Essay on The Magic Smoke, Sparks, Programming, and Wire

Essay on The Magic Smoke, Sparks, Programming, and Wire

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As the prototype neared completion, with the finalization of the wiring, the group around it grew. The monumental task of flicking the power switch seemed to be within grasp. The netbook booted up, the wireless router started broadcasting, and the Ethernet cable was attached, one end to the portable computer, the other to the robot’s brain, its cRIO. As I found myself holding my breath, along with everyone else present, the room was so silent that the dying of a gnat could have sounded like thunder on a stormy night. Given that we, as a robotics team, had all spent endless hours on this, we were all anxious to see it run. The mouse cursor hovered over the virtual, vibrant green “Enable” button. The mouse clicked, the sound so relatively loud that I, along with the rest of the group, flinched. With that click of a mouse, IT came to life. We fled for cover as IT jerked to life, and moved sporadically out of control. Someone’s hand, during the confusion the owner was not apparent, slammed down on the emergency stop button, hopefully ending the uncontrollable, wild rage of the ...

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