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Revisiting 8230 Coastal Police Buggy – Stud.io Review

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in Design, Featured, LEGO | 0 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 | 0 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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Yellow Buggy – A tiny and robust RC LEGO car

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Featured, LEGO | 0 comments

Yellow Buggy – A tiny and robust RC LEGO car

This is a very small, robust, reliable and easy to maintain buggy. It is ideal for letting your kids play with all day. The design goal was to make a robust car as small and simple as possible. This means most of all no suspension system since that would require the use of CV joints. They are known to break and while they work nicely in LEGO super cars that you carefully push around the floor, it does not work with kids trying to race and crash their RC cars. CV joints will break. Of course it is possible to create a LEGO RC car with suspension and even four wheel drive/steering, but then you end up with LEGO’s own RC Crawler. The goal was to keep it small, simple and robust.

One of the problems I encountered when letting kids play with the RC cars all day is that the axles in the differential tend to slip and move out. I hence build a differential assembly in which the axles are completely locked in and cannot move. The worst thing that could still happen is that a wheel comes off which is easy to fix.

The car uses only one L-Motor and is pretty fast for that. The turning radius is very tight and the car is just fun to drive. The differential makes it perfect to drive around tight corners. The heavy battery pack is right on top of the back axle, giving it the best friction. Well, it does not accelerate like an F1, but it might still make a small difference.

The Building Instructions do not contain the L-Motor and the servo motor since they are both not yet part of Digital Designer. The Yellow Buggy is also available as a 3D file (LXF) for LEGO Digital Designer. Head over to Rebrickable for the Yellow Buggy MOC and its part list.

I also ran Bluerender to make a nice 3D spin of the car.

 

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Have LEGO Products Become More Violent?

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Featured, Research | 1 comment

Have LEGO Products Become More Violent?

We just published our article “Have LEGO Products Become More Violent?” at PLOS One. Here is the abstract:

Although television, computer games and the Internet play an important role in the lives of children they still also play with physical toys, such as dolls, cars and LEGO bricks. The LEGO company has become the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Our study investigates if the LEGO company’s products have become more violent over time. First, we analyzed the frequency of weapon bricks in LEGO sets. Their use has significantly increased. Second, we empirically investigated the perceived violence in the LEGO product catalogs from the years 1978-2014. Our results show that the violence of the depicted products has increased significantly over time. The LEGO Company’s products are not as innocent as they used to be.

 

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