Here's Katy Levinson's semi-drunken robotics tutorial from DEFCON XX in Vegas this past summer. To get a sense of Levinson's presentation style, imagine if Bill Hicks was a young, female roboticist. Watch this presentation and you will learn that four-way linkages are pimp, bolts are zinc-plated turds, and all robots should wear sunglasses. Levinson's last gig was designing an autonomous robot for the aborted US lunar mission, and now she works to save Hacker Dojo, the embattled hackspace in Mountain View that incubated Pinterest.
By popular demand, Defcon's angry little roboticist is back with more stories of robot designs gone awry that make practical lessons on making better robots. Drinking will happen: vodka-absconding scoundrels are not invited.
This talk will cover material assuming the average audience member is a relatively intelligent coder with a high-school physics/math background and has seen linear algebra/calculus before. The intent is to navigate people new to robotics around many lessons my teams and I learned the "hard way," and to introduce enough vocabulary for a self-teaching student to bridge the gap between amateur and novice professional robotics. It will not cover why your Arduino doesn't work when you plugged your USB tx into your RS232 tx.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.