It has long been a dream of mine to build a remote controlled LEGO car. LEGO has many Technic cars in their program that use the Power Functions to remote control certain functions, such as opening doors or lifting an arm. Power Functions use infrared light for communication between the sender and the receiver. In the past, LEGO also had remote controlled cars that use radio frequencies, which is much better, since it does not require a line of sight and has a much further reach.
Recently, LEGO released the 4×4 Crawler and it really triggered something inside of me. I ordered the set, but when it arrived I never put it together. I started to build my own cars right away. I looked for inspiration on the internet and found many great off road cars, trial trucks and multi purpose car technology. In particular the work Pawel “Sariel” Kmiec. Check out his book “The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide” or visit his website. LPE Power also has some wonderful instructions on how to build real car technology with LEGO.
The HIT Lab NZ at the Canterbury University (Christchurch, New Zealand) has the following vacancy for a PhD student:
Understanding Anthropomorphism and Animacy In The Interaction Between Users and Robots
Robots that interact with humans are becoming increasingly important in our society. However, their life-like appearance and behavior is challenging their acceptance. In this project will establish new fundamental understanding of the role that anthropomorphism and animacy play in the behavior of robots when interacting with users. Methods will include the design, implementation and evaluation of a computational model of anthropomorphism and animacy in a robot. This model will enable robots to adapt their behavior to the user at an adequate level of perceived anthropomorphism and animacy, similar to the way adults adapt their behavior when interacting with children. Research outcomes will demonstrate how robots can match their interaction behavior with their abilities to perform tasks.
I have been able to acquire scholarships for students to come and work in New Zealand during the summer (November-February). Please do consider applying for them to have a productive and amazing summer in Christchurch.
- MARS function – Graphical User Interface Development
- Construction of a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE)
- Improving Face Identification with Genealogical Data
- Usability Evaluation of Clinician Locator System
- Development of a LEGO Minifigure Taxonomy
The amazing Jason Forthofer from The Brickshow reviewed the catalog and the video is now available:
I published a new book about the history of my family, dating back to the middle ages: The Family History And Genealogy of Johann Ferdinand Thöne and Maria Anna Juliana Antonette Drewes. It is now available for purchase at Amazon.com.
Omar did a great job in his PhD defense that took place on June 1st, 2011 in Eindhoven. Here is the video: