Posts by Christoph Bartneck

Scholarships available for Master of Human Interface Technology

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Research | 0 comments

We are delighted to announce that application for Master of Human Interface Technology and its scholarships are open for July intake in 2015.

The Master of Human Interface Technology (MHIT) programme aims to teach students Human Interface Technology skills and how they can be applied in a research or industry setting. The programme directly engages with industry through projects and scholarship, allowing students to work on real world problems while receiving industry funding. In this way the MHIT degree provides an ideal background for work as an interface designer, or for further study in the field.

The MHIT degree can be completed full-time over 12 to 18 months and this includes three months of taught course work with 9 to 15 months of applied research work.
For this year’s July intake there are six scholarships available:

  • Biomass Mobile Application NZD$12,000 – funded by CRCSI Australia
  • Gesture Interaction in AR/VR systems NZD$24,000 – funded by MBIE, New Zealand
  • Improving the User Experience of the Spike Application NZD$ 10,000 – funded by IkeGS
  • Developing a Reconstruction Application for the Electric Utility Industry NZD$ 10,000 – funded by IkeGPS
  • Volume Estimation from Object Piles NZD$ 10,000- funded by IkeGPS
  • MHIT Scholarship For Speech Database GUI Design – NZD$ 17,000

You can find more details regarding the MHIT programme and scholarships at HITLab NZ official website

If you have any inquiries, please contact us on

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The 2014 LEGO Minifigure Catalog is now available

Posted by on Apr 19, 2015 in Design, Featured | 0 comments

The 2014 LEGO Minifigure Catalog is now available

It is my pleasure to announce that the 2014 LEGO Minifigure Catalog is now available. It contains more than 650 Minifigures with detailed photographs and meta data. The book is a whopping 192 pages. I have limited the distribution options to Amazon and hence was able to reduce the price to only $32 USD. This is the biggest year book so far and I dare to say my best one so far.

The book is available for purchase at CreateSpace and at and as an eBook from Lulu. The App will be updated in due time.
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Review Dexter DLight for LEGO Mindstorms

Posted by on Apr 12, 2015 in Documentation, LEGO, Technology | 0 comments

Dexter Industries offers the DLight for LEGO Mindstorms. It allows you to control four full color LEDs through a sensor port of your EV3 or NXT. The first thing to do is to set the toggle switches on each LED to a unique address, so that you can control each LED individually. In the NXT-G environment you can still decide to control all of them at the same time if desired. The biggest nuisance is that only the first LED can use its red component. The other three cannot show any red light. Dexter acknowledges this bug in its forum and offers refunds. It is ridiculous that Dexter does not warn its customers on its product page, in particular since they do not intend to fix this problem.

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LEGO Volvo 42030 Loader with SBrick

Posted by on Apr 12, 2015 in Design, LEGO | 0 comments

Today I finally had the chance to unpack and test my SBrick. I build this Bluetooth LEGO Power Functions brick into my Volvo 42030 Loader. A profile for this LEGO model was already available in SBricks social profile database. I could just download the profile and configure it. Configuration entails defining what motor is attached to what port. You can also invert the direction of each motor if necessary. Once the profile is downloaded an configured, it works like a charm. The best part is the proportional control. You can steer a little bit right. With the IR control from LEGO it is all or nothing control.

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Merging even and odd pages into a PDF document on Mac OS X

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in Documentation | 0 comments

Recently me and my father digitized two large books. My father did the bulk of the work by photographing more than 1200 pages. He first photographed all the odd pages and then all the even pages. As with any repetitive task, errors occurred and he missed a few pages.

All the even pages were in one folder and all the odd pages in another. The goal was of course to merge them into a single PDF document. If it wasn’t for the occasional missing pages this could have been straight forward. Just use Apple’s Automator to rename all the files. Automator allows you to give a bunch of files a base name followed by a serial number.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 4.27.45 pm

The trick is to serialize the odd pages 1-1200 (e.g. drewes0102) and then the even pages in exactly the same way. This is possible since the even and odd pages are still in separate folders. Next you can use Automator again to add a suffix to the file names.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 4.30.18 pm

Give the “a” suffix to the odd pages and the “b” suffix to the even pages. You can then move all the files into one directory. They will be sorted as:


The last step is to either use Adobe Acrobat or Automator to merge the individual files into a single PDF document. For the automator option you first need to create a PDF document only for the even pages and one for the odd. The “Shuffling pages” options allows you in a third step to combine these two PDF documents into one.

Since there were certain pages missing this solution was not sufficient. If for example page 3 was missing then the sequence would be:


It would also be great if the book’s page number would correspond to the PDF document page number. Meaning that if you got to page 103 in the PDF file, you would like to see page 103 from the book. The solution was to include white dummy pages for the missing pages.

The following pages then all need to be re-serialized.  Meaning that you first have to move all the good page into a dedicated directory, call it “good images”. Add the white dummy pages with the the right serial number manually. You then rename all the remaining files in the original directory. I decided not to use the a/b suffix solution described above, but to re-serialize the files with an increment of 2. That way I could continue to look at each page scan and ensure that the page number in the scan was the same as its file name number. Jürgen Brandstetter was so kind to help me writing a small script to rename the files:

declare -i i=1; 
for file in *.jpg ; 
    do new=$(printf "%04d.jpg" "$i"); 
    mv "$file" "rename/drewes"$new; 

In this script i defines the starting number of the renaming. The script searches for all the files that end in .jpg and renames them starting with i. In case of the missing page 3 it would have to be for all of the following pages i=5. It is also important to notice that a directory called “rename” needs to present in the image folder. The renaming is done by moving the files into this directory.

I created a simple text document and saved it as script on the desktop. Use the Terminal to make that file executable with:

chmod +x

You should then use the Terminal to get to the directory in which the files are that you intend to rename and that also include the rename folder. You can then call the script as:


You need to complete this process for both the even and the odd pages. The advantage of this method is that you can always check the filename against the page number of the book. Once you complete the adding of dummy pages and renaming the files,  I moved the even and odd pages into one directory. The last step was to use Acrobat to merge all the files into a single PDF.

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