Rei Vilo

Describe yourself: Who you are and what you're doing?
I'm a finance executive with a manufacturing company. My hobbies include robotics, among others. I'm not an engineer!

How did your interest in robots / robotics start?
Actually, I discovered robotics thanks to a toy called fischertechnik many, many years ago, in mid-70's when I was a teenager. I used to play with Lego and Meccano, but fischertechnik offered the perfect combination of both.

Later on, I went into motors, superstructures, electro-mechanics and electronics, till 1980.

Many years after, in 2000, I discovered at the Franz Carl Weber toy shop in Geneva, the new range with the Intelligent Interface, actually a micro-controller. So I started playing again with the pneumatic kit. Other kits came after.

In 2009, I went from 8 bits to 32 bits, changing my Intelligent Interface for two Robo TX controllers. I'm still discovering the new development environment as well as the niceties of the high speed controllers.

I'm mostly interested in industrial robots and mobile robots. My most sophisticated model included ~30 sensors and ~30 actuators, and relied heavily on multi-processing.

I'm presently a beta-tester with fischertechnik.

Because the fischertechnik micro-controller is a "black-box", I went recently on Arduino to go inside of a micro-controller, understand the embedded programming better, get familiar with I2C protocol and experiment with I2C sensors and actuators, try and communicate with TX-C through opto-couplers, digital potentiometer and finally I2C.

What kind of actions needs to be done in the community to increase the interest and the awareness of robots / robotics?
Robots / Robotics offer a very wide range of disciplines: sensors, signal processing, formal logic, programming, mathematics, modelisation, electronics, ...

Giving each child the opportunity to build and play with a robot at school may raise the interest on robotics and provide a clearer vision of what robots truly are.


fischertechnik section:

Arduino section:

Most sophisticated model: (soon)

[source: Vive Les Robots!]

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Rei Vilo 1

Rei Vilo got two main hobbies:
1) Arduino, an Italian designed and built micro-controller to explore what's inside the embedded computing world and learn I2C protocol.

Rei Vilo 2

And 2) fischertechnik, a German building toy with endless possibilities, including mechanics, statics, motors, and ultimately micro-controller operated models with sensors and coding-motors.