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SkillsCast

A robot control DSL in clojure

6th May 2014 in London at Skills Matter

There are 2 other SkillsCasts available from Robots, Haskell & Hedgefunds

Describing the motions of a robot with many degrees of freedom (joints) can be quite tedious. One approach is to represent the value of each joint on a time-lime (similar to a Flash animation). This approach has the disadvantage the the resulting animations are entirely static and cannot react to changes in the conditions of robot. Such animations also are awkward to use from non-graphical programs written in languages such as python and clojure.

Another approach is to use the robot's API to generate the animation. This has the advantage of being able to reach to the robot's current circumstances and integrates well with the rest of a textual program but is hard to read.

In this talk I'll outline (and solicit feedback on) a small DSL written in clojure that aims to make it possible to generate animations in a more readable way. I'll also show a graphical tool that makes generating code in this DSL simple.

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A robot control DSL in clojure

Dave Snowdon

By day, a mild-mannered programmer working on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure at VMware. By night, when not asleep, plans world domination by social emotional robots powered by python and clojure. Before he was virtualised Dave worked for Xerox Research in France and, back in the mists of time, developed one of the first distributed multi-user virtual reality environments as part of his PhD work at Manchester.