What do Roboteers like?

Hello all,
I'm in the process of creating a website whose purpose is to help people do nice things for each other.
Many times, you want to do something for someone, but all you know
about them is that they are interested in a particular hobby or activity that you don't know much about.
I'm collecting information about as many different hobbies as I can. So...two questions.
1. What do roboteers like/need/want? I'm looking for a list of things that someone else could pick out for you that you would really enjoy receiving. This can include items, gift certificates to particular stores, magazine subscriptions, books, favors, trips to events, etc. Anything that you would find useful and/or desirable in your capacity as a roboteer. These don't have to be "bought" items. If you really need lots of empty egg cartons, put it on the list!
2. If I was married to a roboteer, and wanted to better understand what they are talking about over the dinner table without actually becoming a roboteer myself, what books or websites should I look at?
Any information would be appreciated by myself and likely by the families and friends of many roboteers! The guys over in the flyfishing newsgroup did a great job on their page. I have high hopes for the roboteers! :)
If you want to see what the results look like, click on any of the links on this page under Find Out What They Like: http://www.spousalsponsorship.org/pages/index.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robot likes to learn.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Uno wrote:

OK. What do you need to teach a robot things?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robot takes over World
Sincerely...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ashley Clarke wrote:

OK. Robot must need parts to effectively take over the world, especilly if there is to be menacing blinking and whirring while it does so. Do you like Radio Shack for the various bits and pieces, or is there a robotics components shop that you like ot order form?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NiceToRoboteers wrote:

[snip]
Mostly, Roboteers don't like to be called "Roboteers".
--
(Replies: cleanse my address of the Mark of the Beast!)

Teleoperate a roving mobile robot from the web:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Artist Formerly Known as Kap'n Salty wrote:

I'm sorry. What is the correct term?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NiceToRoboteers wrote:

Never mind. Maybe design your Web page so you don't have to worry about it. What do WE know what other people want? Let the users of your site decide that. Think Wiki.
Roboteering is not a traditional man-of-the-house thing. Some of us are dads or granddads, but it's more common for a parent to support a young adult's interest in this hobby than any "spousal sponsorship" thing. I found this aspect of your otherwise well-written Web site a bit lacking. You might want to consider ways to recast the concept so it applies to all relationships, not just Spousal Units. There is certainly a need for a place where gift-buyers can go to learn enough (but not too much) about a subject to purchase a well-meaning goodie, but I'd never think to look at spousalsponsorship.org for roboracketeering.
-- Gordon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NiceToRoboteers wrote:

Roboticist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roboticist
Roboteer sounds too much like Mouseketeer.
-jso
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jacob Oursland wrote:

Ah! Thank you. My apologies for guessing poorly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NiceToRoboteers wrote:

*Mister* Roboteer.
--
(Replies: cleanse my address of the Mark of the Beast!)

Teleoperate a roving mobile robot from the web:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NiceToRoboteers wrote:

Sounds like an interesting project.

Most of us are typical nerds. We like computers, gadgets, tools, etc. But when non-nerds have buy those things for me, they usually buy something inappropriate.
Like other nerds, most of us have no fashion sense. So it is better to buy us a nice shirt, or some other item of clothing, than to try to buy a geek oriented gift. We also like home made chocolate chip cookies. You can't go wrong there.

A gift certificate for Amazon, B&N, Borders, or other bookstore would be a great gift.

I subscribe to Servo, Embedded Systems Design, Dr Dobbs, Circuit Cellar, Science News, Scientific American, and The Economist. I also receive Spectrum and Mechanical Engineering via my membership in IEEE and ASME respectively.

I have never received a book from a non-nerd that I actually read. A gift certificate is much better.

If your spouse talks shop at the dinner table, you should get a divorce.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

I agree. The trick is figuring out *where* the gift certificate should be for. For example, marketing hype tells me roboracketeers would shop at Radio Shack. Only people who actually do this can confirm or deny. That's why I'm here. Thank you very much for your list of shops and magazines. It's exactly what I need. Keep it coming!
Gordon: I've noticed the parent-child team aspect to this particular hobby. I'm hoping to find suggestions that help support that. BTW, if you read the recommendations, you'll find that non-spousal fallbacks like gift certificates are always present. It really is for everybody. It's Spousal Sponsorship because this started with non-mechanical me being married to a tractor puller and constantly being asked by other family members what he wants. I figured I wasn't alone. :-)
Anyway, I appreciate the input and would welcome anyplace you want to point me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NiceToRoboteers wrote:

One thing that would be awesome would be a pricerunner.com/kelkoo type of site for electrical parts. I know it would be quite difficult but I would find it so usefull
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brendan Gillatt wrote:

Where *do* you like to shop for electrical parts? I know one guy who loved to dig through the boxes at computer scrapyards looking for (and finding) boxes of components. I know another who would only order from big electrical supply houses. Where do you folks like to get pieces-parts?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
generally mail order places. radio shack is only good if you're in a bind and need something immediately (if that something happens to a common resistor, piece of wire, or piece of prototyping board..)
if i'm designing a circuit i generally look at mouser.com and digikey.com, between the both of them I can generally put together a decent order. jameco.com is another good bigger mail order place, though they don't have as much a selection (they're cheaper for wires, prototyping supplies, etc though) if i only need a part or two I'll order it from one of the smaller mail order / internet places (whoever has it w/out a lot of shipping)
so in summary: mail order for selection actual store only when in a bind, and not picky
-Andrew reconnsworld
NiceToRoboteers wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andrew wrote:

Good stuff. Thank you!
I just finished up with the acoustic guitarists, so I'll be starting putting your page together within the next couple of days.
I'd like some more material. What about your work areas? What kind of things do you need there? Tools, tables, computers?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good list.
When it comes to robot specific sensors, I tend to like www.junun.org for price, and www.acroname.com for depth of line and sometimes availability.
After the computer, the sensors are the next most interesting thing on a robot, with an eye to what can be done with them, of course.
Would anybody here turn down a new Devantec compass or sonar? How about a new bump switch or IRPD? Or an Hbridge with current and voltage sense? A mount for a scanning sonar? A CMUCam? An acclerometer or gyro?
--
Randy M. Dumse
www.newmicros.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

www.robots.net
There you will find very short new bits of things roboticists would find intriguing. A loving spouse could educate themselves, and perhaps even flatter, intrigue and likely suprise their mate with mention of a recent news item gleaned there.
--
Randy M. Dumse
www.newmicros.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

First a general comment about your effort. I am a fan of Nathaniel Brandon's views on romantic love. What people want to see is a recognition of themselves in others. There is no mirror of the soul, other than what you can see when others react to you. So we feel endeared by someone seeing us as we wish to be seen, and somewhat as we are anyway, and in the healthy individual those two images will hopefully be the same.
Consequently actions or gifts that reflect a vision of our internal self image are considered most complimentary, and those that show a lack of understanding of who we are inside are considered most insulting.
So while your site is an interesting idea, can you really hope to help someone get past "trite" aquaintence with generalities and arrive at a deep understanding?
That said, the most univerally welcome item I can think of for someone into robotics is rechargeable batteries. I think NiHM AA's are as close to universally appreciated an item as possible, and a rapid charger with batteries would be widely welcomed as a gift. But here is where the trite vs. the deep understanding comes in. Those who have robots with extreme needs will chose Li-Ion or other special chemistry/weights/packs/voltage batteries and chargers, and these can be very expensive. If a spouse were to take the time to learn exactly what batteries the partner uses, and buy him spares or chargers of that exact kind, I think that would be showing an interest beyond the ordinary, and be a reflection of true caring. But missing the mark will have the opposite effect, so caution is advised. Sometimes to do something nice for someone, its the effort that counts, and not just that you thought of them, but you took the time to "know" them and hit the mark, instead of came close.
--
Randy M. Dumse
www.newmicros.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.