Year: 1998

Download: SimArm (Compact Pro archive)

One of my first eye opening experiences to the cool stuff the internet enabled was the Telegarden project. This was an internet connected Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm (SCARA) robot arm that could be remotely controlled to tend a collectively grown garden.

I was fascinated with the SCARA format of robot, and when I was trying wrap my head around 3D graphics, I created SimArm. SimArm isn't really a 3D thing, it's 2.5D. I was learning about how to do the translations needed to "fake" a 3D looking image. I created depth by squashing the Y axis, and height by adding an offset to the Y axis.

I am including this here for one big reason: around the time I wrote this, it was becoming apparent that I wouldn't be able to graduate High School. In BC, some kind of grade 11 math course was a requirement for graduation. I had bombed grade 9 math, bombed a grade 10 math correspondence course, and ignored the time I had in grade 11 and half of grade 12 to fix the problem. I was quickly running out of time to get my graduation requirements together.

I remember showing my high school guidance counsellor this program in passing one day (who had also been one of my math teachers). He quite literally scoffed and said "you didn't make this", and walked away. I ended up taking a math 11 course at a school district run 'off-campus' program, where I was able to work at my own pace three evenings a week. I did just fine, and it was enough to satisfy my graduation requirement. I was bad at math in the sense of formal notation, I wasn't bad at math in the sense of understanding numbers and transformations on numbers.

Keys: Arrows to move arm, +/- to move end effector up and down, space to operate gripper

IDE: Symantec THINK C 7