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Looking to develop new skills for hobby and work

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Ross Lloyd 103/02/2018 21:56:40
153 forum posts
1 photos

I just joined the forum and thought I would say hello. After some decades of working as a mainly non-technical engineer in the oil industry, I recently hung up my excel spreadsheets and decided to jump back into the making-stuff-and-getting-dirty arena.

I am retraining to enter the robotics field, learning everything I can about programming, electronics, AI, bla bla etc, and also have been putting myself together a decent electronics and machining workshop.

For the latter, I am looking at buying some warco gear, and my dear old dad has done a fantastic job of completely making over a rather ramshackle, more than half century old shed, with good stout bench and original vice (still works brilliantly).

The aim is to make my way through the workshop practice series books I have and make the additional tools in those, and then move onto trying my hand at all manner of things thereafter.

Looking forward to chatting

David George 103/02/2018 22:30:28
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1120 forum posts
369 photos

Welcome to the forum. There is plenty of help on the forum just ask and you will get plenty of information.

David

Brian H03/02/2018 22:35:53
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1475 forum posts
102 photos

Welcome Ross, I believe that the subjects that you are interested in are the future. My main interests lie in the past, namely traction engines from the mid 1850s.

Brian

Chris Evans 604/02/2018 09:14:52
1591 forum posts

Welcome Ross, buy the biggest machinery that you can fit in and your budget allows. That way you should not buy twice.

Ross Lloyd 104/02/2018 10:01:32
153 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by David George 1 on 03/02/2018 22:30:28:

Welcome to the forum. There is plenty of help on the forum just ask and you will get plenty of information.

David

Thanks David! Seems like a great resource

Ross Lloyd 104/02/2018 10:04:56
153 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Brian Hutchings on 03/02/2018 22:35:53:

Welcome Ross, I believe that the subjects that you are interested in are the future. My main interests lie in the past, namely traction engines from the mid 1850s.

Brian

Hey who doesn't love traction engines? Used to see them cruise through the streets in Aberdeen from time to time, always an impressive sight.

I kind of like the idea of making robots on a technology that is extremely old too

Ross Lloyd 104/02/2018 10:06:00
153 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Chris Evans 6 on 04/02/2018 09:14:52:

Welcome Ross, buy the biggest machinery that you can fit in and your budget allows. That way you should not buy twice.

"Better looking at it, than for it", good advice!

Neil Wyatt04/02/2018 16:35:51
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Moderator
17385 forum posts
690 photos
77 articles

Welcome to the forum Ross.

Enjoy your new hobby!

Neil

Ross Lloyd 104/02/2018 18:46:24
153 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 04/02/2018 16:35:51:

Welcome to the forum Ross.

Enjoy your new hobby!

Neil

Thanks, and good to be here

Bob Rodgerson04/02/2018 19:19:22
585 forum posts
166 photos

Welcome to the forum Ross. I spent 40 odd years working onshore as well as offshore in the Oil Industry,. I take it that you are re-training because of the downturn. My son worked in the industry too but was made redundant after the company he worked for was taken over by Schlumberger. This was also at the start of the downturn and his prospects were pretty poor so I shelled out and lent him the money to train as a commercial Airline Pilot. He is almost there, having gained his CPL and has been taken on by BMI. He starts his Type rating course next week and at the end of it, in five weeks time and providing he passes the exam, should be flying for them full time.

I don't blame anybody within the industry for getting out, I too suffered during the 10 Dollar Barrel price in 2000, being out of work for 14 months. All that happens, when things pick up again, is the pay goes through the roof because every time a lot of skilled people leave the industry never to return.

I hope you are successful in your new chosen feed and get to enjoy our great hobby at the same time.

Ross Lloyd 104/02/2018 19:56:15
153 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Bob

Thanks, I really appreciate that. Were you in the North Sea?

Career change is a scary thing to do for sure. I had been trying to change discipline within my company for some time, and though I was getting a trickle of jobs, a few opportunities spread out over 3 years just wasn't turning into a set of skills and a new career path. Then the downturn really bit, everyone was laying off people, and the refrain of "lower for longer" became a more scary version of the past peaks and troughs. That was also the time I started falling back in love with mechanical design, electronics / arduinos and the like. Robotics kind of sprang out of that, but I know I have a very steep learning curve ahead of me. Finding it all to be extremely interesting helps a lot!

Glad to hear your son is doing so well with the pilot training, and that BMI are giving him a seat. I am a big fan of flight simulation and briefly considered doing pilot training too after a couple of PPL lessons. Not enough cash sadly!

Can't say as I miss getting on those super pumas either!

David George 105/02/2018 18:32:47
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1120 forum posts
369 photos

Ross I was just getting into manufacturing the tooling for robot machinery, the hand that goes onto the robot arm, when the forced retirement caused by non payment of a customer caused the closure of the factory. But the ingenuity you need to get the parts griped and placed is very satisfying when it gets done. I worked in the plastics automotive area and there was a never ending supply of parts as every mod to a car need a different robots hand.

David

Ross Lloyd 106/02/2018 21:42:52
153 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by David George 1 on 05/02/2018 18:32:47:

Ross I was just getting into manufacturing the tooling for robot machinery, the hand that goes onto the robot arm, when the forced retirement caused by non payment of a customer caused the closure of the factory. But the ingenuity you need to get the parts griped and placed is very satisfying when it gets done. I worked in the plastics automotive area and there was a never ending supply of parts as every mod to a car need a different robots hand.

David

There is some fascinating stuff going on with deep learning and neural nets right now with grippers too. A bunch of guys got together and set up something like 50 robots, all continually making grip attempts on multiple objects, with the same gripper. It learned that angling the gripper in certain ways, or moving the part to one side and coming at it from another angle, or pinching a corner rather than the centre of the body, would lead to a successful grip. Much like a human would. Using 50 robots and sharing the data across them all, they were able to produce an astoundingly effective "gripping dataset" that allows them to pick up a huge range of objects without needing a specialised gripper. Its amazing what they have been able to do with it.

Probably wouldnt want to do that with heavy car panels, but is great for small items. The Amazon Challenge throws up new technologies like this too.

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