Elektor magazine features in the current issue a DIY Segway called Elektor Wheelie. The system is build around a ATMEGA32 and has obviously a lot of mechanics. For sensing an ADXL320 (acceleration sensor) and an IDG-300 (gyro) are used. Looks like a fun project – and you have full access to the software (not sure what you really would program differently, perhaps one can tune it to get faster 😉
Perhaps it could be a platform to motive embedded programming – with clear real-time constraints, as it hurts if you fall off… Next term we are teaching digital system… Continue reading
Hans Gellersen, who was my supervisor while I was in Lancaster, visited our lab in Essen. We discussed options for future collaborations, ranging from student exchange to joined proposals. Besides other topics we discussed sustainable energy as this is more and more becoming a theme of great importance and Pervasive Computing offers many building blocks towards potential solutions. Hans pointed me to an interesting project going on at IBM Hursley “The House That Twitters Its Energy Use“.
At the Ubicomp PC meeting we recently discussed the value of face-2-face meetings in the context of scientific work and… Continue reading
Over the last day I have experienced that very basic location information in the display can already provide a benefit to the user. Being the first time in Sydney I realized that network information of my GSM-phone is very reliable to tell me when to get off the bus – obviously it is not fine grain location information but so far always walking distance. At some locations (such as Bondi beach) visual pattern matching works very well, too 😉 And when to get off the bus seems a concern to many people (just extrapolating from the small sample I had… Continue reading
Thought experiment: if we have the same number of trains we have at the moment and we let them travel as we do at the moment – but without time tables (basically a train is always on time – it is there when it arrives – similar to today). Customers would have real time access to all trains and the system could provide estimates when a certain train is where – perhaps with a confidence interval and probabilities of connections and travel times (obviously with an understandable user interface).
Would this be a better or worse model of public transport?… Continue reading
I have been at Trinity College in Dublin today as external member of the MSc exam board. While reading MSc dissertations I learned at lot of interesting things. Here are two pointers to technologies which I like to share (they may be useful in further projects):
SUMO – Simulation of Urban Mobility: An open source traffic simulation packagehttp://sumo.sourceforge.net/
Small computing platform: http://gumstix.com/
While waiting in Stuttgart in the lounge of the railway station I picked up a paper called “Auto-Bild” (the selection of magazines is really poor 😉 and I found an interesting news item in it.
KIA has done a survey (with over 2000 people) in the UK on decision making in the car. It appears that people use the time in the car to discuss major issues in their lives and that they make significant decisions during long journeys. I have not found the original survey from KIA but there are several pages that discuss the results, e.g. gizmag.… Continue reading
Visiting the Zeppelin Museum I was impressed by the simplicity of the underlining principle and the great engineering that went into those air ships.
Thinking of fuel prices one could imagine that this type of transportation may come again. It only requires energy for propulsion – lift is provided by the weight.