You hear about a fellow robot hobbyist and think, “Gee, I’d like to meet him someday.” But they live on the other side of the planet, so you forget about it. Then you see some of their work online and think, “I really want to meet that guy.” Then you find out they’ve done some outrageously brilliant robot hack – like grafting a LEGO Mindstorms brain onto a Roboraptor body . . .
You email them, or post a comment or two on their website. You start to exchange war stories, perspectives on robotics, and hack ideas. Friendship and trust start to take shape, and you realize that the two of you have a lot in common.
Finally, the urge to meet and chat with him becomes too much, so you pick up the phone and dial. And, if you’re smart about it, you record the whole thing so that other robot hobbyists and fans can listen in too.
That’s almost exactly what transpired after we ran across some of Sean Jefferies (aka Sprocket2Cog) creative robot hacking last year. Sean has a great ‘no fear’ approach to hacking a robot – anything from LEGO Mindstorms, to Roboraptors, to McDonald’s beam based robot giveaways. And he isn’t afraid to push the envelope a bit – like replacing a Robosapien V2’s head with a Muppet.
So, on Sunday evening, after a couple of false starts, Sean and I finally managed to hook up using Skype. Our chat (click the play button below) is approxiamately 45 minutes long, and I’m sure we could have kept going for hours and hours longer.
During the interview, Sean shares how he got started with robotics, some of his experiences with Mindstorms, what he’s discovered by hacking the Roboraptor, while offering up a lot of insight into the evolution of robot hobbyists and his view of where it all might be headed.