Monday, May 29, 2017

TJBot #3 : Assembling the Cardboard

In the past two posts, I ordered the parts and tested them. for a TJBot that I'm building
In this post, we assembled the cardboard body of TJBot.  My wife helped since she's great at puzzles.

Before you start, we have the following advice:
1. If you ordered a laser cut cardboard like we did, try wiping it off with a cloth or paper towel that is moistened ever so slightly.  We didn't do this and found our hands black after a bit. This is probably residue from the burning of the laser cutting.
2. Have tape and a hobby knife ready.  We found that some pieces were very difficult to pop out of the cardboard and we had to cut them with a knife first.  We also found that just from the normal required bending, one of the bent edges broke.  You may find a straight edge (such as a ruler) may help with the bending.
3.  Keep in mind that you might have to watch the video a few times and rewind it to watch parts over as you go. We found that we had to do this quite often.
4. Make certain that you have all the parts ready because they will be used in the assembly.

It took us about an hour or so to build the body.

To assemble TJBot, we followed the directions in step 3 on this instructable page.
You can also find the video here on YouTube:

In the next session, we'll install the software and get TJBot working!
(Click here for the next posting where TJBot talks)

Here are some photos of our assembly in process.

We unfolded the cardboard to have it in the same position as the YouTube video. Read the notes above about what we suggest that you do before you start.

So far, so good!

When folding the top of the head, because it folds in over another side, the cardboard split, but we didn't need to tape this part.

One of these two uprights snapped apart at the bend and we had to tape it back together (my bad)

It still worked find to hold the Raspberry Pi 2 in place

The Camera was a bit tricky
One other thing, we found that TJBot's "Arm" was very tricky to fold. We couldn't get it to be exactly correct when folding the tabs together. And, when we placed it on the servo, it seems that the arm falls off way too easily because the white "wing" or "arm" piece that comes with the servo hardly reaches the servo.  But, it works, so we're happy with the results (which are shown at the top of this blog post).
What do you think?  Doesn't TJBot look great!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

TJBot #2 - Testing the Parts especially the Hardware

In our last episode (TJBot Episode 1), TJBot was just a bunch of ordered parts. I ordered the parts on April 18,2017 and received them all by May 8, 2017.
Now it's time for the parts to come together and do something.
In this episode, we'll test out the hardware.  (click here to see a future post where TJBot speaks)

1. First, we need to put noobs on the microsd card. The download file and directions are available here.  You can follow the software setup guide on this page.

2.  Connect the hardware according to the diagram on this page (also available here)

3. Connect the camera (this video shows how and shows how to test it too)

4. install the packages on the Pi
I did this by following step 2 on the instructables page which included these steps:
sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -

sudo apt-get install -y nodejs

sudo apt-get install alsa-base alsa-utils libasound2-dev
5. I followed the steps in the TJBot bootstrap manual steps here, but I skipped the steps that I had done from the instructable above. I also did not do the section titled "Notice about Watson credentials" and I did not do the section titled "Running your first recipe."  I skipped down to the section "Running hardware tests" - I ran the tests and they all worked!

6. I realized that there wasn't a test for the microphone.  Someone at IBM pointed me to this test for the microphone.

So, once all the hardware tests out alright, then we're ready for the next part of the assembly.

In our next episode we'll try to assemble TJBot cardboard and the parts.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Watson and Art - Hidden Portraits

IBM had an exhibit at the Cadillac House in New York City. It just ended on May 7th. It was only there for a few days. I wanted to get a chance to see it, so I drove in on Saturday May 6th. 
Note: I am having issues with the videos in this blog post. Come back in a few days to allow me time to figure out what the issue is.
Here is the Cadillac House from across the street. I got there early, so there weren't many people around yet.

Here is the entry to the Cadillac House

There are several of the latest Cadillac models on display.

And, there is a coffee bar

And, some nice places to sit and relax

The cars are quite impressive and displayed well.

I liked the old photos of Cadillacs and this nice table

Turning to the side of the table there was the entrance to the exhibit

The exhibit is titled Hidden Portraits

There was a good explanation of the exhibit at the entrance

And, the required legal information

As you walked in, you saw the center piece. A large white booth with rounded corners and the artwork around it. Each of the pieces of art were created by using Watson to obtain information about the person being depicted.

Paul Rand was one of the persons that the art depicted. Paul Rand is well known and he created some logos for IBM.

It wasn't easy to capture a photo of the artwork with the lighting

Thomas Watson was the First Chairman  CEOs of IBM

This artwork was a slide puzzle

The line started to get longer for Watson. Each person took about 7 minutes to be analyzed by Watson, so I got in line.

Watson Asked about 5 questions. One asked who my childhood best friend was and why I selected them 

At first, I couldn't figure out why the media would stop. Then I realized that it reacted to my movements.

There were mirrors all around, so it was just right for a selfie!

After seeing all 7 pieces, I went back to the Watson Booth and collected the poster of myself that Watson created. 

I walked down to the Hudson River afterwards

I decided to walk over to SoHo and walked right by the Trump SoHo building

I walked by a bakery and got some treats to take back home.

I hope you liked the photos. Please comment!

Google AI Project in the MagPi Magazine #57

My great wife picked up this MagPi magazine for me.
It's the May issue of the Magazine for the Raspberry Pi (thus the name "MagPi").
The magazine this month included a free kit for adding some parts to a Raspberry Pi to make it into a Google Assistant.

Someone at work asked if I could find one for him.
I've asked around at a few Barnes and Knoble stores and can't find any.
One store told me that people are stealing them because they are being sold online for $100.
I haven't had time to put mine together yet, but it's a pretty thick box.