Podbot in Podcasting News

Post ImageThe folks over at Podcasting News were at Gnomedex last week, and they were kind enough to post a little something about our robot:

Podbot is built around a tablet pc with WiFi connectivity, allowing it to be remote-controlled wirelessly. Podbot runs a piece of software called Podcast Wizard. The software, combined with the custom hardware, makes it possible to remotely control and record podcasts, save them to Podbot’s hard drive, and upload them to a web server.

They’ve got a really nice write-up, so check it out. If you’re interesting in checking out the Podbot, it may be making an appearance at the Podcast Hotel in September – with a few upgrades of course.

Read: Podcasting News

Podbot in MAKE!

Post ImageWe were really fortunate to meet Phillip Torrone at Gnomedex, and to have the opportunity to chat with him about the Podbot. He’s got a new entry up in the MAKE: Blog on our beloved podcasting robot, so check it out. And watch future issues of Make Magazine because you never know, we might publish instructions on how to build your own!

The entry includes a number of pretty cool photos of the Podbot too. I especially like the one of me holding up my tablet with the control software open, looks pretty intense. If this is the first you’ve heard of the Podbot, be sure to check out our official site.

Read: Make Blog

Podbot Video

Post ImageIf you haven’t really checked out the Podbot website, you definitely should! One of the things you’ll find is a collection of video that we recorded throughout the creation process. Some of them show us talking about what we’re learning, and others are more fun, like the Podbot driving over Micropets.

One really excellent video is Andrew’s Closing Monologue, in which he offers some comments on the project after we finished. And if you’d rather stick to static photos instead of video, you can check out my Podbot Photostream over at Flickr.

Read: Podbot Video

UPDATE: Podbot @ Gnomedex

Post ImageThings are going quite well with the Podbot! The wireless network here has been kind of spotty, so at times we have lost control. We only had one problem though, someone accidentally hit the side of the Podbot when it started moving after receiving a delayed command. The Podbot survived, but one of the side panel screws popped out, so we’ll have to fix that later.

We were able to record something at the start of lunch and get it uploaded, but it’s been quite difficult to be connected long enough and well enoungh. We’ll keep trying though!

The Podbot has been featured on Engadget today, and the Channel9 team from Microsoft was here at Gnomedex recording some video, so you should be able to see it there later too.

Read: Podbot

Notes from Dave Winer's Keynote

Post ImageHere are some notes I wrote down during Dave Winer’s keynote:

  • Both Marc Canter and Dave agree that the web allows multiple little islands, instead of big continents
  • Dave remarks on the Microsoft announcement expected later today – “we can all participate, but none of us get to be the platform vendor”
  • According to Dave, technology control is behind us, and doesn’t think that the W3C has been effective, mainly because there was a single vendor that had the power to decide what lived and what died on the net
  • RSS is great at sharing news, but it doesn’t do a very good job of distributing information that isn’t news
  • Dave says that outlines and similar structures are the future of the web, and may be just the thing to supersede the HTML web
  • Shared a demo of the open source OPML Editor
  • To Dave, a blog is a document, that’s his perspective
  • The song they chose is Yellow Submarine, and the entire auditorium sang along! Definitely find a podcast recording…it’ll be worth it.

Is it just me, or does it seem like Dave’s who “unconference” concept is really just about him having control of the talk? First he says it’s all about a discussion, instead of just having a speaker. Then he says that he should control who gets to talk, and for how long. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as though Dave keeps coming up with ways to maintain control of the talk while telling us that he’s giving us control.

Read: Gnomedex

Gnomedex is underway!

Post ImageSomehow, we managed to make it here on time! We just finished listening to Chris Pirillo give his welcome address, and up next is Dave Winer with the first keynote of the conference.

The Podbot seems to be working quite well, though the wireless seems rather slow at the moment. Then again, if you could see all of the computers in this auditorium, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that. Some people have already snapped photos of the Podbot, so be sure to watch Flickr, and the blog sites like Technorati for more.

For those of you who knew the Podbot before Gnomedex, we added the ability to take pictures using the webcam last night. Unfortunately it doesn’t automagically upload them to Flickr, but I will be doing that manually when we get some good ones!

Read: Gnomedex

Announcing the Podbot!

Post ImageI’ve been waiting to post this for quite some time now. I am very happy to introduce to you, the Podcast Wizard Robot, or Podbot for short. You may have heard rumblings about a podcasting robot already, and if so, you heard correctly!

The Podbot is exactly that, a podcasting robot. It moves around like a mini car, and is controlled wirelessly. It’s equipped with a webcam and of course, a microphone. The Podbot has a Tablet PC on board, to act as both the interface and brains of the robot. We control movement, recording, and other functionality remotely using another Tablet PC connected over Wi-Fi.

All of the software is written in .NET. The control software which handles communication with the Podbot and functionality like movement was written specifically for the Podbot. The podcasting software is actually Podcast Wizard, our upcoming podcasting tool. Our podcast is hosted at Podcast Spot, and all of our episodes are tagged with Podcast Tags.

As you’ll see from the website, the Podbot was created by myself, Dickson, Andrew and Ashish. Above all, it was a fun project, and we all learned a lot. Thanks to Andrew and Ashish for all of the hard work you did – the Podbot just wouldn’t exist without you!

You can check out the website for more information on the Podbot, or if you’re at Gnomedex, come see it in person! You can listen to our first podcast with the robot here.

Read: Podcast Wizard Robot