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LEGO Compatible Medium Sized Thrust Ball Bearing

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Design, Featured, LEGO, Technology | 0 comments

LEGO Compatible Medium Sized Thrust Ball Bearing

LEGO’s turn table has considerable friction and rotating a model at an exhibition for a whole day would ruin it. A thrust ball bearing is necessary to decrease the friction. I previously 3D printed a large bearing for my Unikitty. For this year’s exhibition I needed a smaller thrust ball bearing so I designed a new medium sized ball bearing. It includes liftarms to hold a worm wheel which results in a rotation ratio of 1:78. You can download the model from A360 and GrabCAD.

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Working in a “smart” building

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Featured, LEGO | 0 comments

Working in a “smart” building

For more than a year I have the pleasure to work in an office in the John Britten building at the University of Canterbury. The office is light, friendly and spacious. I should be more than happy but this building comes with a twist. It is smart. The room has a motion sensor and a temperature sensor. The lights are suppose to go on when activity is detected and the window is suppose to open when it becomes too hot in the room. Notice that this smart building does not have the ability to regulate the heaters. If I switch the heater fully on and thereby create a little sauna then the building will open the window instead of regulating down the heater. I am not sure if this is smart.

The biggest problem is that the window’s behaviour could best be described as neurotic. It opens and closes nervously without considering the noise it makes or the noise that the construction site outside is creating. The only way to tame this autonomous monster is to log into a website and set the window to manual. There is no switch or lever that I could use.

LEGO EV3 Robot Measures the Environment

So I ended up creating a little LEGO robot that would log the environment of the office and the opening of the window in the hope to detect a pattern. Something to convince me that there is method in this madness. Other than that the windows close at 5pm sharp I could not. But along the way I learned a bit more about information visualization on the web and how to to create a useful little logging robot. Have a look at the graph that I produced.

 

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Revisiting 8230 Coastal Police Buggy – Stud.io Review

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in Design, Featured, LEGO | 2 comments

Revisiting 8230 Coastal Police Buggy – Stud.io Review

Back in 1996 I created 3D animated building instructions for the set 8230 Coasatal Policy Buggy. It was part of an internship at a 3D Company and it took me months to model every brick and to animate the whole model. Below is a rendering that took half a day to render. Twenty years later it is time to build this model again. Not with LEGO Digital Designer (LDD), but with Stud.io, the latest addition to virtual LEGO editors. Stud.io is currently a closed beta and the makers of Bricklink sign responsible for its development.

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iOS Just Got A Paper On Nuclear Physics Accepted At A Scientific Conference

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 in Featured, Research | 7 comments

iOS Just Got A Paper On Nuclear Physics Accepted At A Scientific Conference

Automatically generating scientific articles has become easy with dedicated software such as SCIgen. Even a paper that only repeated the sentence “Get me of your fucking mailing list” was recently accepted for publication. Today I received an invitation from the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics to submit a paper. Since I have practically no knowledge of Nuclear Physics I resorted to iOS auto-complete function to help me writing the paper. I started a sentence with “Atomic” or “Nuclear” and then randomly hit the auto-complete suggestions. The text really does not make any sense. After adding the first illustration on nuclear physics from Wikipedia, some references and creating a fake identity (Iris Pear, aka Siri Apple) I submitted the paper which was accepted only three hours later! I know that iOS is a pretty good software, but reaching tenure has never been this close.

UPDATE (27/10/2016): Turns out that conference organizer, OMICS Group, is currently under federal investigation.

Here is a short demonstration on how I wrote the paper:

 

Here is the acceptance notification:

 

 

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Robot Philosophy Conference 2016

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Event, Featured, Research | 0 comments

Robot Philosophy Conference 2016

I had the pleasure of giving a keynote at the Robot Philosophy Conference 2016. The people in Denmark have been very friendly and our hotel is great. It is very interesting to see Human-Robot Interaction being discussed from the perspective of philosophy. Below is the recording of my keynote:

 

 

 

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Quincunx LEGO GBC Module (Galton Board)

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 in Featured, LEGO, Research | 2 comments

Quincunx LEGO GBC Module (Galton Board)

Today I would like to show you my latest GBC module, a Quincunx also known as a Galton Board, named after its inventor Sir Francis Galton who used it to demonstrate the central limit theorem in 1894. The balls are being transported up with a conveyer belt and a light sensor counts how many balls have passed. The balls then roll down the board and at each peg they can either bounce left or right. After the last peg the ball is caught in a repository. Once 100 balls made their way down, the gate opens and releases all the balls. Probably no GBC module could deal with 100 balls at a time, so I queued them up and deliver them one at a time.

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