Time Lapse Movie On The Assembly Of An InMoov Robot

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in Design, Project, Research | 0 comments

We have some excellent french students at the lab right now and they pushed our InMoov project forward. Here is a time lapse movie of the assembly of the robot.

Read More

Building an off road car with LEGO Technic

Posted by on Oct 27, 2012 in Design, LEGO, Project | 13 comments

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.

Read More

PhD opening in Human Robot Interaction

Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 in Project, Research | 0 comments

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

Project description

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.

Read More

Summer Scholarships Available

Posted by on Aug 8, 2011 in Design, Project, Research | 0 comments

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.

Read More

Book review by The Brickshow

Posted by on Aug 6, 2011 in Culture, Design, Project | 0 comments

The amazing Jason Forthofer from The Brickshow reviewed the catalog and the video is now available:

Read More

The Family History And Genealogy of Johann Ferdinand Thöne and Maria Anna Juliana Antonette Drewes

Posted by on Jul 21, 2011 in Design, Project | 0 comments

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

The Family History And Genealogy of Johann Ferdinand Thöne and Maria Anna Juliana Antonette Drewes

Read More