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?

Downloading torrent legally (almost)

In my student residence in France we use the internet of the university and the torrent protocol is blocked. Does this mean it is an end to the golden days of watching movies for free?

Not at all. I discovered https://www.seedr.cc!

seedr.cc is basically a torrent box, which means your torrents will be downloaded in it’s server and you can download those directly to your local computer in blazing fast speeds as a direct download from the seedr server!

Since you are no longer downloading torrents directly to your computer you are basically not breaking any rules and no torrent blocker can block you. However still if you want to be super cautious you might take additional measures while creating your account in seedr.cc, which is a separate topic of discussion.

For now, just sit back and watch this tutorial to find how to do it! Cheers!!