Friday, 30 June 2017

Cozmo is programmable

The incredibly cute robot Cozmo became even more engaging recently with the ability to program it. A recent update to the Cozmo app (see related links) to include Code Lab allowing programming of Cozmo through of a graphical programming approach based on Scratch Blocks.





An example of the code is shown below, getting Cozmo to:

  • Start moving around
  • Wait until it see a face
  •       Says Hi Everybody 
  •       Moves forward
  •       Sounds like a cat
  •       Looks down and then raises it's forks
  •       Acts 'grumpy'
  •       Acts 'happy'




The video at the end shows this in action.


It is an easy to use tool and with a lot of the Cozmo actions available in the blocks, put a few blocks together and very quickly you have Cozmo doing some interesting and often funny actions. Is it very flexible, no; but it is not meant to be - it is meant to be easy to use and it is and great fun. Personally, I felt the app needed this addition, it adds the element to take this toy further into a coding toy (yes another one) that it feels, to me, it should be.







Related posts
Cozmo-Wall-E has a rival
Cozmo is coming to the UK
Android app
iPad app




All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Crumble Junkbot at Code Club

Tried out the Junkbot controlled by a Crumble Controller (See here for plans for it) at the Code Club I help with at Roade Primary School, Northamptonshire.

The first two images show the junkbot drawing the lines and dots on the paper just be using a spinning unbalanced motor.




In the figure below (though you can't see it) the connection between the motor and the power goes through the Crumble to allow the motor to change direction. Some the 'code-clubbers' have played with lowering the power via the Crumble and found below certain values (percentage of the maximum power available through the Crumble) the motor stalls.





The simple code used to control it shown below.




Links












All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Girls into Engineering event - Computing -22/6/2017

The Computing teams NAO robots seemed to have been a hit today: 


The robots were a hit it sounds see below:




All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Monday, 19 June 2017

MSc Computing student Hussein Ajam delivering lightning talk at prestigious ACM conference


Ajam, H.Ramdhany, R.Hammond, M. and Mu, M. (2017) 
A middleware to enable immersive multi-device online TV experience. In: Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Experiences for TV and Online Video. New York: ACM.

Conference: Association of Computing Machinery International Conference on Interactive Experiences for Television and Online Video (ACM TVX 2017) Hilversum, The Netherlands 14-16 June 2017

Abstract: Recent years have witnessed the boom of great technologies of smart devices transforming the entertainment industry, especially the traditional TV viewing experiences. In an effort to improve user engagement, many TV broadcasters are now investigating future generation content production and presentation using emerging technologies. In this paper, we introduce an ongoing work to enable immersive and interactive multi-device online TV experiences. Our project incorporates three essential developments on content authoring, device discovery, and cross-device media orchestration.

To read more go to: http://nectar.northampton.ac.uk/9458/



All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

My experience of CAS conference 2017 through tweets



As an experiment, I looked at using the TAG tool to collect my tweets on the CAS conference. Used the TAGS searchable link http://bit.ly/2rMnqLd
















All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Airblock - programmable drone.

I recently received my Airblock drone from Makeblock funded through a kickstarter. If you want to see an Airblock in action this very funny video showing it being un-boxed from the Channel 5's Gadget Shown is worth a look. 



Of course I had to play with it in Air mode, it is a drone I want to see it fly. But there options for creating hovercraft and your own designs.



It is controllable via an app either by directly controlling or through Makeblock's own block based programming language Makeblock both are in the same app which is a feature I particularly liked. It can be annoying have to multiple apps for the same product.

Selecting Air Mode (as below) means you can control it directly or chose New Project to program it.



In a new project, in design mode you can set up the interface dragging buttons into the project and then write code to go behind them. I found I needed to add a power switch in the interface.



Click on the button and you can drag blocks to program the drone. Take it out of design mode and it the appropriately name play mode and your are ready to go.


Great fun, but I struggle to control it (that is probably just me I do with most drones). When it hits anything the propeller units (prop, motor in polystyrene case, with a magnetic connector)  do come away, as they are designed to do, for safety. A mistake I kept making was getting the propeller unit upside, but you quickly notice it - it goes all over the place. You will be playing 'hunt the prop' quite often when it crashes (and it will) they do seem to fly off.

Great fun to play with; now are available to order/pre-order (at the time of writing) at https://makeblockshop.eu/products/makeblock-airblock .


Related links:

 

 



All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Gesture controlled python robot unicorn (or is it a rhino)

In the previous two post I built and played with a robot unicorn from  Do it Kits https://doitkits.com/product/robot-unicorn/ . In the first...