02-24-02 Sunday

I've just completed mentoring an exceptional group of students at Richmond High School. We worked on a robot for the US First Robotics competition. US First is a national robotics competition for high school students. Instead of fighting each other (like BattleBots) the robots have a task to perform. You can find out more about the competition and FIRST at, and you can check out Richmond's website at Thanks to Lana and Michael Husser, Dr. Domenick Cagliostro, and Eric Reed, advisor for DeAnza High School, who served as Richmond's mentor school. I had a blast working with the students. We're going to compete with several other local high schools in San Jose March 29-31. Hope to see you all there!

Pictured L-R: Luz, Miguel, George, me, Jimson, Luz, Jose, Lupe and Loveleen.

03-31-02 Sunday

The Richmond High School students and I had a blast at the Silicon Valley Regional and met some really amazing teams. It's great to see the spirit of teamwork and sportsmanship in the pits, not just among our team, but among all the teams. If you need a part, you can go to the announcer and they'll ask if anybody has a spare. Wish they had that at BattleBots!

Robzilla had some drivetrain problems early in the competition, but we worked them out and finished strong. Our overall ranking was 26 out of 49 teams. That's great for a rookie team! The highlight was when Richmond High School received a special Judge's Award for "outstanding enthusiasm both on and off the field, and for overcoming limited resources to produce a great robot". Several of the students also received scholarships from NASA for an amazing summer program in robotics where they will be building their very own autonomous robots.

I'm so proud of all the students and coordinators who participated. Special thanks to Lana Husser, the program's coordinator for RHS and Eric Reed, our excellent team mentor from DeAnza High School.

Pictured at left: (top row L-R) Jose, Miguel, Juan, Gupree, George, Raj, Jimson, Luis; (bottom row L-R) Loveleen, Lupe, Luz and Luz; (not pictured) Tai and Pao.

06-30-02 Sunday

Just checked out a great site by an inventor friend of mine named Bryan Haynes. He's the genius who brought electroluminescent material to market (which we used on Steven Spielberg's A.I.: Artificial Intelligence in the Rouge City sequence). Anyway, his latest invention is called an Anonymous Blank, and it is basically a talking, animated personal robot. It's a full-size humanoid robot that's basically the first step towards having robots in the home. This is a concept that many scientists and inventors in Japan have been working on for years, but Bryan is one of the few American inventors to take up the challenge. Note that this is actually something that you can buy, not just a research project or a mass-market electronic pet. They are custom programmed to each owner and can be reprogrammed to suit your needs. You can check out the Anonymous Blanks at: Be sure to check out the VIDEO page!