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Self Configuring Modular Robot (Chapter Cover)

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Chapter 19 - Self Configuring Modular Robot[]


"Huh...that's funny...

...if you play it on speakers, it sounds like when Arthur tried to teach his Arminus to speak." Penny Doons observed. Doctor Banzai cocked an eyebrow.

"Really?" he asked.

"Yeah." she said, "Like the interlink frequencies're...it's the same." Penny stated.

"Are you sure?"

"Pretty sure." she asserted. "What is it though?? It's not like Lizzie's whale-song recordings."



"Tones sound like...huh. Yeah, that sounds like Hermann before I fixed his code." Elizabeth agreed, "Or like the solution we gave Arminius to do feedbacks so we could teach it new tricks without having to go inside the house to look at the screen."

"So it's the same code-base."

Lizzie shrugged, "I dunno, could be I guess? The toys get smarter when we've got them together."

"What do you mean?"



Arthur shrugged, "It's like, we figured it out when Lizzie unpacked her Hermann and we tried to network them-they came on and they were already networked. Both got easier to use and could do more stuff. Sierra thinks maybe it's a factory setting-get more of them somewhere and you can get them to do more neat things, I wanna ask Dad to buy me a few more, but Lizzie thinks we should just figure out how to make them because 'gear is expensive' and Sierra thinks we can probably just steal 'em. Terry and Jess think we should build 'em instead of asking for new ones, because if we break it we can fix it."

"And what do you want to do?"

"I want to have fun and I want my friends to get along." Arthur said, "Making sounds like more fun than buying does, but we're kinda split because Vonnie has a hard time keeping up and she wants to be in with us since Peter's got his thing and doesn't want the younger kids hanging around, and Vic's busy, and Kat gets mean..."



"UH, I need my own tools." Elizabeth said, "I mean, your stuff is nice, but it's your stuff, and all the controls are all wrong."

"Wrong how?"

"I have to stand on a crate to see the interface screens, there's a funny smell from the control boards, and I think it's out of adjustment. Foreigner gear always has weird stuff it won't do, too."

"You're talking about the NC mill you were messing with in the 'Mech bay." Dr. Banzai observed.

"Yeah, it's foreign, and it's weird, and you have half the functions locked out, and it's missing a lot of attachments and stuff." she asserted, "Grandfather would slap me if I left my tools looking that bad off, an' he'd be right doing it."

"Your..grandfather lets you play with industrial machinery?"

"With supervision!" she asserted, "It's family business, okay? We make machine tools, yours are in shit shape, half your bits are the wrong size on the cutter head, you don't have a powered forge, not even a cheapie hydraulic one, and your dies look like someone cleaned up one-use dies an' improvised...what? If I'm going to be a star explorer I need to know how to fix my own kit, right?? So Grandfather makes me learn the skills, and the business is how we pay for it, so learn the business. You guys do all your warrior-teaching-stuff with Peter, I know, because I saw!!"

"back to the question-you want to build a robot?"

"Sure. You played recordings of machine language. I'm bet it's the same language the factory used with Hermann, but since it changes over time an' use, it's changed. Learned new words, right? so you need a translator so you know what the machines are being programmed to do."



"It's right there, Dad, that's the same system Arminius uses." Arthur asserted, "so..."

"So it's the same technology." Hanses answered.

"Yep."

"ANd you think they get 'smarter' if there are more in the network?"

"Yep." Arthur nodded, "I think so, So does Penny, and Lizzie, and Sierra and..."

"So your friends...all think it's what, a network?"

"Jess told me about how hives of insects can work 'smarter' than individual bugs." Arthur suggested, "Which the teachers agreed with. it's a Eusocial structure, or is it a social structure? point is, it's like how if you double the length, width, and height of an object you're multiplying the mass by itself a whole bunch of times instead of twice-the Square Cube law."

"How much smarter?"

"Hermann and Arminius both got a LOT smarter, Sierra and Terry both think like...processing power went up geometrically, if there's a LOT of machines, we might be able to get them to be as clever as a person."

"How many?"

"We don't know, that's why I want to try-the only way to know, is to find out."


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