Does Your Business Card Run Linux?

Mine sure doesn’t, but George Hilliard’s does:

Though I’ve spent the majority of my career building web and desktop applications, I’ve always been fascinated by embedded systems. More than 20 years after earning my bachelor’s in CS, the most fun course by far was a robotics elective I took my final semester. I’ve forgotten the name of the boards we programmed, but we wrote the code for them in Objective-C and built the robots out of whatever sensors, gears, and LEGOs we had (this was years before LEGO Mindstorms).

The end-of-semester competition was to build a robot that navigated a maze, found a light, touched it, and played a little tune. The robot my team programmed and built placed 2nd (our robot got to the light and touched it first, but didn’t play the tune for some reason).

Since then, I’ve played around with the blink(1) a little bit, but not more complex things like Arduino or Raspberry Pi. I’ve not had much success with the whole new year’s resolution thing, but in 2020 I want to complete a project that runs on some hardware. I haven’t picked the hardware yet, but definitely something that involves sensors and data collection. A weather station is probably the most ambitious idea that comes to mind that I might pursue further. In the interest of crawling before walking (or running), I probably need to start with something much simpler.

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