A brief peek into the past :)

I was so interested in robotics when I was in my Bachelors. Created a team with 3 friends. “Carriers” we were called. We participated in so many competitions , unfortunately I have lost most of the photos and videos.

Recently while talking to a colleague who is a mechatronics engineer I remembered one day I wanted to me him. So, I did a bit of time travel into the past , thought about the old websites I used 10 years back, and Voila!! found Dropbox to my rescue!

Here is the trial round video of a robotics competition that we finally won. I know it’s hard to believe considering how inaccurate this Robot is right? Surprisingly we managed to make it super accurate as we progressed through the rounds.

All using frugal Indian innovation. We used plastic bottles, thrown away packagings, used switches etc. The whole cost would have been just a few euro cents.


Oh, I didn’t even talk about our special mechanism. How do you make a robot pick up balls and throw? How can you build a hand? No, you can’t use 3D printer etc.

  • Cut a plastic ball into two halves, attach a motor to use as hand?
  • Attach two spoons at the end of a scissor mechanism and use a linear motion?

All these hand mechanisms look cool but they are limited to mechanical design and precision. We just used a water bottle and cut it’s base. Then we attached an elastic band to the open mouth like a cross.

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 3.24.52 PM.png If you press against a ball with this, the ball will enter, by expanding the band but cannot leave as it’s weight is not enough to expand the band.


Proximity Interaction

A new field of Proximity technology is around the corner. It is indoor location based notification. Now the notification could be some ad about a product or a personalised suggestion or some information.

This is made possible by the beacon technology, originally introduced by Apple and heavily researched by Google. There are several technology providers in the market and they are all trying to come up with better hardware and CMS etc. Every one is concentrated on how they will collect the data and provide insights to the customers.

However the implementation is left for the customer owning the real estate. Now just imagine the whole new problem it is going to create for the mobile users. The customer will get so many notifications, will it not be puzzling?

I think we need to research on this Notification based user interface. One way to think of it as a trigger that is trying to let the user take some action, i.e watching mobile phone screen. This is Nir Eyal’s idea and he is trying to model the notification User interface by internal and external trigger modelling. Read here: https://techcrunch.com/2015/02/05/the-psychology-of-notifications/

How else can we model the interaction?