Zigzaggery

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New home for “Send in the Robots”

Slideshare have decided to remove the slidecast functionality from their service, so I have been looking for a new home for my talk about human-robot teams, and sending robots into dangerous situations. I think I’ve found an alternative now, but I just realised that sharing the link on Twitter doesn’t work, since the site wants people to sign up (or sign in) in order to view the presentation. Here is an embedded version, which I hope anyone will be able to view:

This isn’t one of my best talks, which is irritating given that it’s the one I have recorded and been able to share in this way, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do something similar in the future with other presentations.

Buses… the new semester and study period

You know what they say about buses?

You wait for ages… and then they all arrive at once.

That actually happened to me in London once, although it was even worse than that, since no buses came for ages, followed by a whole line of number 45s. Not the bus I was looking for. :(

Apparently, the same thing happens with new teaching sessions. I’m about to start Curtin’s Semester 1, lecturing and teaching Web Media 207/507, and simultaneously Open Universities Australia Study Period 1, teaching Web300 Web Production.

If any students end up looking for me online, then this is what they’re going to see… so I’d better say something positive! ;)

Luckily that’s easy. I love teaching both of these units. I particularly like the way that my students are asked to think about theory, but also create web media of their own to share online. I have to say that I enjoy marking web media products more than essays.

So, let the new Semester/SP begin, as introduced by my mascot for 2014:

yay_reaction

Curtin RoboFair

Last Sunday (24 November) was Curtin University’s RoboFair, an annual event where anyone who is interested can visit and find out more about robots and robotic engineering. I was invited to be a part of the event this year as a representative of the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT) at Curtin. There were lots of stands with interesting robots, a whole heap of interactive displays for children and adults to enjoy. In some ways the most exciting thing for me was my poster (sad, I know)! This is the first time I’ve ever had a poster describing the types of humanities perspectives that I work with in relation to robots and communication:

CCAT RoboFair Poster

I also decided to try to run a survey during the event, but this didn’t quite work out as planned… ie I didn’t really get anyone to complete the survey (except for about four people for whom I entered the answers myself). Note to self: don’t expect people wandering round an open-day style event to scan QR codes or go to (even shortened) web addresses unless there’s a prize on offer!

However, in spite of this failure I did get to talk to a lot of great people, and certainly got the overall sense that many are interested in the relationship between technology and human culture/society to the extent that they would be like to attend seminars/workshops to think about and discuss the topic. I’m pretty sure that no-one I spoke to had ever heard the word MOOC though.

I did have a very brief wander around the rest of RoboFair, and I met a very interesting artist, Nathan Thompson, with a “robo-guitar briefcase” (yes, that’s how he describes it). I’d link to his website, but I think it’s having a few technical problems at the moment; however, assuming I catch up with Nathan and his robo-guitar again I’ll write a post about this analogue-based device, which has toured Japan recently and I’m hoping will perform in Perth sometime soon.

Slides and Audio for Send in the Robots

Update: Following Slideshare’s removal of the slidecast functionality this presentation was moved to Penxy. The slides and audio are linked here.

My talk, “Send in the Robots”, for the Adventures in Culture & Technology seminar series arranged by the Centre for Culture & Technology at Curtin was yesterday, and I have just uploaded the slides and audio to SlideShare:

It was, as I think I mentioned in my previous post, definitely a work in progress, but it went pretty well and resulted in a lot of debate on the day.

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