"Making Human-Robot Interaction Enjoyable"

Share and enjoy!

Racism and Robot Ethics

Posted by on Nov 13, 2018 in Research | 0 comments

I gave a presentation at the Robots & AI in Society Workshop at the Western Sydney University. I hope you enjoy my speech.

 

Read More

LEGO Digital Crawler with EV3 Controlled Gear Box

Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 in Design, Featured, LEGO | 0 comments

LEGO Digital Crawler with EV3 Controlled Gear Box

This LEGO remote controlled crawler uses a sequential gearbox from Sariel and a Mindstorms EV3 to control the car. The remote control used force feedback and offers proportional control over speed and direction. It also allows you to change gears and change the forward and backward drive. The two EV3 Mindstorms communicate using Bluetooth. The remote uses two rotation sensors to measure speed and direction.

The building instructions are available for LEGO Digital Designer and Stud.io. Please notice that I had to replace the 35188 Technic Changeover Rotary Catch with another gear in the digital model and I could also not include Mindsensors Glide Wheel Rotation Sensor. These bricks do not yet exist in digital form. I also put up the model are ReBrickable and the inventory there is almost complete. Feel free to also use different wheels. In the LDD model I also had to use other shocks.

Here is a video that explains the model’s function:

And here is the crawler in action:

 

 

Read More

Race3 Extreme Offroad Car

Posted by on Sep 6, 2018 in Design, LEGO | 0 comments

I built a new version of my Race cars series (Race1, Race2) with the logical name Race3. This time I am using the SBrick to control the car which gives its proportional steering control. This is great for driving curves. Race3 features individual suspension, ball bearings and a very low centre of gravity. You can drive it up and down pretty much any rock or mountain. Here is a video of what it can do.

And here are some photos of the model. Building instructions are also available. I also put up this MOC over at Rebrickable.

Read More

Comparison of LEGO Render Tools

Posted by on Sep 6, 2018 in Design, LEGO | 0 comments

Building LEGO digitally has many advantages, such as having an unlimited number of bricks at your disposal. While these digital models can be shared it is also desirable to create a photorealistic rendering of the final model. There are currently three major software packages to build digital LEGO:

  • LEGO Digital Designer
    This is the most comfortable editor for all platforms, but LEGO’s support for this software is in doubt. The build in render engine is not the best, but you can use Bluerender that in turn uses PovRay for rendering your model.
  • LDraw
    Draw is the oldest software and it is maintained by the LEGO community. There are several different editor and render tools available.
  • Stud.io
    This software was developed by Bricklink and it uses LDraw for its parts and PovRay for the rendering. In its newest Beta version Stud.io is using a new render engine called Eyesight.
  • Mecabrick
    This online software runs in your browser and you need to pay for having your image rendered on theirs server farm. They did not have the L-Motor in their library and hence I could not render my model there.

So lets compare the results of the render engines. Below you find the rendered images of all software packages set to their maximum quality level. I also uploaded these images to Flickr. It is very clear that the new rendering engine from Stud.io is far superior to all other rendering engines and this alone might motivate you to adopt this software as your default LEGO digital design tool.

It is also interesting to notice how efficient Stud.io uses the computers computing power to render. Here is a screenshot of my CPU load during rendering:

Read More

Do it!

Posted by on Sep 4, 2018 in Culture, Design | 0 comments

Matt Matt Groening’s new show Disenchantment is entertaining and one of my favourite characters is Luci, Princess Bean’s personal demon spoken by Eric Andre. So I created a little t-shirt for you to enjoy. You can order it over at Threadless.

Luci the personal demon of princess bean from disenchantment

Read More

Exposure bracketing and rendering in AutoPano Pro

Posted by on Aug 24, 2018 in Design, Documentation, Featured | 0 comments

Exposure bracketing and rendering in AutoPano Pro

Taking 360 degrees panoramic photographs has become easy due to the arrival of dedicated 360 cameras, such as the Ricoh Theta V. But their 4K resolution is spread thin across the whole 360 degree viewing angle. There is still a need to panoramas with high resolution that can only be taken by stitching multiple photographs together. The GigaPan Epic Pro is a robotic camera head that tilts and pans your camera before triggering the shot. You can stitch hundreds even thousands of photos together into one GigaPixel panorama. I have uploaded a few on GigaPan’s website.

One problem when shooting GigaPixel panoramas is that some parts of your panorama will be very light due to the sun shining directly on them while other areas might be very dark, for example by simply being in the shadow. Finding a compromise exposure for your camera might be difficult and hence we are using bracketing to shoot multiple photos of the same area. Each of these photos will be several exposures apart from the others. For any shot you will have in fact three shots, each with a low, medium and high exposure. When you stitch the panorama together in AutoPano Giga, for example, you can use all three exposures. Autopano has several modes to select the best exposed pixel.

There are two settings that you can play with that will heavily influence how your final panorama will look like. You can set the Color Mode to None, Auto and HDR.

You can also set the Blending Presets to Simple, Anti Ghosting, Exposure Fusion and HDR Output.

I systematically varied these two settings to get an impression on what results the may produce.

Read More

Interview at UXPod with Gerry Gaffney

Posted by on Jul 28, 2018 in Press | 0 comments

Gerry Gaffney over at UXPod interviewed me about Robots, AI and Ethics. The transcript is available on his web page. Listen to our conversation below.

Read More