# Question for designers...

When you lay out your preliminary design for a robot, do you do it in inches, horsepower, watts, volts or do you do it in the metric centimeters,
ergs and other decimal driven measurements?
Why?
My question is driven by the idea that if the metric system were so far better than our old English system, why isn't France (originators of the metric system) the world's leaders in technology and not us... stuck in the mud with horsepower, amps and feet?
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On Sat, 25 Aug 2007 22:02:46 GMT, "Wayne Lundberg"

Because "A pint's a pound the world around" makes a better rhyme. ;-)
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wrote:

centimeters,
the
So does "five foot two, eyes are blue"
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Wayne Lundberg wrote:

Though the song is actually "Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue." Almost as titillating as some of the lyrics... "Turned up nose and turned down hose..."
Anyway, when designing the DIMENSIONS of the robot I almost always do it in inches, because once you get used to it they're easy to add and subtract from. I never bother with watts or volts (both of which are metrical) until I'm ready for the escaping smoke part.
-- Gordon
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Rich Webb wrote:

It might rhyme, but it is not true "A pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter".
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snipped-for-privacy@iname.com wrote:

I don't think Rich was talking about water.
Cheers!
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snipped-for-privacy@iname.com wrote:

I'm sure he was thinking metric... a litre of water weighs a kilogram
I think it's interesting to see the question was made in terms of our "old English system" as the US system has it's differences to what I know as the "Imperial Measure". I'm sure someone explained it so me, giving the English explanation with some nautical reference.
I'm in that generation caught between two measure, I use the SI units on the whole but will talk using a variety of measures - buying fuel it comes by the tank or 20 quids worth ;)
best regards, colin
--

www.minisumo.org.uk

(Remove the "No Spam" to reply by email!)
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No, the rhyme is as stated, and in the US a pint of water at 20C weighs 1.04 pounds (he's right for Imperial gallons).

And an Imperial gallon weighs 10 pounds, by definition.

Well, we more-or-less inherited the units from the English (with the Imperial vs. US gallon being one of the biggest differences). I like to call the system in use in the US the SAE system, since nobody but the US really uses it anymore.

One thing that caught me by surprise when visiting England was how prevalent "miles" still are on road signs.
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Joe Pfeiffer wrote:

The rhyme is false unless 'world' = USA. That was what I meant.

Historically, yes, but that definition is legally obsolete. Old units are now legally defined in the UK by conversion from a metric unit. See: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1995/Uksi_19951804_en_2.htm

You would even see it slowly disappear from supermarket labels if manufacturers had choice. Unfortunately metric only labels are forbidden by US law.
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I read somewhere, sometime ago, probably when involved with the Joel Barker's thesis on paradigm shifts... that many Australians actually committed suicide when the nation was forced from the pound/shilling/sixpence monetary system to the decimal equivalent of the dollar.
We must remember history and the glories of change when Torquemada offered the Jews and gypsies the chance to become true believers or be burned alive... many chose to be burned rather than change belief systems.
Change can be the most difficult of all human challenges.
As we are seeing in the robot world.
My first industrial robot was a Hero from Heathkit to train my engineering staff in Mexico in automation technology and the future it offered us. We had a plant contest to name the robot so all personnel would be involved. The morning after the naming and demonstration of the robot we came to work and found it had been smashed. We call this "Sand in the gearbox syndrome" to this day.
This discussion on the metric system vs. US has been a true eye-opener. Thank you all!
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wrote:

So, obviously, the rhyme is incorrect, because the "world around" includes the UK, and here, a pint is 20 fl oz, or a pound and a quarter.
<snip>

It is (or was until recently) illegal in the UK to have road signs expressing distances in metres. I guess to stop people confusing the abbreviation "m"!
Deep.
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The metric system is for mostly Scientists and Serious Researchers. How ever when things come down to actual construction feet and inches are still recognized as the standard. I know this because when I went to college for computer dafting and computer aided manufacturing we had to learn to draw blueprints in both systems (not too mention work out rules of scale). This lead to alot of problem determining weither drawings were done in metric or imperial measurement. Then getting the equipment to turn out a peice of material with the right realworld dimensions.
The next biggest reason is that America is the world leader in being the "mother of invention". So most patent rights filed at the US Patent Office are set out in imperial not metric.
I'm from Canada. We use the metric system. But when it comes to buying constuction material at any supply store or bulk wharehouse everything is in Imperial. Funny ain't it.

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Wayne Lundberg wrote:

I don't think metric or imperial matters as much as an individual's familiarity with them. If you grow up thinking in one system or or the other the perceived quirkiness of it by others is moot.
Bob
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wrote:

Wasn't there a failure in a mars orbiter due to a NASA subcontractor using Imperial instead of metric units?
Australia changed to metrics a long time ago but you can still by spanners etc in both units and many rulers come with both kinds of units.
-- jc
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JGCASEY wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter#The_metric_mixup
Imperial/Metric was only the fall guy in this case.
- Daniel
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The US really needs to make more of an effort to convert. It's something that won't happen unless it's forced on people because we all will just continue to think in terms of the system we already know unless forced to learn the new system. If we are not forced to deal with metric systems we will never learn to see things in terms of their metric dimensions. Everything we buy in the US is measured in Imperial units so that's what everyone still thinks in the for the most part. Food is often marked in both, but it's kinda stupid to see something labeled 1G/3.78L and expect us to to learn to think in liters.
--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
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On Aug 27, 5:59 am, snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com (Curt Welch) wrote:

In Australia we converted to the metric system a long time ago but it takes a generational change, not force. The olds will struggle converting pints to liters, yards to meters but the young will simply use liters and meters.
I would not like to be forced to change from the QWERTY board layout to a more efficient layout but see no reason, with a programmable keyboards, you could not accommodate both.
-- jc
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JGCASEY wrote:

It only worked because for each part of the changeover, there were statutory dates by which all items, e.g. for sale, must be first identified in dual units, and then by which the pricing must be in metric only. When metric is all that's available at, e.g., the green-grocer's, everyone has to learn the new system.

Jimmy Carter tried to introduce metric by "accommodating both", and it was a near-total failure.
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A compulsory conversion would never be accepted in the US, where anything foreign (and especially anything French) is seen as part of a vast communist conspiracy. First they put floride in our water to weaken our will to resist, then they convert all our maps to kilometers so the UN's black helicopters can use them to navigate around the US and seize our assault rifles.
Have you ever noticed that pinkos tend to drink wine (sold in liters), while real red-blooded American stick to beer (sold in pints/ounces).
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wrote:

Good one! Love it!
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