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kitronik :Move mini buggy (JavaScript blocks)

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Finally got around to building add playing with the Kitronik :Move https://www.kitronik.co.uk/5624-move-mini-buggy-kit-excl-microbit.html (see below - I decided to put the green sides on the outside - just to be different). One of its features is a vertical set of holes for a pen to be placed in.


Add the blocks (found at https://github.com/KitronikLtd/pxt-kitronik-servo-lite) in blocks editor (https://makecode.microbit.org/) to control the motors. You can do the same thing with writing to the pins, those instructions come with the build instructions, but using the extra blocks  is a little easier to understand. Also add the package for neopixels (type in neopixels in the search box to find them). Two very good tutorials I found useful to start with can be found at:

Neopixels on the robot  in blocks - https://www.kitronik.co.uk/blog/using-kitronik-zip-leds-bbc-microbit/Servos on the robot in blocks - https://www.kitronik.co.uk/blog/kitronik-custom-pxt-editor-servo-blocks/







1. Motor example

genetic algorithms to select filters for evoked potential enhancement

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Use of evolutionary algorithms to select filters for evoked potential enhancement Scott Turner University of Leicester Published: 2000 http://hdl.handle.net/2381/29366
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3654.3204
Abstract
Evoked potentials are electrical signals produced by the nervous system in response to a stimulus. In general these signals are noisy with a low signal to noise ratio. The aim was to investigate ways of extracting the evoked response within an evoked potential recording, achieving a similar signal to noise ratio as conventional averaging but with less repetitions per average. In this thesis, evolutionary algorithms were used in three ways to extract the evoked potentials from a noisy background. First, evolutionary algorithms selected the cut-off frequencies for a set of filters. A different filter or filter bank was produced for each data set. The noisy signal was passed through each filter in a bank of filters the filter bank output was a weighted sum of the individual filter outputs. …

Cozmo, Ohbot go to Code Club

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I have recently taken two robots to a Code Club, here are a couple of reflections/observations.


Cozmo
This robot produced by Anki is incredibly cute - a cross between Wall-E and a pet in some respects.

The code below was produced by the 'Code-Clubbers' and gets Cozmo to speak move around and operate its forks at the front. Anecdotally, someone was trying to work on something but couldn't resist coming and having another look at what it was doing.







Ohbot






Ohbot provided a different opportunity to play with a robot, getting to move the mouth, speak and track faces. My first impression was some of the children were a bit wary, until they found out they could control what it says and that seemed to break the ice.





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

Cozmo is programmable

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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 aroundWait 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 anoth…

Crumble Junkbot at Code Club

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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
Build yourself a Crumble JunkbotTurning junk into 'robots' at Wicksteed Park




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

The Computing teams NAO robots seemed to have been a hit today: 
Work in your favourite industry! The girls explore #engineering#INWED17#womeninengineering@UniNorthants@STEMatUN@AspireNorthantspic.twitter.com/V6UGWnDxUv — RS Components (@RSComponents) June 22, 2017

The robots were a hit it sounds see below:
#Engineering is not just for blokes! Is it for you? And what did you enjoy the most today? #INWED17@UniNorthants@STEMatUN@AspireNorthantspic.twitter.com/OW5HbQtmlL — RS Components (@RSComponents) June 22, 2017#Engineering is not just for blokes! Is it for you? And what did you enjoy the most today? #INWED17@UniNorthants@STEMatUN@AspireNorthantspic.twitter.com/iEoTbEdQSe — RS Components (@RSComponents) June 22, 2017



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

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

@UniNorthants MSc Computing student Hussein Ajam delivering lightning talk at prestigious ACM TVX conference. Very well done! #acmtvx2017pic.twitter.com/lz8SDy544q — Mu Mu (@DRMMU) June 17, 2017
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 on…