Engineers at Work
A curious phenomenon engaged the Lasa this afternoon: A number of mechanical, electronics, physics and computer engineers were faced with the problem of providing bribes for 2-3 years old children, with the ultimate goal, obviously, of doing science.

However, the task revealed itself to be was more daunting than expected and the engineers had to struggle before being able to master the tricks of the trade.

With experience came enjoyment and soon enough they were capable of creating the much needed beautiful... ehm... balloon swans..

Posted by Basilio Noris at 22:28
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J-B Duck

working on the next WearCam III prototype
Posted by Basilio Noris at 23:31
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A Man of Many Talents
Posted by Basilio Noris at 13:27
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Lasa BBQ 25 June 2008
So the lasa got back from the States, Hong Kong, and other parts of the world, resettled down, got their respective jetlags checked and decided to celebrate the ICRA08 HRI Competition victory with a proper BBQ by the lake!

Among the many activities (like, preparing food, cooking it, eating it...) they ended up exercising in a couple of sports/performances such as contemporary dance:


and some more traditional soccer
Posted by Basilio Noris at 13:22
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There be Winners
It's kinda difficult to resume 4 days of neverending demos in few lines.

The event took place in the worst building to date for an international conference. (correction: the place will be awesome once they finish building it, but right now you have the impression of entering a construction site). Inside it was actually cool and bright.

We met up with Jonas and Ludovic, who did a crash brainstorming with Aude on how to explain Humanoid Robotics to people from the industry

Everybody contributed to the demos in different ways, either in an utterly serious manner

or with a more relaxed attitude, even when they had to give 2 talks in the same afternoon

The demo went really well, computers never crashed and the robot behaved properly. And apparently it was a huge success.

Nevertheless, we sometimes had to do some on the fly corrections, tweaking and engineering

Our legs were pulled by our professor when she decided to hint that the winner of the competition had been a... less than glorious demo from another team...
We were then really happy to discover that...


alongside Keepon and the Kozima-Michalowski team. The two robots have bonded over the 4 conference days, crashing a party together, barging into a conference room and invading mars..

We were actually able to understand how tiring and wearing all of it was only 2 days later when we were utterly unable to do anything all day :D.
Posted by Basilio Noris at 19:02
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Dedication To Work

19 of May 2008, 00:01 am.
Posted by Basilio Noris at 9:14
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A Tough Day
Yesterday was a tiring and hard working day for the LASA@LA people.

In the morning they barely had time for a quick and frugal breakfast just around the corner

(we drove 50minutes to get there)

After breakfast, they had to travel through muscle street, venice beach and all the way to santa monica


Enfeebled by the long walk they had to rest their weary feet before daring the streets of santa monica.


Some of us, in an impulse decided to increase their musical archives, much to the pleasure of some of the others which still have some way to go before they'll be able to appreciate some good music.


Traveling under the hot sun, and working really hard at enjoying themselves, they had to take some hours off their agenda to scorch under the sun and recover some strength...

And of course, the evening was completed by tortillas from "Chez Sylvain"

followed by a midnight jacuzzi and the realization that all of us got troubling amounts of sunburn...
Posted by Basilio Noris at 9:04
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LASA in transit
For some of the LASA in transit, the trip started at the wee hours of the night. Some had to get up at ungodly hours to leave far away parts of switzerland in order to get to Zurich Airport. Others had more reasonably started the journey the night before and were at a relatively short distance from the airport, postponing the wake up alarm by a couple or four hours compared to the rest.

Once to the airport, through the check-in and customs (which went astoundingly swiftly) a well earned 30 minutes rest (for some) or cause for excitement (for others)

Note: notice Marino's impressive achievements in preparing for the american adventure..

The trip went rather well, long but not too much, some slept, others worked, others did both or neither...

Despite the somewhat confusing instructions of both street signs and the car gps

we managed to get to our appartment complex, which is huge and provided with pool and jacuzzi open till midnight (we had our chance to test that out yesterday, drinking beers (or a coke in my case) in the jacuzzi and discussing with a couple of garrulous locals...)

A last surprise for our travel-weary and very tired heros: the 5 keys to our appartment didnt work and we had to roam around for another half hour to get the ludicrously british security guard to bring us new keys!
Posted by Basilio Noris at 16:14
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And off they go
The subset of people involved in the ICRA trip have spent their day today prepping for departure:

To be sure the luggage would fit the weight limitations, the engineers came up with original solutions coming back to the good old laws of physics..

And in perfect time to not get thrown out of the lab by the Balelec people, everything (hopefully...) got packed properly:
Posted by Basilio Noris at 18:07
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The Hoap goes to Town
Four intrepid adventurers have braved the streets and roads of city and country yesterday to film a dancing hoap3 on different locations!

While we had some issues, like getting 6 airplanes to land while we were preparing the hoap and then waiting for 30 minutes for a single easyjet plane to land while the hoap was NOT calibrated..

most of the trip was quite enjoyable...

We discovered the hoap is quite shy of the sun, (or of other people standing around). It seems to calibrate properly only when he does it behind his privacy towel...

All in all this didnt impede it to enjoy his day out...
Posted by Basilio Noris at 9:11
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