Step SISTR Gantry Build Video

Above shows the build for the gantry system that will be used for tracking and fall recover with our miniture humanoids.

Robotic Conference at the East Sea

What I learned about Korea: Cash prizes are much more common than in the United States. In addition to winning awards for the poster presentation competition, cash prizes of up to $500 were given to the top winners. Once again, for simple trivia questions in between speakers at the ceremonial dinner there was cash given out to people who shouted out correct answers.

Pictures of the week:

All of the media above is from the conference that we participated in at the East Sea.

Status Report:

  1. Finish Leg Assembly in Wiki: 75% complete. Date of Completion 3/1
  2. CAD New Hubo Arm Design: Date of Completion 3/2
  3. Arm Assembly in Wiki: Date of Completion  3/7
  4. Review and Polish Wiki 3/9 (which can also be done on the plane and in the US.

What I learned about myself: In Korea I’ve become much more independent and outgoing. I believe this side of me has always existed, but has never had the chance  to take shape. What I have learned though, is that my independence and ability to feel comfortable as an outsider stems completely from the support I have from my family, friends, and mentors. The connections I have made have push me to where I am now and rather than patting myself on the back I really owe it everyone else im my life.

New Koreans I Met: With this being one of my last few weeks, I have been concentrating on spending my time with the good friends that I already have. I met a few new Korean’s through introduction and perhaps dinner; however, none that I really got to know or plan to meet again in my short time here.

The Home Stretch

What I learned About Korea: I learned that middle school students go absolutely bonkers for foreigners. Alex and I did a robotic research presentation for a middle school and over 80 students attended. Multiple classes were delayed because so many people wanted to see our presentation. The only room big enough other than the auditorium was the library.

Picture of the Week:

Status Report:

Mini Hubo: Simulation for Mini Hubo stair climbing has successfully been completed. Alex and myself have used the simulation to create pictures and a draft for the simulation section. I am waiting on feedback from Youngbum.

HUBO Assembly Manual: I have completed the foot and am working my way up the leg. I should have the shin, knee, and thigh complete by mid next week. At that time all that is left is for Alex and myself to do the arms, disassembly directions, and add polish.

What I learned about myself: I learned that I am pretty good at talking to and presenting to children. I am much more animated and comical than when presenting to adults which I found is necessary for keeping their attention.

Protected: Business Meeting In Seoul

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Lunar New Year

Picture of the Week:

Here you can see our friend 인애 ‘ s father and uncle performing part of the ceremony that takes place during the lunar new year.

Status Report:

Mini Hubo Simulation: I have been in contact with Youngbum and I am currently working on recreating the mini-Hubo model in a different openRave format (Collada). The current .xml format has given some bugs when simulating collisions. I hope to have a start on simulating this Thursday.

Mini Hubo Manual: Now converting work done in pdf form to wiki form. After that I plan to document the foot, leg, and arms (probably in that order).

Koreans I Met:

This week I spent 2 days with my friend 인애 ‘s family. I met her father, mother, uncles, and most notably her little brother In-song. He’s 10 years old and acted as if he were my own little brother.

My Spontaneous Weekend in Seoul

What I learned about Korea: I had my first experience with “Club Day” in Hongdae which the last day of the month where you can buy special passes to enter multiple clubs all covered by the same fee. I learned all about the crowd, music, energy, and scene associated with this new experience.

Picture of the Week:It was one of my Brazilian friends last weekend in Korea so me and a group of 4 other Brazilians went up to Seoul to throw him a fun send off party. This picture is at the beginning of that night in a small shop that specialized in tropical drinks.

Status Report: A draft of the Hubo Manual will be sent out on 2/1 and will include the Hip, Ankle, and some other supporting documents.

What I learned about myself: I actually only intend on staying one night in Seoul and catching the bus back. That night I made a new Korean friend that wanted to hang out with me and show me around the next day. My motto over here has always to never say no to new opportunities or experiences. All of my friends that I came with went home and I decided that I wasn’t done exploring. I stayed at the public spa, met up with my friend the next day and explored Sincheon and Hongdae went out again and stayed ANOTHER night! This is the most independent and spontaneous I have ever been in my life and it resulted in one of my most fun weekends yet. What I learned about myself…I’m much more fearless about throwing myself into new experiences and traveling alone.

Koreans I met: The girl I met that actually showed me around this weekend was named 신아. She spoke really good english despite only living in Canada for a year.

Emily Visits!

What I learned about Korea: In Korea, especially for foreigners, meeting new people comes so naturally. In the United States, when people go out they typically go out only with their friends and don’t mix groups unless there is an overlapping friend. In Korea, so many times people just introduce themselves, we talk for a while, I get their number, and we meet up for drinks the next day.  The situation would seem much different if I were to ask for a guys number in the US that I had just met that night.

Photo of the week:

My friend Emily, who I have known since I was 2, visited Daejeon with her friend Fiana.

Status Report:

  • Lego NXT/ OpenRave: Video Complete (side by side comparison), need to create final tutorial for real NXT robot
  • Hubo Manual: Exploded views of Ankle complete, models updated, and Various assembly Procedures Complete, Plan to complete ankle portion of manual this week and continue moving up body.

What I learned about myself: This week I learned that I have very poor self control for candy. In the United States I rarely eat sweets of junk food because I don’t buy it. My family sent me jumbo packs of chocolate and other candy. I found myself subconsciously eating almost 8 pieces a day. The only solution was to donate the candy as community candy.

Hubo Lab Ski Trip

What I Learned About Korea: I learned this week about the style of vacations that most Koreans partake in. The style of condo’s are much different in the US in that there are no beds in the room, but rather wide open floors and large sets of bedding for the floor. It is assumed that there will be large groups of people sharing the room.

Photo of the Week:

This photo is of Jungwoo and Inho on top of the mountain we went snowboarding at.

Status Report:

OpenRave / Lego NXT: I have completed the conversion of my code from OpenRave to use the openCV and NXT_Python libraries. Then I completed the course set-up and live line following video. This will be used to make the side-by-side PIP video of OpenRave vs real life.

What I Learned About Myself: I learned this week that I really enjoy the community aspects of Korean culture. Most situations in Korea are not designed for personal comfort, but rather for group comfort. Eating, drinking, and sleeping are all designed to bring everyone closer.

New Koreans I Met: On the ski trip we ended up making dinner and drinking that night with a group of girls from an all girls school that a lab member knew. At first, Alex and I could not remember any of their names and had to make up nicknames. Later on I began to talk more to one of the girls named 윤경아.  Most of our conversation was her trying to explaining the rules of all the different games and songs to me in Korean.

OpenRave Simulation of Lego NXT

This video is an overview of my experiences using the OpenRave software to simulate a line following problem using the Lego NXT REM bot. The simulation was then compared to the real robot executing the same control algorithm.
Credits: Song “Lasso” by Pheonix, Production by Sean Mason, and a special thanks to Rosen Diancov for help with this project.

Week 14- New Years!!

What I learned about Korea: Unlike Christmas, which is a romantic holiday, New Years is a family holiday in Korea. In fact, all of the Korean bars close from 12 – 2 AM so that people can be with their family. Another interesting thing I had already known but should mention is that in Korea the entire country ages on New Years. I’m now 23 despite being 21 in the US.

Picture of the Week:

New Years dinner with Hubo Lab. Tuna Salad, Gourmet Pizza, and Delmonico Steaks!

Status Report:

Hubo: I have started documentation with the hip and I have a completed rough draft. Alex and I have been mapping out how we want to structure the manual as well as supplementary information that we should provide.

Lego Nxt: The kit has arrive late this week, I will begin working with using the code I wrote in python for openRave on the NXT first by NXT_Python and secondly by ROS.

What I learned about myself: This past week has been filled with a lot of drinking and celebration. I have learned that both my mind and body feel extremely out of sync without structure and achievement. I haven’t been able to get to the gym lately and  have been eating poorly. I can greatly feel the effects and plan to correct this ASAP.

Koreans I met: This week I met a girl named 수지 while out at a bar one weekend. She spoke very very little english,  but my one friend Andy from the US was pretty good at translating. We went out that night with her and her friend to have dinner and go dancing. A language barrier doesn’t stop people from making new friends.