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
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
~~Dave Santos May
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
All, send notes!
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,
Commentary is welcome: