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Persuasive Robotics Talk At The Emotional Machines Conference

Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in Featured, Research | 0 comments

Persuasive Robotics Talk At The Emotional Machines Conference

I was invited to give a talk at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Emotional Machines in Stuttgart on September 21st, 2017. My talk focused mainly on the work I did in collaboration with Jürgen Brandstetter (doi: 10.1145/2909824.3020257, doi: 10.1177/0261927X15584682, doi: 10.1109/IROS.2014.6942730). My main argument was that the number of robots in our society will increase dramatically and robots will participate in the formation of our language. Through their influence on our language they will be able to nudge our valence related to certain terms. Moreover, it will only take 10% of us to own a robot for them to dominate the development of our language.

This is also the first time I used a 360 degree camera to record a talk. This technology becomes particularly useful when following the discussion between the speaker and the audience. YouTube’s 360 video feature does not work in all web browser (e.g. it does not work with Safari). Chrome and Firefox should be fine.

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Bloomberg Businessweek interviewed Omics about my nonsense paper

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Featured, Research | 0 comments

Bloomberg Businessweek interviewed Omics about my nonsense paper

Esmé E Deprez and Caroline Chen from Bloomberg Businessweek visited the headquarters of Omics in India to interview its owner Srinubabu Gedela about his company. Omics is widely considered a predatory publisher that publishes papers without rigorous peer review. Confronted with the acceptance of my non-sensical paper he replied that “Bartneck’s paper slipped through because it was submitted so close to the conference’s deadline.” Yeah, right.

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TicTacToe Playing LEGO Mindstorms Robot Using Computer Vision

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Documentation, Featured, LEGO, Project | 3 comments

TicTacToe Playing LEGO Mindstorms Robot Using Computer Vision

You can play TicTacToe with this LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot. It uses three motors to drop the balls into the right field. It uses a NXTCam to view the board and then calculates the best move using a MiniMax Algorithm. All future moves are explored an rated according to their winning chances. The work is based on the TicTacToe code of Thomas Kaffka. An IR sensor detects your hand when you drop your ball. The robot is using red balls and the human player uses blue balls. The Java code is available over at Github. The building instructions are available for LEGO Digital Designer. I used the MinuteBot baseplate, which is useful for building static Technic/Mindstorms models.

 

LDD does not have all the required pars in its database. You will have to replace 22961 with 27940. You will also need to add a worm wheel 27938. In addition you should use a lamp to provide consistent lighting. I used a USB powered LED circular lamp the can be powered through the USB port of the EV3. I only had to take out the lens in the middle so that the camera fits through the hole. A rubber band holds the light in place. To calibrate the robot I added a little arm at the end of the base plate against which the robot arm rotates. The position of the camera can be centered on the board using the wrench and through sliding along the axles.

You can also find information about the robot over at Rebrickable. The inventory there is correct and complete. Except for the base plate of course.

 

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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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