Travel & Projects

Bruce finalized our travel plans for AAAI 2004 in San Jose. We’ll be leaving Philly bright and early on Sunday, July 25th, and returning late Friday night. The robots (hopefully will have them all up and running by then – he’s made a lot of progress with both Frodo and Gollum) will get shipped before we arrive.

I’ve made good progress on the interface so far – most of my time has been spent getting the system to be really generic and object-oriented, so we can easily upgrade or add features later. The entire interface is described by an XML file, and then the software spend a lot of time initializing all of the data structures it needs. For example, today I added the ability to start and stop modules on the robot. Basically, the interface loads up its description file, determines what modules it needs based on the messages defined in the file, and then tells ‘s RoboMon Daemon to start up the various modules, like vision, navigation, mapping, and so forth.

For the rest of the week, I’m probably going to work on more visualization functions, like rewriting ‘s code from his XRoboview app into a range sensor visualizer. After another week or two of writing visualizers, hopefully I’ll be ready to start doing some interface design. I need to talk to Holly Yanco, an actual HCI researcher at UMass, about good ways to test various designs. We’ve already picked out the joystick we’re going to use, so I need to get my hands on that so I can write all of the control widgets.