Tag Archives: Me

Suzuki Parent Experiment Week 3.m4v – YouTube

My playing is slowly improving, although I can’t imagine anyone voluntarily listening to me play either O Come Little Children, OR Long Long Ago. I’m struggling with keeping fourth finger and first finger in the right place. Low 2 is coming up soon and I think it will slow me down further.

andragy’s Channel – YouTube


I hope there’s more to see than the blackout! Week 3 of my Suzuki Parent Experiment has ended and I’m fumbling with fourth finger, and memory and coordination!

Suzuki Parent Experiment Week 1 – YouTube

As I reach the end of my first week learning viola, I can already see a slight improvement. I’ll record Twinkle again tomorrow. I can admit though that practise hurts. It’s hard to find time and energy for it. I sympathise with the children more. They also practise more when they hear me trying. The neighbours must really love us!

Robot State at Maker Faire | The Robot State

Maker Faire 2011 was on May 21-22 and I attended to try out a fun way of continuing conversations about robots as assistant to the Robot Ambassador. CNET’s Daniel Terdiman wrote a great Maker Faire overview including me.

As this project evolves, I intend to extend the interactive robot ambassador and its ‘pets’ or workers, using robots with features both appealing and disconcerting to explore the meaning that people make of what a robot is.

One project that was attracting a lot of kids was Andra Keay’s The Robot State. This is part of Keay’s thesis project, which is a study of playing with robots and what doing so means.

Kids were swarming to her booth, where Keay was processing “applications” for the Robot State. She would ask them three questions: what are the names of three different robots you know of; what are robots’ biggest achievements; and how do you see yourself in the future of human-robot relations.

Keay explained that most people answer the first query with the names of fictional robots and that the question usually throws people off so much, they don’t even know how to respond to the second. But ultimately, she said, her work is about trying to discover some of the truths that lie in human-robot interactions. One thing she said she’s noted in her research is that just about anyone who builds a robot names it, even if their projects are not about social robots. “We like names,” she said. “You want to work on something. We like naming things.” She wants to study the stories behind the names people give their robots.

The robots for this project were cobbled together very quickly due to thesis finishing and house moving (to USA) but were much more successful than hoped and a lot of fun. I am making a page for each robot and have rearranged the Robot State website to include more practical information. There will be more playing with robots in the future!

The Naming of Robots | apologies to T.S. Eliot | The Robot State

A whimsical post for National Robotics Week.

The Naming of Robots is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a robot must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey–
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter–
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a robot needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his power perpendicular,
Or spread out his data, or cherish his code?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricobot,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one robot.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover–
But THE ROBOT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a robot in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

apologies to T.S. Eliot

TEDxSydney – warmup event for TEDxNewtown?

I have a choice. I can write up the draft intro for our local TED Talks @ Newtown Kids Science Club or I can shower and change before attending the big TEDxSydney in half an hour.Or I can be optimistic and attempt both… probably badly. This is for an audience of primary school children and parents:

Tonight’s TED Talks are going to be about video games. We will have some great games for you to play and we also have some very interesting videos from TED that describe the development of video games and show something about their future evolution.

Dr Michael Harries is going to chair the discussion after the videos. As well as being a parent at the school, Michael is a futurist who knows a lot about computers, robots, artificial intelligence and iphones.
Our world is in a state of rapid change. Sometimes we’re so caught up in today that we can’t see tomorrow coming and we can’t remember our yesterdays.

What was it like when your parents were at school? Way back then, thirty odd years ago, only universities and big companies had computers. A computer took up an entire room and cost a lot of money. Lots of people shared each computer.

By the time your parents went to university, computers were getting smaller. Public computers were becoming popular and some of us even had our own personal computer. Not that we used much of their computational ability. They were largely fancy typewriters. And as well as writing assignments on them, we played games on them. Can you imagine Runescape without pictures? Just writing?

Stage 3 students, you have entered a whole new instance. When you go to high school next year, you will probably have your own computer at home or at school. And it will be connected to the internet. All of the information in the world is going online and you’re being encouraged to wiki or google it.

Stage 2 students, you can expect more. Your teachers will be using electronic whiteboards and you’re looking forward to having your own touch screen device. Soon you won’t be able to open up a book without trying to double click on it. You might laugh, but I’ve tried to eat with my mouse. I was so busy watching something on the screen that whenever I wanted to take a bite of my sandwich I moved my mouse. I started wondering if my mouse was broken because I wasn’t getting any food in my mouth. Duh.

But I’ve saved the best for last. Kindy and Stage 1 students. By the time you go to high school, you won’t be putting your computer in your pocket. You’ll be wearing it all the time. It might look like…. this (my hat) or maybe this (necklace/earrings/glasses). There will no longer be any difference between a computer, a phone, a game, or any other device. You will not be tied to a box, with a screen and a keyboard because you will be able to make one anywhere out of almost anything. Everything can be connected.

If you haven’t all used a Wii yet, then you will tonight. And imagine what is coming next. It’s going to look like Minority Report. It’s going to look like magic. When you go to high school and your teachers tell you to take off your hats because you are inside now. What they will be really saying is, it’s time to turn off your mobile phones, switch off your computers and stop playing games. But that’s ok because by the time you go to high school, your teachers will also have some pretty cool games for your classroom.

Tonight’s TED talk is about video games. We have videos from Brenda Laurel a virtual reality pioneer who has studied games and girls, David Perry who has designed famous games like Enter the Matrix and Patti Maes from MIT who is designing the sixth sense, your future computer. Or your new hat.

My birthday present is to give to Kiva for – Oyunbileg Luvsanchoi

Oyunbileg Luvsan has a small butcher stall in the Huchit Shonhor market, one of the largest food markets in Ulaanbaatar. Since the beginning of her business in 2000, she has been selling fresh meat that she purchases from the wholesale markets. Her husband drives his truck to purchase and bring meat from the wholesale markets located outside the city.

Oyunbileg lives with her husband and two children in the Bayanzurh district of Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. Her older daughter is a 6th grader in the local high school and her younger daughter is just 4 months old. She and her family live in a ger (a round, nomadic tent). Her family is working hard to build a new home on their land in the near future. She requests a loan to purchase more meat from the wholesale markets for her business.

via kiva.org

Every xmas and birthday I like to share my good fortune by giving to someone else. With Kiva, it’s a double gift because as the money is repaid, I can loan it again and again. I’ve made 25 loans now to people from all parts of the globe.

Posted via web from andragy’s posterous