20 Jul 2004 Lolindrath   » (Journeyer)

Traffic Counting

I was driving down Route 1 in New Jersey today and noticed a traffic counter. It seems to be just a simple pressure sensor across the road that goes back to some sort of box that keeps a count. Simple enough but then I got thinking. Cars and motorcycles work fine and there are no uni-wheel vehicles on the road so you could simply divide by two. My question is, what do you do about 18-wheelers? These trucks have 4 or 5 axels, doesn't this really screw you up? Do you have to some kind of statistical odds to figure this out? I at first thought this could be solved by also collecting the timing that the cars went across since wheel spacing is pretty consistent but the pressure sensor is across both lanes going one way so you couldn't really tell one car from another. Can anyone think of other solutions?

Biological Programming

I read an article about Biomorphic Software in the ACM Queue the other day and thought it would be cool to make robotic ants and program them to have their food be toxic chemicals. They could sniff them out, collect them and bring them back to their nest. They could leave scent trails using GPS markers so other ants would know where good spots to collect "food" are. Also, if any communication or data sharing would need done they could use an 802.11g ad-hoc wireless network. This could be a really fun project.


I had a 2x4 dropped on my head yesterday. It isn't as bad as it sounds though. The 2x4 was at around 8 ft. and I'm 6 ft. 2in. so thank God I'm tall.

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