[caption id="attachment_1028" align="alignright" width="207" caption="Neuron Robotics Team plus our hostesses."][/caption]
On July 27, 2010, we had the great pleasure and privilege to host a pre-adventure for TEDxBoston.
We knew that this was an extraordinary opportunity -- particularly for a tiny startup such as we are, and were prepared to make the most of it.
It all actually began a few weeks beforehand. TEDxBoston had approached iRobot to present, but they were unable to do so. Dr. Kristen Stubbs of iRobot was kind enough to suggest that we present instead. We were so impressed by iRobot's generosity that we decided to use iRobot Creates as the bases for some of our demonstrations. We highly recommend the Create, and would love to work with iRobot again. We feel that our relationship with them is a symbiotic one, and we would love to see it grow.
The ideas began to flow, and soon we had the concepts down for five solid demonstrations that would showcase not only our vision for the future but also, naturally, show off the DyIO to its fullest advantage, as it is now available for preorders.
The first idea was for a basic board which showed what happens as various channels are changed. Guests would be able to press a button or turn a dial by selecting an icon or sliding a bar on a computer screen.
The second demonstration would be to show what many think of as being standard industrial robotic behaviors. A small arm would be placed in front of a little conveyor belt and the arm would then grab an item off the belt as it went by. But what to place atop the belt? Bob (our President) found a small soft foam stress cube, so we used that, and affectionately nicknamed it "The Marshmallow". A quick idea to use real marshmallows was vetoed as the conveyor belt could not be made food grade sanitary in time for the event.
The next demonstration would be using a Wiimote to drive a small robot perched atop an iRobot Create. The remote would control the robot in the same manner that a Wiimote may be used to control a Wii, thereby permitting it to be driven around a tabletop.
The fourth demonstration would showcase home automation. A blueprint was created by professional AutoCADD Designer/Drafter Jay Siegel. This was needed in order to represent a standard home floor plan. Lights were placed beneath the drawing onto a foam backing board and then hooked up to the DyIO. In addition, three larger, regular lamps (the "tall lamp", the "normal lamp" and the "ugly lamp" -- these were lamps that could be found in any home) were connected. A user would then be able to turn either type of light on and off by clicking computer icons, and see the results both on the drawing and on the physical lamps themselves.
The fifth and final demonstration would be the pièce de résistance, the TwitterBot. TwitterBot had two functions: one was to draw using a marking pen and the other was to move (this was another demonstration built using an iRobot Create as its base). Both functions were performed in response to commands tweeted to the robot on its own accounts, @NRDemoBot and @NRDemoBot2. Guests would be able to get hands on with the demonstrations and use Twitter to pass commands to TwitterBot.
We arrived early and began setting up. We were thrilled to have Ms. Paula Rudy and Ms. Galia Traub with us. We could not have done this without them. We also received a tweet from Bobbie Carlton of Mass Innovation Nights. She was in the area -- could she help in any way? Her gracious offer was gratefully accepted and, when she arrived, she was wonderful at our front desk and helped a good 40 - 60 people sign in. Her help was most welcome.
Our guests mingled and enjoyed pizza. They included:
- Russell Tansey and Stephen Joyce, both of Keane (Janet, the Director of Social Media and Public Relations -- that's me! -- worked with them there)
- Kermit and Russ Cole, who are Greg's uncle and father, respectively
- WPI friends Gina M. Betti, Dr. Gregory Fischer, Amy Castonguay, Sarah Judd, Adam Sears, Jesse James Bond, Bill Hnath and Alex Gray, all from Alex (our Developer), Bob, (our Vice President) and Kevin's (our Head of Development) alma mater, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
- Bruce Hecht of Analog Devices and IEEE, who graciously invited us to an IEEE event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in September
- Shakeib Afzal, who is attending Northeastern University
- Joseph Gee
- Masoud Shadravan, a friend of Janet's
- Bart Hanlon of VI Laboratories
- Marlin May, who very kindly taped our event
- Jayesh Gorasia of Olin College
- Mario Chamorro of Best Doctors
- Russell Nickerson, who Janet and Bob met the same day that they met
- Ricardo Garcia of Base 10 Labs
- Mark Tomizawa of Smash Advertising (we had a marvelous conversation with him two days later at the main TEDxBoston event)
- artist Will Wiggins
- Attila Ferrouchi, who is in investment management
- Yalin Solak of Chipalizer
- Kelly Dobson and Khipra Nichols of RISD
- Tore Tellefsen, Susanna Yee and Tony Barnes of Microsoft
- Kal Gieber of WGBH
- Brandon Williams, Christopher Pardy and Derek Dahmer, Bob's friends from Vistaprint
- Amit Kanodia of Lincoln Ventures
- Taylor Matthews of Fidelity Investments
- Saurin Gandhi of Pharmalink Consulting
- Jamie Sherlock of Norampac
- Jon Chu, who is a student at MIT
- Praveen Yajman of playXplay
- Mike Shonle of Kurzweil Music Systems
- Lynda Detterman of LB Detterman and Associates
- Phuree Smittinet of PTT and
- Thomas McCormick, Jun Liang, Jazmin Gonzalez Rivero, Gabe Correa, Roy Gonzalez, Rami Hagege and Bancha Teerathana
Then it was time to get down to it. Mr. Tellefsen opened with a few remarks about Microsoft and the beautiful meeting space we were excited to borrow for the evening. Then Greg gave his talk on The Future of Robotics. Our main aim is in the area of interoperability. Devices should have the ability to work together without too much deep diving into coding. Our vision is for more and more people to be able to create and design robots, and use them practically, in their homes and offices. How can more people get into this exciting field? The goal is to help kick down some of the barriers to entry.
After the talk, guests came around to see and play with the demonstrations. Like there always is with hardware, there were some issues. We are thrilled to take those as learning experiences. It is our desire to continually improve.
Our website is open for preorders of the DyIO, and our plans are to ship in early October of 2010. By then, TEDxBoston 2010 will be remote in time, but it will still be in the forefront of our memories.
On behalf of Alex, Greg, Kevin and Bob, I would like to thank John Werner and Grier Tumas of Citizen Schools (they got us set up with TEDxBoston), Gina Bettis, Dr. Gregory Fischer, Bobbie Carlton, Marlin May, Dr. Kristen Stubbs of iRobot, Tore Tellefsen and Leah Brunson of Microsoft, Galia Traub, Paula Rudy, Jay Siegel and all of you, our faithful readers and supporters, for making it such a spectacular day.
Our next planned event will be Maker Faire in Providence, Rhode Island, late next month.
I don't know what the future will bring, but I can tell you one thing: you ain't seen nothin' yet. Continue reading
If you weren't able to attend our event or just want to relive the talk that Greg gave, check out the video of his talk.Continue reading
The stage is set.
The lights are lit.
All that's missing is you!
Our webcast begins at 6 PM. If you're on Twitter, feel free to ask questions by using the #NRBR hashtag.
We hope you like what we have to say.
The excitement has not dimmed. Our eagerness has not wavered.
The day is almost here.
It'll be wonderful to see everyone at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge. I'll wave to the webcast.
I hope I can sleep tonight.
.... at a new part for Beyond Robotics, #NRBR.
[caption id="attachment_885" align="alignright" width="225" caption="A sneak peek at a new part for Beyond Robotics, our TEDxBoston talk"][/caption] What is it???
A cable, a cable, my kingdom for a USB cable!
Okay, so Richard III didn't really say that.
But did you know that it's one of the only bits of equipment we're bringing to TEDxBoston for use with the DyIO?
Yes, it's true. You really don't need that much. A DyIO, a USB cable and some sensors, which you can buy at Amazon. And an iRobot Create. Not too much more.
An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.
Richard III really did say that. Act IV, Scene 4.
See you at the Microsoft NERD Center on July 27th. Don't forget to use the #NRBR hashtag for the event. Thank you.
We have been invited to present a TEDxBoston pre-Adventure! If you'll be in the Cambridge area on July 27th from 6-9pm, you'll want to swing by the event. It's at the Microsoft NERD Center. Register on the TEDxBoston site to save a seat.
How can a local startup provide access to robotics development for everyone?
Through a talk and hands-on workshop, learn what factors are leading the way for future development in robotics. Neuron Robotics is lowering costs and easing entry into developing robotics and cyber-physical systems. Join the team for a discussion on the current state of robotics and robotics development, particularly outside the typical lab setting. Then experience what is discussed with the opportunity to work with some of Neuron Robotics’ educational systems.
The event will be on the 11th floor of the Microsoft NERD located at:
1 Memorial Dr
Cambridge, MA 02142
We recommend that you take the MBTA to Kendall Square or walk if possible. The is ample parking underneath the building but it is not free.
On the T, take the Red Line to the Kendall/MIT stop. Walk straight up Main Street toward the Longfellow Bridge (past the Post Office, Bank of America). You will see the Parking Garage on your right, Take a right and you can enter the building from the side. Approximately a 5 minute walk.
Additionally, several bus lines stop at Broadway and Ames Street, including the #1 which follows Massachusetts Avenue to Dudley Station, and the #64, which goes to Brighton.
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Registration below is only for the webcast. To register for live attendance at the event, please use the link aboveContinue reading
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