All posts tagged: robot

What the Robot Reporter learned from 10,000 news tweets

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fuckwittery / geek / journalism / Uncategorized

In January 2015 I put together a simple twitterbot called Robot Reporter. The idea was to see if I could keep track of breaking news by monitoring Twitter for the journalists who use it as a way to find images of newsworthy events. It works a little like this. Something happens, and a user photographs it: Fire at Resorts World Casino / Aqueduct! @ABC7NY pic.twitter.com/YWYaoMDQ0N — J.Barnes (@JBar387) May 15, 2016 A journalist spots that tweet, and […]

How To: Write a RTing Twitter bot in PHP

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geek / how to

File this one under “stuff I’ve been meaning to look up for ages”: yesterday I finally sat down and wrote a Twitter-bot. You know the kind – a dedicated account that looks for updates containing a certain word or phrase, then retweets them – I often end up being tweeted by @redscarebot, for example. Anyhow, here’s how to write your own, in just a few lines of PHP. You’ll need: 1) A server running PHP […]

Mousebot, Part Three: Motors

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geek / how to / mousebot

Armed with some plans and a bunch of miscellaneous parts, the first big challenge is to get Mousebot moving. The obvious answer would be to hook up two small DC motors to the Arduino’s digital output pins, then simply set those to HIGH to move it forward and LOW to stop. This has a couple of problems, though: there would be no way to reverse the motors, and so no way to steer the Mousebot, […]

Mousebot, Part Two: Parts

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geek / mousebot

I now have a plan to build a robot for my cats to chase. So what next for Mousebot? A bit of shopping. Here’s what I’ve picked up to get started. First, the Arduino board: It’s an Arduino Duemilanove, so unlike older versions it can connect directly via USB. I bought mine from here, where they cost around £20 plus VAT. I got the “Starter Kit”, which includes a load of bits and bobs for […]

Mousebot, Part One: Plans

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geek / mousebot

Over the years I’ve come to know a lot about computers and how to put them together – give me the parts to make a PC and a screwdriver to short the motherboard power header pins and I could get it up and running – or installing Windows, at least – in about five minutes. And, thanks to hours mucking about with website programming and, before that, the Atari ST, I can program a bit […]