TEDxSydney Teleroo Launch

Our telepresence robot, Teleroo was launched onstage at the Sydney Opera House at TEDxSydney on 21 May. We were so excited to share our creation with the world!

I took our intern Astride along to Sydney with me for TEDxSydney. We got to know the Sydney Opera House intricately, explore Sydney and stay in the Rocks (to be close to the Sydney Opera House, of course!) Good times!

TAC and Channel Nine News

Our usability studies with our robotic arm Jeva and with the support of the TAC appeared on Channel Nine News. Read the full article here.

They also filmed a fantastic 2-minute video. So make sure you check that out!

Channel Nine News

ANZ Television Commercial

Jeva appeared in an ANZ television commercial using “Recordings” to give me a high five.

 

… Looks like they took that offline. Here’s a longer video they made on the day for you to enjoy.  🙂

Northcott Design Thinking School: Day 2

Today, I learnt about the 6-word story, a concept that can be followed as a way to bring brevity to your pitch.

“For Sale: Baby shoes. Never worn”, is a 6-word story famously attributed to Ernest Hemingway.

Then in the evening, we went to the global launch of the 2-wheel-drive step climbing wheelchair, the “Step Climber Wheelchair”.

I’ve attached a video here of Rob Silberstein demonstrating the wheelchair going up a step, then climbing back down. Pretty cool stuff!

Northcott Design Thinking School: Day 1

I’m spending my week at Northcott’s Design Thinking School in Sydney. It is run by two members of faculty from Stanford’s Design School. I learnt about it through Lee Carpenter, COO of Northcott, who I met during my days of meandering around the country (before and after speaking engagements), visiting disability organisations and individuals with a disability to speak with about Jeva.

I gave a speech to about 20 people at Northcott when I visited there in late 2013.

Day 1 of Designing Thinking School, two concepts I liked follows.

The Point of View (POV) exercise. You go out and talk to people. Afterwards, you finish the following sentences.
We met…
We were surprised to learn…
We wonder if this means…
It seems like they need a way to…

The other activity I enjoyed was the Empathy Map. After reflecting on the user’s POV, break up your thoughts about the user into an Empathy Map. What the user…

Empathy Map

I like attending courses like this every now and again to give me ideas that I can take back to my team so that my team and I may be more efficient operators.

Intuitive Control

An important problem in assistive aid technology is the lack of intuitive control interfaces.

So over the past few months, 2Mar Robotics has created Android control for our robotic arm, as well as two different types of gyroscopic headset controls, using Epson’s Moverio.

We also began our second round of Beta trials in all these control interfaces using our university student peers.

Epson Moverio BT 200

Usability Testing — Preparation

Hello! My name is Ruwan, and I have been invited aboard the 2Mar team over the summer period to complete the usability testing of Jeva, and to also help update and implement new features onto the company website.

I had my first meeting today with the rest of the team, and I was very inspired to meet such intelligent and committed individuals.

My task is to design usability testing procedures for the various Jeva control interfaces. Such testing will require participants to complete small tasks with Jeva and provide feedback on their experience: this will help us improve Jeva and alert us to any issues that may arise with general usage.

The first round of testing is scheduled for mid-December, so I look forward to it immensely!

Til then,

Ruwan

G20 Brisbane Global Café

The G20 Leaders Summit was held in Brisbane on November 15 and 16. In order to broaden the discussion of important global issues, a new program called the Global Café was created. The Global Café was a global thought leadership forum based around a two-day event on November 12 and 13 (immediately before the G20 meeting).

I was invited by Professor Ian Frazer, a Brisbane-based researcher whose world-renowned work has centred on vaccines for the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, to give a 4-minute talk on “Improving Human Life”, where I shared on the functionality and the latest developments of Jeva.

G20

Stanford-Berkeley Robotics Symposium

I attended the one-day Stanford-Berkeley Robotics Symposium at Stanford University in California. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about what top researchers are interested in and working on.

I also happened to meet our motor suppliers there, (by sheer coincidence!), met up with some old robot-building buddies from Berkeley, and chatted with a mentor of ours for several hours, which gave me lots of clarity with some technical questions we had. All in all, a fantastic event and a good chance to catch up with our friends in the robotics industry! (Our mentor is in the far right in the photo below!)

Stanford-Berkeley

Q&A

I was honoured to be flanked by two Nobel Laureates (Peter Doherty and Brian Schmidt) on Tony Jones’ Q&A on ABC. The others who joined us at the table were Chief Scientist of Australia Ian Chubb and distinguished Australian molecular biologist Suzanne Cory. I’ve never sat on such an illustrious panel before in my life!

Here’s a segment of my appearance! And the entire show!

QA