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From Behemoth to Microship

ISBN-13: 978-1929470006
ISBN-10: 1930110065
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About the Author

Steve has been immersed in microprocessors and embedded controls since the early 70's, when he built one of the first 8008-based personal computers. He published a text on microcomputer engineering and continued in a general freelance consulting and magazine writing vein until 1983, when the combination of chronic restlessness and midwestern torpor launched him abruptly into the technomadic life. To the horror of friends and family, he sold his suburban house, moved to a recumbent bicycle, and began a 17,000-mile bicycle trip around the US -- stopping now and again to write books about the adventure or rebuild the substrate. The third version of the bike sported 72 watts of solar panels, a network of on-board computers with handlebar chord keyboard and head mouse, heads-up display, satellite Internet link, 105 speeds, ham shack, and other goodies.

But by 1991, asphalt was losing its appeal and Roberts started schlepping his 580-pound BEHEMOTH around the country on speaking tours via diesel mothership while working on the design of his next escape pod. Work on the bike's aquatic successor began full-time in 1993 and filled the following 8 years. Now flickering to life in his Camano Island, Washington laboratory and undergoing a series of rigorous test mini-expeditions, the Microship project is based on a pair of canoe-scale amphibian pedal/solar/sail micro-trimarans with on-board linux servers, live telemetry to a public server, video production tools, a complete suite of communications resources, deployable landing gear, and 480 watts of peak-power tracked solar panels per boatlet. Roberts still earns a living by speaking and writing about his adventures, along with the technology that makes them possible


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