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Five axis experiments

Monday, August 6th, 2007 at 5:27 pm Written by:

Too lazy for caving, so I’ve been programming a bit. This picture shows the path of a gnat in the shape of a ball hopping along the triangulated surface. It proves the possibility that this idea could work, although it might be more difficult when the gnat is shaped like a donut.

Next step, when I register the interest and have done some pondering, is to learn how to steer it. If I can get away with approximating the contact surface with a plane, then it’ll be a matter of finding the intersections between a circle and an ellipse. Otherwise the job’s a bit harder.

The ideas are easy to come by. The question is whether any of them work. It’s a completely other matter whether anyone gives a damn. But by then it’s too late because you can’t undo work if it happens to earn nothing.

Next stop is Venice for a cultural interlude. The caving expedition has just gone through a derigging phase before some of the hard people cleared off. After feeling pretty pleased with ourselves, Robert the Wonder Caver (a member of the local Austrian club) popped by and showed us what he’s been doing and put us in our place. He is an SAS man operating behind enemy lines to our girl guide scout camp. Setting up camps 800 metres underground in winter (so there is less water flow down the shafts) after skiing in and digging out the entrance by hand is what you do to discover the deepest cave in Austria. When he’s on holiday he goes cave diving.

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