"Making Human-Robot Interaction Enjoyable"

Sounds easy, I wish it was!

LEGO Simpsons TV Episode Brick Like Me

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Culture, LEGO | 0 comments

So finally, after more than twenty years, my two favorite illusions cross again: LEGO and The Simpsons. Of course we already know about The Simpsons house and the Minifigures. But now we are going to have a Simpsons Episode made of LEGO. Well, they go the CG path and not stop animation, but that is fine with me.

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3D Printing Robot in the news

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Press | 0 comments

Eduardo and Tim, who have been working on 3D printing an inMoov robot have been interviewed by Radio New Zealand. They did an excellent job at explaining the project.

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Gigapixel Panorama of the University of Canterbury Central Library

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Design | 0 comments

This is a first attempt of shooting gigapixel panoramas. We decided for the central library since it offers good lighting conditions and there is always something interesting going on. Here is the photo hosted at gigapan:

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Color Discovery With Flags And Logos

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Culture, Design | 0 comments

Mitchell Adair, our genius film making student, created an excellent video about the results of our paper “Semi-Automatic Color Analysis For Brand Logos“. Enjoy.

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Spirograph Automaton made with LEGO Mindstorms EV3

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Featured, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Spirograph Automaton made with LEGO Mindstorms EV3

This Spirograph Automaton is a LEGO drawing machine based on the the popular toy and the ideas of PG52. This version extends previous designs by using LEGO Mindstorms EV3. The Spirograph Automaton knows when the pattern is complete and lifts the pen at the right time. You no longer have to observe the machine to stop it when the drawing is complete. The gears are optimized to give fast results so that the children do not have to wait too long. I also build a coin detector that triggers the Spirograph Automaton.

The building instructions are available for very affordable price ($0.99). Please notice that the instructions do not include the three Mindsensors’ GlideWheel-AS sensors. They are not part of the LDD library. And neither is the part 14720 (Technic, Liftarm 3 X 5 Perpendicular H-Shape Thick) of which you will need two. You will also need four rubber bands, may it be from LEGO or otherwise. You can also consider using the Technic Changeover Plate (6631) for a better gear shifting experience. The complete parts list is available at ReRrickable.

The required software is available here. You need to run the program “calibrate” before running the program “draw”. Otherwise you will get a file reading error.

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New Minifgure Catalogs Available

Posted by on Apr 13, 2014 in LEGO | 0 comments

The 2013 LEGO Minifigure Catalog is now available. It contains photographs of more than 550 Minifigures that were produced in 2013. It is very complete and I was even able to photograph the very rare Minifigures.


Furthermore, I am happy to announce that the 2nd edition of the 2012 LEGO Minifigure Catalog and the 3rd edition of the Star Wars LEGO Minifigure Catalog are now available. The later contains all the photographs and data of the 2013 Minifigures in addition to several corrections and extensions. The 2nd edition of the 2012 catalog contains mainly additions and some minor corrections. The Minifigures from the Arkham Asylum, for example, have been added to the catalog. I hope you enjoy the books.

cover 2012 single 2nd 200x300 cover-sw-single-200-300

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Science progresses through the death of its professors

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in Culture | 0 comments

It is well known that the progress of science is related to social processes. Thomas Kuhn and the work based on him made this pretty clear. I would go a step further and declare that “Science progresses through the death of its professors”. I am not sure if this is a novel thought, maybe it is just a radicalization of Kuhn’s thoughts. I certainly do not want to encourage anyone to kill professors (being one myself), but I do think that the senior researchers do inhibit change. Maybe when I am a bit older I will see the benefit in it.

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