Wow. Of the three weeks we've been running the Deputy Tester program at ZDNet, this week has by far proven to be the most difficult one in terms of picking the winners to receive this week's giveway: two Sun Spot Java Development Kits valued at $550 each.
For starters, we only had nine entries this week. Normally, that would make life easier. But wait until you get a look at four of the entries! Here's a summary of them:
- An autonomous control system for a lunar vehicle: I am a Computer Engineer with more than a decade's experience in Java Development and control systems development......I am currently working on a project that is literally out of this world! I am developing an autonomous vehicle (AV) system to control and manage the movement of lunar, as in moon, raw materials. Specifically, soil on the moon.
- Wireless tracking of miners and mining equipment: I’m an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Mines, and I research applications of wireless sensor networks (WSNs)....Ultimately, I would like to use the SunSPOTs with my Tmote Sky sensor modules to track miners and mining equipment in an underground mine. Our university owns an underground mine in Idaho Springs, CO, and we’re placing wireless sensors along the tunnels. It would be great if miners could carry a SunSPOT instead of a less-powerful device because it could do more computation and better tracking. I’ve posted some preliminary pictures here of our deployment at the mine here.
- Gesture-based navigation of Head Mounted Displays in space flight: Ihave ~25 years of experience in the airspace industry, from advanced avionics systems (both hardware and software) including research flight controls systems on such aircraft as the F/A-18 aircraft and software applications prototyping for space related uses to network based sensor networks....My current interest in the Sun spot technology is their use in evaluating the feasibility of having accelerometers mounted in a glove such that hand gestures could be used as a means of navigating various Head Mounted Display pages.
- Fielding an army of Roombas: The Roomba is a robotic vacuum cleaner from iRobot that cleans your home or office completely autonomously and automatically, finding its way around an area. However, if a larger area were to be covered by a team of Roombas, it would require some sort of co-ordination. We would like to explore the possibility of sharing location information of all Roombas as a means of co-ordination. The information is shared using the short-range radio available on the SunSPOT platform.
Talk about yer killer applications for something like the Sun Spot JDK. All four were screaming out to us "Pick me! Pick me!" And there was no consensus amongst us ZDNetters either (leaving the decision up to me). Faced with an impossible decision, I went to Plan B. Call Sun and see if they had two more. That way, all four contestants could get one. So that's what I did. And what did Sun say? No problem. So, congratulations if one of the four entries above was yours. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll arrange to get the Sun Spots to you as soon as possible.