So, it’s been a month since I posted (my bad) and a few things have happened.

So, Rob and I are right into pre-season sport stuff with hockey and soccer twice a week. Rob’s also playing indoor cricket once a week with some mates at work. Since the drought has been so bad, the soccer boys aren’t allowed to actually train on the fields, coz they’re saving them for games. So they run around the field lots once a week, then do indoor skills in a gym once a week. Kinda nutty.

An interesting thing that has happened lately is Barry and Helen (Rob’s parents) came over and visited for a couple of days.

They slept on an air mattress on our living room floor for the 2 nights they were here, and managed to visit both Rob’s work and my lab, which was kool. On Friday night, we drove over to Wendy’s place and had dinner at a nice restaurant near her place, which was great. Much wine and eating and chatting. Helen and Wendy werea hoot together – laughing at every little thing all night. Was great fun. 🙂

On the Saturday, we did some touristy stuff. Trained into Flinders St and walked along the Yarra River bank to the MCG (which is a huge structure). We just missed a tour, but you could see in through the glass doors and see the very-very-green cricket strip and field. Was quite kool.

Then we wandered back up to town and jumped on the free city loop tram, which has a voice over giving blurbs about what certain buildings were as we passed them. Was very nice to sit down for a while.

After town, we trained back and went to Chadstone (the big shopping mall) and wandered around before Rob and I cooked dinner for Brry, Helen and Wendy at home, then drove Barry and Helen out to the airport that night. Was quite a day, but great to see them and show them what our lives are like in Melbourne.

In other news, I’ve made some good progress with Wakamaru.

Things have been going really well with Wakamaru the past couple of weeks. I’m talking to my robot and its moving about the room based on my voice commands, as well as talking back. !!! I’m so pleased. *beams* I used Microsoft’s (devilspawn) Speech SDK, which is free to download with lots of demos and examples and stuff. Made it quite easy to test and understand what to do. By my design, the system only recognizes about 100 words, and only 60 that I care about, so even with the American accent recognizer, it can understand everything I say coz there’s hardly any alternatives. It’s good for what I want.

I’m still working on my gesture recognition (the skin segmentation’s gone to poo, so now it’s segmenting anything thats wood or off-white as skin…) but that should be easy to get right once I give it some time to find the bug.

I’ve implemented a half-ass version of SIFT (Scale Invariant Feature Tranform) for my object recognition. It’s a good method coz its scale and rotation invariant (will recognise the object even if it upside and further away), but it’s not working quite right yet. I may just ask one of the guys here who has played with this stuff if I could borrow his code (appropriately referenced, of course).

So, I’m meant to use both the speech, gesture and object recognition together to increase the accuracy of interpreting a person’s request, and then come up with an appropriate response, even if that response is to ask for more information. Ray came up with a basic algorithm, which is quite good so I’ll prolly use, but I have yet to implement it. My code needs an overhaul before I can implement that correlation stuff.

I had to write a whole report on all the stuf I’ve done and what I’m gonna do, so it’s all quite fresh in my head. Should be a productive weeke next week while I try to get as much of this done as possible. Should be exciting!

So, maybe I’ll make a video of Wakamaru wandering around doing its thing next week and upload it.

Hope things are nice and rainy in NZ. It’s starting to get a lil too dry for my liking.

Congrats to cousin Peter (Kaa) on the birth of his baby girl. And all the best to Ngarino, who’s expecting her baby on Wednesday.



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