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Single-step mode?  

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(@john-hughan)
Contributor
Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 23
May 9, 2020 3:13 pm  

I stumbled across the Sisyphus coffee table and was enthralled. While I enforced a mandatory "sleep on it" period before purchasing, I started looking into the custom track options like Sandify, Sisyphus for the Rest of Us, and Text Generator -- in addition to trying to wrap my head around theta/rho movement instructions in general, which was a completely new concept for me.  Of course all of that research just ended up sealing the deal. 🙂

But now I'm wondering if there is -- or might someday be -- a way to run the table in "single-step" mode.  By that I mean instead of uploading a track and having the table execute the entire thing, allow theta-rho instructions to be sent to the table one at a time, live through the app, with the table pausing after completing each instruction. I'm thinking it might be both fun and educational to be able to do this and get a sense of how this coordinate system works.

The standard safeguard of requiring a rho value between 0 and 1 could still be enforced in this mode, and the only real "convenience" features that would be handy would be to have buttons to "Reset to Center" and "Reset to Edge", which would set 0,0 or 0,1 WITHOUT the table having to "unwind" down to Theta 0 from whatever Theta value you had accumulated.

Is there some way to do this today?  If not, I realize that during these interesting times, work might be delayed or even paused entirely, but is there any hope of such a feature being added to the app in the future?


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(@dithermaster)
Contributor
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 66
May 10, 2020 5:24 pm  

The iPhone app does have a "rho / theta jog" command; maybe that API could be used to implement your "immediate mode" request.


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(@john-hughan)
Contributor
Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 23
May 10, 2020 5:34 pm  

Thanks!  I look forward to checking it out.  Unfortunately at the moment I can't seem to do anything without a table because the app doesn't seem to show any UI if it can't connect to a table first.  Right now I'm playing with this in Sandify, but it's a bit irritating since you have to keep updating and uploading a THR file to see the results -- and of course it's not nearly as beautiful to watch as a sand table with a ball bearing.  But I'm still enjoying getting to know theta/rho movement in terms of predicting the arc that will result from the next coordinate pair I enter or trying to figure out what's required to generate the desired arc.  Right now my I'm correct on the first attempt well under 50% of the time, which is keeping it fun to learn -- and especially fun when I finally get it right! 🙂


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(@bruce)
Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 289
May 10, 2020 7:44 pm  

As @dithermaster relayed, you can use the jog interface to discretely move each axis. But we haven't yet added that to our API. But our dev is working now on doing just that (allowing you to stream in commands via POST calls). As for getting used to the polar system - it does take some time, but it gets easier the more you play with it. While both Cartesian and polar systems can describe every point on a plane, there are some big differences (the point at the center of the polar system can have different thetas, but still be in the same position (though having different "headings")). And there are what I think of  as "symmetries": In the XY world, you can emulate curves using lots of little straight lines. Whereas in the polar world, you can emulate straight lines with lots of little spiral arcs. While there are some gotchas when converting Cartesian plots to polar plots, any path created in one system can be converted to other (with regard to positions along the path).


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