Cynical ScienceEng/Sci/TechLife

Why is it difficult to use robots in space? (Class Project)

Since it’s Friday and I don’t have a homework assignment due tomorrow, it’s time to blog. I thought I’d post up a project from my Intro to Robotics class, where my group and I summarized our studies on a nonholonomic robot model. Although the project itself was kinda neat, I treated this video as more of an educational editing experience…

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Basically, the goal of any educational video is to present information in a easily digestible fashion. Too often I’ve seen shitty audio, or poor visuals, or even poor editing detract from what should be a useful passing of information. I’ve seen people with lame microphones on their cellphones or cameras exacerbate the problem by trying to film an “interview” in an inherently noisy environment. I’ve seen people using low-res footage in the wrong aspect ratio. I’ve seen needlessly long “excerpts” from video games and other stock footage because the editor thought it would be cool.

Also, epic or otherwise popular music. You’re most likely taking yourself way too seriously or trying to set a mood you can’t match. It’s the hallmark of a kid-in-his-bedroom production. Stahp. I deliberately picked a neutral, upbeat background track for this video.

So to set the bar a little higher, I opted not to do something with a plot like my last Linear Systems Theory video, and go with the Cynical Science template I modeled after Minute Physics. Using basic drawings and minimal footage from sources other than our own simulation, I pieced together a video to a dialogue I had written ahead of time. I kept all the concepts high-level enough that people weren’t trying (or ignoring) forumlas they didn’t care about.

There was something of a language problem, and the potential for people to be overwhelmed by the pace so I included subtitles. This is something I think more groups should have done in the class.

So far, the reaction has been positive. My project partner told me a few of their Asian friends
had asked how it was edited. If my work has even raised the bar slightly for future school productions and saved someone from face-palming, then I will be quite proud of my contribution to society…

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