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Ancient Single-Line Kite as a Cybernetic Device

Aristotle reasoned that a rock "knew" how to move downhill, a view known in robotics as "situated" "embodied" logic. Devices based on such logic are powerful actors in the real-world.

A sailor's tell-tale is an embodied fluidic cybernetic device situated in a windfield. Its typically a ribbon or woolly yarn processing invisible wind direction into a clear indication, an optical output. A flag is the "wide screen" display option.

The self-flying kite is an even more impressive fluidic robot that performs high-dimensional embodied real-time analog field-computing. This paleo-engineering marvel is still superior to available digital "high-tech". Moreover, the kite does real-world work at monstrous scales with a power-to-weight ratio comparable to an aircraft engine, but without fuel. Arthur C. Clarke might have judged it magic.

Particular fluidic feed-back features enable a tethered airfoil to fly itself. Besides the iconic kite tail there are many physical logic tricks to "program" with.   Kiteline and bridling are elemental embodied logic. Any sort of logic gate can be contrived from bits of string tied and pulled in certain ways. One might knit a Turing Machine as a sort of Cat's Cradle.

KiteLab Ilwaco is carefully layering digital control and artificial intelligence on a foundation of embodied kite logic to create ever more robust AWE. The added interface enables automated data collection. Expert knowledge can now act deliberatively on the reactive kite, extending performance or causing it to fail in unpredictable new ways ;^)

NEXT: Analog-to-Digital AWECS Design 

CoopIP/FairIP                   ~~Dave Santos               May 21, 2010              M1547  

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Terms and aspects:    paleo, Turing Machine, Cat's Cradle, robotics, situated logic, embedded logic, tells, tell-tale (sometimes known as a tell-tail), fluidic feed-back, artificial intelligence, digital control, embodied kite logic, automated data collection, automated data recording, automated data transmission, automated data reception, automated data interpretation and analysis, feedback, reactive kite, expert programs, Arthur C. Clarke, self-flying kite, cybernetics, indicators, optical output, fluidic robot, flag, flagging, flags, tethered airfoil,

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