While looking for a reasonably priced free method of hosting my own videos,
I quickly came to realize that Flash Video (FLV) is the coolest kid on the block - and for good reason.
According to a few different
sources on the net, FLV is an excellent
choice for providing video. It reaches a higher audience percent than any of Windows Media, Quicktime or Real,
while also having a smaller footprint. This is the reason that You Tube and
Google Videos both use flash to deliver video content on the web.
There are lots of sites that describe how to convert video to FLV. Some methods free, some are very pricy, and
some are better than others. Find one that is easy and that you like.
My next focus was playing the video. I found a few options like
Jeroen Wijering's player but finally settled on FlowPlayer for a number of reasons.
It supports playlists, will slideshow images, and is easily skinnable. Most importantly for me, was the claim that is supports
prevention of inline linking also known as Leeching. This is when other sites directly link to content on your site, so you
pay the bandwidth but they get the views.
A sample (standard video test pattern bars and test tone) to demonstrate:
Here is how I implemented anti-leeching as demonstrated...
Well - I finally got around to testing the idea of a tank built on the Lego R/C car. This has one PWM output for speed, with steering rotating an axle hole on the receiver. In a normal car, this drives a steering mechanism, but I wanted to drive a dual track tank. I built a little test rig with wheels and skids rather than tracks just to see if it would work.
The basic idea is to have an adder/subtracter drive, with the R/C "drive" output going to a motor on the base input and the steering output tied to a Lego polarity switch. The polarity switch is supplied from a battery box and the output is connected to a motor on the added/subtracted input of the differential mechanism.
I used the R/C motors for both driving and steering, so it whips around pretty fast. It isn't pretty, but it gives me enough
confidence to make a tracked base with the same drive, now:
A front view showing the polarity switch:
And a shot of the differential adder/subtracter drive, straight from Doug's page here: