Tuesday, 10 July 2012

This Happened Talk Online

A video of the talk I gave at the first 'This Happened...' in Bristol is now online. This happened is a global network of events focusing on interaction design

In this public talk I introduce and discuss the background behind 'The Question', the theatre project I developed the Haptic Lotus for. In particular I used this talk to discuss the chronological development of the project, from my undergraduate interest in haptics to the electronic adaptation of children's games as a way of achieving embodied interaction in a cultural setting.

This is the first public talk I have given where people had to pay an entrance fee (for 3 talks in total). Hence, I felt that the pressure was on to be entertaining (technical details were therefore minimal).

Monday, 18 June 2012

Interview with 'The Engineer'

I was recently interview by The Engineer magazine for an article related to Haptics. Magic Touch: haptics at the man machine interface.

My contribution related to the palpating gripper I designed as part of my research on surgical haptics at BRL.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

BBC Radio 1 Interview

Here's a link to an brief video interview I did for BBC Radio 1's newsbeat station on the subject on tele-haptics in surgery
For those not familar with Radio1, it is a station primarily aimed at a young audience, hence I was asked to state things like my age and a question about terminators :-)

Apparently an extended version of the interview (which also featured my colleagues) appeared on the radio, but I can't seem to find a link.

...and here's somebody's very incorrect interpretation of the interview (most of the stuff in here isn't true!): http://www.habbohubforum.net/showthread.php?t=8157

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Latest Dada robot drawing

It took me ages to get around to editing this video. The drawing was made back in February, in time for the FITC conference that Justin was presenting at. I guess I forgot about it until then.

Read more about it on the Dada website: http://dada.soulwire.co.uk/2012/04/collaborative-drawing/

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Cloud Timelapse

Due to some lab modifications, I've been temporarily relocated next to a window with an awesome view. Here's a timelapse of the clouds last Friday with a bit of Aphex Twin in the background.

I deliberately saturated the colour on the webcam. Somehow it made me think of the cover to Innerspeaker by Tame Impala.

As usual I used a webcam with AnimatorDV Simple+.

L92100 Linear Stepper Motor with Arduino

A few years back I mentioned to a friend that I was interested in using linear actuators for a particular project. They turned up a few days later with this unusual looking motor.

Instead of rotating a protruding shaft, like a regular motor, this motor rotates an internal threaded section (something like a nut). If you hold the motor the way I have in the second picture and activate it then the threaded part rotates. However, if you prevent the threaded section from rotating then the movement of the internal nut pulls the threaded rod through it, with the action of a lead screw.

I couldn't find much documentation from the serial number (ODV76/L92111-P1), so had to do some detective work to figure out how to use it (which is why I'm writing this post). Atually, you can get some data on it by typing 'L92100 linear stepper' into google (rather than all the other characters). Evetually I found this datasheet, and more recently this one too.

It's a 6 wire unipolar stepper so I used the circuit diagram from azega as a base, changing the transistors to N-channel Mosfets (I had some lying around) and not using diodes (I didn't have any lying around). It'd be a good idea to include these at some point.

Here's a video of it working with the Arduino stepper library: 

Currently the motor gets pretty hot during use, which is concerning and somewhat unexpected, as there is no load on there at the moment.

Here's the Arduino code for the movement in the video (a modified version of one of the stepper examples included in Arduino 0022).

const int stepsPerRevolution = 200;  // A random value for now

// initialize the stepper library on pins 2 to 5
Stepper myStepper(stepsPerRevolution, 2,3,4,5);           

void setup() {
  // initialize the serial port:

void loop() {
  Serial.println(" down" );
  Serial.println(" up" );

I hope all this helps someone...

Friday, 6 January 2012

Recent dada (drawing robot) developments

I've just uploaded a few new updates to the dada project website. These are pre-2012 videos but I hadn't got around to editing / uploading them previously.

Dada is a collaborative project I'm working on with Justin Windle of Soulwire fame. The project had to sit on the backburner for awhile but over the last 6 or so months I've been making some good progress in getting our rescued robot arm up and working and writing some control software (the stuff that comes built in to commercial robots).

For those too lazy to follow the link here's one of the videos, showing a home made solution to self calibration and some grid drawing.