Jim Greenhaw

Jim Greenhaw has earned first place in both the 2007 and 2008 NASA regolith excavation challenges, and even though the amount of material excavated did not meet the minimum requirement to receive a cash prize, he is pleased with the accomplishments. He has been designing with digital electronics and microcontrollers since 1972, and began robot-specific designs because of involvement with the local high school FIRST team. He is presently employed by Pacific Gas & Electric Company as a software application developer, and my use his recent robotics experience for a future career change. The mechanical failures that occurred in the 2008 challenge were disappointing, but new motors have already been purchased and will be installed on the robot soon. Since rumors indicate there will be another excavation challenge in 2009, the current plan is to enter two excavators; the upgraded 2008 machine, and a new one for 2009. Constructing the excavator required a significant financial commitment, and he is hoping to find an anchor sponsor for 2009 to ease the burden. When there is time, he makes an occasional post to his blog at techranch.com.

Broadcast 1003 (Special Edition)

Guest: Jim Greenhaw, team leader of the Tech Ranch team in the recent Lunar Regolith Challenge, was our guest for today's show. Jim's team was the first place winner in this year's Lunar Regolith Challenge held a few weeks ago at Cal Poly University. We talked extensively about his robot and you can see it and follow our discussion by going to http://www.techranch.com/tornado/photos/. We explored the robotic construction, what other teams did, how he came up with design and much more.

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