Archive for September, 2011

Organising a Humanoid Robot Navigation Workshop

// September 24th, 2011 // No Comments » // Research, Work

The next 26th October 2011 the Humanoids conference will be held in Bled, Slovenia. This is a conference about the current status of humanoid robots.
In this conference, together with some colleagues, I am organising a workshop about the current problems that humanoid robots have when moving around in human environments. The workshop is entitled Humanoid service robot navigation in crowded and dynamic environments. There we will discuss about those problems and our robot REEM will perform a demonstration of its navigation abilities.
More information at the workshop website.

Lessons I learned from my TEDx talk

// September 3rd, 2011 // 2 Comments » // Talks

I really enjoyed the experience of talking at TEDx. It was a lot of work, a lot of stress and, why not, a lot of fun. I had to prepare, rehearse, analyze feedback, and repeat the process again and again. Finally, the delivery was done, and the result was what it was.

Now it is the time to keep on, and improve from that beautiful experience. Of course, I made some mistakes. But this is the last time I will do those mistakes!. Here it is the list of the things I learned from that experience:

Always use high resolution pictures
Even if the pictures you selected for your slides look good on your computer screen, even if they look good on the projector you tested, you cannot assure how big the screen at your talk will be. So, if the pictures do not have enough resolution they may look blurry on a big screen. Do not take the chance. Go for the big resolution. And, as my friend Florian Mueck says, if you have to pay for the pictures, then pay for the pictures.

Use a no-hands mic
For a speaker, hands are not meant for having a mic. Hands have to be used to express yourself, specially if you are Spanish!. You cannot express yourself having to maintain a mic close to your mouth. So please, ask for a maxilar mic or a tie mic. The technical guys will try to convince you that a hand mic is the best, but it is not!. It is best for them (because it is easier to maintain a good sound quality, that’s their job!) but is worst for you because it doesn’t allow you to express yourself.

Have somebody record you
You need to be recorded at least for two reasons: one, you will like to post on the net your speech. Two, you need to watch yourself on scene and see where you can improve.
The organizers of the event may be recording you, but they are extremely busy, during your speech and after the event. So it may take forever to have a copy of your speech from them. Bring your own camera and ask somebody to record you.

Always use the speakers checklist
Before going to the place, take a speakers checklist, like the one in here, and verify that all the points are covered. That is the best way to avoid forgetting something.

Of course, you must enjoy the process, what else it is for!. I forgot this point on this talk… but not on the next!