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Mark Womack
Works at Google
Attended University of California, Irvine
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Mark Womack

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I saw a presentation of this robot at the HomeBrew Robotics Club meeting last month.  Very cool and a good example of how robots can be designed to help out in the future.
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And not to be outdone by the cat, our brindle fox terrier mix, Oz.
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Oz. Cool. Tik Tok and all those of the Yellow Brick Road. I like the tabby too, I had an orange one once when I lived near cherry park in long beach. Good tabby.
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This is still my favorite sci-fi book of all time (Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a very close second).  David Brin does an excellent job of putting you into the minds of different alien races as the humans scramble to survive and figure what the heck they have gotten themselves into.  The concept of "uplifting" other species to intelligent consciousness, that it is actually a responsibility and imperative, well that is the part that always fascinated me about this book.  The rest of the Uplift books are excellent too.  (I have to apologize to my friend Doug for never returning the paperback he lent me to read...sorry Doug)
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I liked Startide, and enjoyed the series. Brin is interesting here on google plus. I like greg bear and Gregory benford. The Naked Sun a robot book i am reading again now, and the Foundation series of Asimov. I recently read all the Retief series of Keith Laumer, used some of the diplomatic ideas in a big idea pitch on the marques of ormond house restoration project. They like ufos there, or stories os such, ie killkenny ufo aug 13 2014, and five centuries before. Im not a ufo nut, nor care, but one day it would be fun if sci fi becomes sci real. Stargate anyone?
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Bee Decline Linked to a Combination of Stressors

"Scientists and naturalists are concerned about the decline in honeybee and native bee populations. Every third bite of our food is pollinated by bees, and the value of pollination services from wild pollinators in the U.S. alone is estimated at $4 billion to $6 billion per year, according to the Great Sunflower Project."
There's plenty you can do, however, to help honeybees, from observations you can make when watching pollinators to what you plant in your garden.
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I don't see any officially planned events in my area (Really, Silicon Valley?  Really?), but maybe you can hook up with a group in your area.  Arduino has become so ubiquitous it is hard to not use if for a project nowadays.
 
More than 250 events for #Arduino Day 2015 - Find the closest event to your home! http://buff.ly/1BMQkLI #ArduinoD15
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I have to say, I think they did better in real life than fictional... :-)
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Aye captain! Live long, and may your di-Lithium crystals never get wrinkly.
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Orphan Black Season 3 starts on 4/18.  If you have not checked out this series, I highly recommend it.  It is not your typical sci-fi series.  Seasons 1 & 2 are available on Google Play or Amazon so you have plenty of time to binge watch.
#OrphanBlack  
#CloneClub
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I think my wife took this photo of our cat Sprinkles.  I just found it in my cloud photos. A very nice picture.
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Aww.... cute sleepy kitty. #CaturdayEveryday
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I recommend this Sparkfun Breadboard Power Supply if you are tired of always having to run power from your Arduino to your prototypes.  I ended up getting the older model (http://goo.gl/Zgjs0y), and I guess there is a slightly improved model (http://goo.gl/bQ98Tm).  But the basic idea is that it can be plugged into the breadboard with the Vcc and GND pins plugged into the power headers.  It can be switched on an off and between 3.3v and 5v.  You can connect a 9v battery or a plug-in power supply as long as it has the standard Arduino barrel connector.

It just simplifies the power situation for my prototypes and also doesn't put a lot of stress on the Arduino board if I have a lot of circuitry.  I did have to solder on the header pins, which wasn't too hard, but if you don't solder, then don't order this.  Also, I used the aux power pins at the back to provide some stability.  But had to clip off the pins so that I would not short out my board (it took me a while to figure that out).  The only improvement I would make, if I could redesign this board, would be to include some non-connected holes for a support header (like what I am doing with the power pins, but with no power).  The newer model might address this better.

#arduino   #prototyping   #sparkfun
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I am going to post some updates on my Arduino adventures this weekend.  Hopefully with some video of things happening!

I have been thinking about what I want to do as far as building a robot.  I have always wanted to build a MicroMouse Maze robot since I got a chance to see a competition way back in 1986.  While I had the desire, I just didn't have the gumption and ambition to figure everything out from scratch on my own.  I really should have switched to robotics at some point in my education/career.  But alas, we are where we are.  I am a pretty damn good programmer.

But now a days, there really is no good excuse.  With microcontroller boards like Arduino around and just SO MUCH information on the web, getting a basic platform together is just not a large barrier anymore.  Of course, I can't do things that simply.

First, I want to create a SMALL MicroMouse, probably some custom set of motors and sensors that can navigate a maze quickly, efficiently.  It should be somewhat of a challenge to put everything together in a smaller package instead of the current chassis I have to play around with (video tomorrow).

Second, I want to combine the project with my other interest from robotics, Subsumption Architecture.  When I first heard about this completely new way of approaching robotics and autonomous robots being pioneered by Rodney Brooks at MIT, I was blown away.  It just made so much sense.  Design a robot that reacts to direct environmental inputs and creates more complex behaviors built upon simple behaviors?  No overall planning, no symbolic representations of the The World (that are always incomplete)?  Madness!  (I had a thing for Cellular Automata at the time, so it really dovetailed well with that too).  I actually bought Brooks' book, Cambrian Intelligence.  Getting through it was challenging at the time and still is.

So, my goal for the 2016 RoboGames (assuming they actually have one) is to enter a smallish robot that executes under the tenants of a subsumption architecture into the Maze solving competition.  It might be a bit ambitious.  I guess only time will tell.  I am going to size up the scale of competition at this year's RoboGames.  Has it been done before?  I'm sure it has.  Have I done it before?  Nope.  Like purchasing a used car, it will be new to me!  And that is all I am really asking for.  If anyone else in the Bay Area would like to join Team Subsumption, let me know!

#arduino   #robotics   #subsumption  
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Mark Womack

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Pretty much.
 
 I can't find my long johns...
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The annual Spring Garden Market is 4/11.  I highly recommend it.  The way things are going with my seedlings, I'll probably be there to get stuff for my vegetable garden.
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476 people
Andrew Womack's profile photo
md chabra Chabra's profile photo
marwa samy's profile photo
Hsiu-Fan Wang's profile photo
Jimmy Holmes's profile photo
Paul Montoy-Wilson's profile photo
Ryan PC Gibson's profile photo
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ʞɐıuzoʍ ǝʌǝʇs's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Software Engineer
Employment
  • Google
    Senior Software Engineer, 2005 - present
  • Adobe Systems
    Senior Software Engineer
  • BeVocal, Inc.
    Software Engineer
  • Infographics, Inc
    Software Engineer
  • Computer Aided Systems for Engineering
    Software Engineer
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Husband, Father, Software Engineer, Gardener. But really just a little kid most of the time.
Introduction
Interests in: Space exploration, science fiction, gardening, comics, cellular automata, autonomous robotics...but not nearly enough time to do as much as I would like in those areas.

If you have something interesting to say, I'll probably listen to you.  I may not agree with you, but I will listen.

Anything I say or post here does not represent any positions or opinions of my employer or any other organization I may work with or represent.
Bragging rights
I have been fortunate enough to work with smart people at great companies creating cutting edge, world changing products. And I still am.
Education
  • University of California, Irvine
    Information and Computer Science, 1984 - 1989
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We visited Dona Maria based on the other reviews, and it did not disappoint. The inside is not fancy, but it is nice, and the service is great. The food is fabulous, especially the enchiladas. I don't think you can go wrong with anything on the menu. From our visit, it is obviously a local favorite, since it filled up after we arrived. If you are in the area and want some good Mexican food, definitely give it a try.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
We visited Java Jazz for breakfast, and it was fantastic. The service and food were great, and it was a short walk from the resort. Prices are very reasonable. Highly recommend the Huevos Rancheros and the Early Bird special!
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
Excellent food, very authentic. Affordable and great service. Highly recommended.
Food: ExcellentDecor: GoodService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
6 reviews
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago