine-tuning driver assistance systems where the car is constantly monitoring the road for the driver, warning the driver of hazards and as soon as the driver touches the brakes, the car applies the brakes at just the necessary pressure.

We hope to get many more details at our son’s next science class, but in the meantime, you can watch the video and look at pictures on DARPA’s Web site.

All the science and technology media are writing about it too. You can check out WIRED and Popular Mechanics‘ numerous articles and blog posts on their Web sites.

And if you didn’t read my previous post on Oct. 26, 2007 about autonomous cars, be sure to check it out FIRST. It will give you all the basics to understand what it’s all about.

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Car, cars, culture, education, Family, government agencies, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, manufacturers, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, novel, novel in 30 days, politics, science, Science Experiments, Scientists, technology, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, Website, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Autonomous Robot Car Drives Itself — What a RASCAL!

Posted by infinitygoods on October 26, 2007

UPDATE: For the winners & additional information, click here for my Nov. 5, 2007 post.

We had such an exciting science class yesterday! Our son’s science teacher is a research scientist and has helped build an autonomous robot car named RASCAL.

RASCAL is autonomous, NOT, I repeat, NOT remote controlled. It drives itself!! With sensors, a GPS system, lots and lots of computer software and a laptop in the back, RASCAL drives without a driver!

The Grand Challenge is set by the U.S. government, and the grand prize last year was $2 million won by Stanford University, but RASCAL was one of the top finalists.

The U.S. government is hoping that they can have fully functional autonomous cars by year 2015 (that’s only about 7 years from now!!) so that soldiers won’t get shot or bombed while transporting supplies.

RASCAL is competing again in the 3rd Grand Challenge, the “Urban Challenge” to be held near Victorville on Sat., Nov. 3.

The Grand Challenge folks have promised to have a live webcast, so stay tuned as they announce more details in the next week.

Check the website at www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/index.asp, or if you’re in the area and you’re an early bird, go out and see the excitement in person! It starts early 😉 !

Posted in homeschool, life, News, politics, science, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »