We got my passport back from the Consulate within one day (!) after the application. I was warned by collegues that it could take more than a week. Luckily not in my case because we already booked flights for the 8th of April.
So, finally everything is ready. Now we can start packing !
Here is a link to a nice movie of the Gimbal (the sensor platform of Highlander, the autonomous Hummer):
The amount of comment spam was increasing. The spamfilter has great difficulty with a new variety of comments with more or less random character strings. I've to look into the spamfilter module to see if something can be done to filter these very irritating messages.
This means that comments can only be posted after registering/logging in. Sorry for the inconvenience.
First a photo:
The Hummer in the middle is called Sandstorm (the participant of last years race), the one on the right is Highlander, the left one is called the Topographer. As can be seen in the photo is that Sandstorm is highly modified while Highlander looks still quite like a 'normal' Hummer.
Fran's visa has been approved. Now we are still waiting on my visa.
He has a lot of photos of his models of WW2 vehicles:
The models are meticulously put together. The level of detail is stunning. When we were growing up he was always busy with models. Nice to see his work.
I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I read the first announcement: free (for the 1st year) high speed internet (10Mb) through a fibre glass cable till in our home !
I've uploaded a few photo's in a gallery. Before you go there, the photo's are of a poor quality. The flash on my camera is not sufficient for these kind of photo's. My apologies. Luckily other people (notably Dries himself) made much better pictures with professional camera's. Links to these will appear on Drupal for sure.
It was very nice to see all the Drupal developers. I did't really interact with any of them directly because I don't actively contribute to the project (yet). The presentations were interesting albeit sometimes difficult to follow. Especially the lack of any microphone amplification in the large college room made things tough for a hard hearing guy like me. I must say that the university buildings looked quite run down. I hope the state of the buildings of other universities in Belgium are a bit better.
Philips Applied Technologies (the place I work at) sends me and another colleague to join the Red Team for two months. The Red Team is participating in the DARPA Grand Challenge (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). From the website:
"The 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge will be held on October 8, 2005 in the desert Southwest. The team that develops an autonomous ground vehicle that finishes the designated route most quickly within 10 hours will receive $2 million. The route will be no more than 175 miles over desert terrain featuring natural and man-made obstacles. The exact route will not be revealed until two hours before the event begins."
This means we (Fran and Hannah too of course !) will spend two months in Pittsburgh (PA) at the Carnegie and Mellon (http://www.cmu.edu) university. I'll be working on the control of the 'gimbal'. A platform for sensors that is stabilized by a 3 axis servo system. We hope to leave for the US around the end of March.
I really look forward to get involved in this !
More details will follow, we are now busy with passports / visa's etc.