I'm currently employed by Didactic Services, a FESTO Partner, as a Senior Applications Engineer.
I'm currently the WorldSkillsUK Mechatronics Training Manager
I'm also a Visiting Lecturer at Middlesex UniversityOccasionally I can be persuaded to Freelance!
These posts are archived
They were written with an old blogging platform, and are no longer really maintainable, however as they are linked too from various pages on the web - it seemed a good idea to try and archive them.
I have written just enough code to get them to display - but there will probably be a few broken links and images.
Any major queries - feel free to contact me
It was pretty exciting and got a fair-bit of media attention at the time, and
while im not really one to brag about these things, this is a blog about my
robotics and programming work.. so I suppose it's good to mention it!. There
are a couple of articles that sum it up better than I can, so Ill link to them
here: The Middlesex University publicitly
Barnet Times - Before](/oldpostsarchive/0005/http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/10806727.Studentspr
eparetotakepartinnationalskillscompetition/) [The Barnet Times -
So what is Mechatronics?
Simply put, Mechatronics (in terms of this competition) is a series of time-
based challenges in building, programming and, 'fixing' electro-pneumatic
systems. Too Much? Ok… So "Festo" is a company that
makes pneumatic cylinders (among other things ). We have to assemble pnumatic
circuits under time constraints. Then we have to program them. For our
competition, we used the [Siemens s7-1200
controller/en/simatic-s7-controller/s7-1200/pages/default.aspx) Its a good
system, although I found programming it REALLY fustrating… Not being able to
get at the underlying code fustated me. For thoes unfamiliar with PLCs, They
are programmed VERY DIFFERENTLY from regular microchips or computers. We
program them in a archaic, outdated, and yet for some reason industry standard
protocol known as ladder-logic. In theory, this is meant to make the systems
safer, and I do understand that… but really. Why these things are not
programmed in C I will never understand. Anyway, ladder-logic is a graphical
programming system, and I may blog about it later in the year, as I have a
project coming up that might involve trying to 'bypass' some of the ladder-
logic functions, on the PLC. If I do, Ill blog about it, of course…
A little more vanity
And, Finally to end my ill-faited vanity rant, a wonderful video of me
winning… for archive purposes… of course.
Once again, I appologise for
the self-indulgent post… Ill try not to win anything else in the future ;)