WorldKey Simulator: Let’s Put a 40-Year Old LaserDisc on the Web


EPCOT Center. If you were lucky enough to visit as a kid you either loved it or hated it. I was firmly in the love camp, as a kid who was obsessed with computers and technology. Those in this camp seem to talk about, or rather, fondly reminisce about what used to be, and lament the state of the original pieces that are still hanging on. As a child of the 90’s, I was lucky enough to experience the last gasps of Horizons and Journey into Imagination, as well as see the dinosaurs in the Energy pavilion. I still remember the 1994-2007 Spaceship Earth as one of the most inspirational touchstones of that time in my life. However during the earlier days of EPCOT Center, there was another, perhaps lesser known component that was just as innovative in own way. This technology was known as WorldKey.

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Building an Animatronic Dinosaur


I’m a huge fan of themed entertainment, especially the Disney parks. Theme park rides are some of the most interesting engineering marvels out there and the best part is - you can visit them! For me, the enjoyment of a trip to Walt Disney World comes as much from appreciating the technology and systems used to create rides as it does from the theming and story. A core part of many theme park rides are the animatronic characters that bring the experiences to life. I was recently gifted a Meccano Meccasaur - a toy with some limited “smart” functionality. I wanted to see how much I could augment this functionality if I added a new brain and some more points of articulation.

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Portal Turret Voiced Roomba


I recently replayed the excellent Portal 2 by Valve. One of my favorite things in the game are the automatic robotic sentry turrets. The contrast of their cutesy voices with the fact that they fire machine guns at you on sight makes them a core part of the gallows humor present in the Portal series of games. As I played through the game, I realized that a lot of the voice cues trigger on events that are similar to another robot closer to home - the iRobot Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. I decided I had to find a way to combine these two things!

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