"Making Human-Robot Interaction Enjoyable"

Sounds easy, I wish it was!

Cadbury Energy Chocolate Scam

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Culture, Documentation | 0 comments

Cadbury Energy Chocolate Scam

Many products are being sold that are suppose to increase your energy. Unless your food is completely indigestible, this will always be true. Food by definition has calories which provide you with energy. But food manufactures have moved on and this trivial definition of energy is rarely used. These days energy food typically contains Caffeine. In particular energy drinks, such as Red Bull, Mother and V contain a considerable dose.

Cadbury is selling a chocolate bar called “Energy” and while I was not expecting anything as good as Methamphetamin in it, as it was done during the Second World War, I hoped that there would be at least a grain of truth in their advertisement. The ingredients list did not reveal anything that would suggest “energy”. The only thing I learned from looking up the ingredients on their web page is that there is a problem with their SSL certificate. Maybe they are trying to hide this product?

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 19.26.10

I contacted Cadbury and ask them about their secret energy ingredient and in an email they informed me that their Energy bar chocolate is a New Zealand specific brand and in 1936 they used its calorie value to justify its title. It contains 2200kJ per 100 gr. Their own Dairy Milk Chocolate contains 40kj more: 2240kj. Cadbury Dream even contains 2350kJ.

The time in which a high calorie value is a sales argument has long passed. These days we are interested in reducing our calorie intake. The Cadbury Energy Chocolate is a scam. It does not contain anything above what a regular chocolate bar contains. It even has less energy than their regular milk chocolate.





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LEGO Pictorial Scales for Assessing Affective Response

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in LEGO, Research | 0 comments

We have just published a nice study in which we developed and tested Emotion Rating Figurines (ERF) that allows you to assess emotional responses. The figurines are base on LEGO Minifigures. We developed a questionnaire sheet and also a physical model.

Emotion Rating Figurines

A physical LEGO Face Scale named Emotion Rating Figurines (ERF)

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Why does innovation fail in academia?

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Event, Research | 0 comments

The IFIA World Congress and Innovation Conference in Stockholm invited me to give a speech on why innovations fail in academia. I gave this speech on August 25th, 2015. I hope you enjoy my presentation.


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Galaxy Explorer 6000

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Featured, LEGO | 0 comments

Galaxy Explorer 6000

The LEGO Galaxy Explorer is amongst one of the most popular sets of all times. In 1980 LEGO published the Idea Book 6000 that contained an alternative build for the Galaxy Explorer. The building instructions were sketchy at best. I built the Galaxy Explorer 6000 model for the Moonbase 42 at the Christchurch Brick Show 2015 and I also created an LDD file for it. The building instructions are available here. It has been great fun to re-create this spaceship from my childhood. I hope you enjoy it.


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LEGO GBC – Color Sorting and Train Module

Posted by on Jun 28, 2015 in LEGO | 0 comments

This LEGO great ball contraption consists of a module that sorts the balls by its color and a train module that returns the balls to the start. Both modules use Mindstorms EV3s to control the motors. The train EV3 controls and original LEGO RC Train motor using a DIY cable.


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Organizing Your Photo Collection in iPhoto, Photos and Google Photos

Posted by on Jun 13, 2015 in Design | 0 comments

Apple created many innovative software solutions and continued to improve them by adding more and more useful feature. With Aperture they even innovated a whole new class of applications that Adobe had to catch up to.

Recently, however, Apple is moving the opposite way. They keep on dumbing down their own software and hardware. No, we are not going to talk about iWork for iCloud or the new MacBook.

Today I am going to talk about the new Photo software for Mac OS X. It lacks many features from Aperture and even fallen behind iPhoto in some regards.

Events in iPhoto iPhoto ’08 introduced several useful features, such as events. When you import photos it would automatically try to group them into events. Before you manually had to do this by using albums. And this is exactly what I used to do. I would create albums and organized them in folders first by location and then by date. The arrival of the Events function relieved me of creating and maintaining this structure.

The new Photos app does not longer support Events. We are back at having to group our photos manually. Moreover, all the Events in iPhoto are being transformed into plain Albums in Photos.

From a theoretical point of view there is little difference between Albums and Events. You can use Albums to resemble Events. But in iPhoto an image could only be in one Event. Events therefore provided a basic structure for users to manage their ever increasing photo collections. The value of such structures cannot be underestimated. A photo collection with no structure is completely useless since it is impossible to find anything in it. The structures of Events, Places and Faces enabled users to enjoy their collection.

Google just recently introduced their new cloud based Photos services and they seem to understand the importance for an organizational structure. Google automatically groups photos such as “Beach” or “Cars”. Google actually tries to understand what is shown in your photos. It thereby enables us to browse through our collections in a new way. Not to mention that Google is offering unlimited storage space.

Apple, please become smart again!

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Prime News and New Zealand Herald report on our LEGO Robot

Posted by on Jun 7, 2015 in LEGO, Press, Research | 0 comments

Today Prime News, a national New Zealand TV show, reported on our LEGO Fireman Robot. The New Zealand Herald also covered the story in more depth.


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