Author Archives: Dorothy Choi

Dev 3


For this assignment, our goal was to successfully connect to the robot using Processing and Websocket, and experiment with how the robot responds based on data from Processing. These software were chosen due to comfortability. This activity is not directly related to project 2, but rather it is to get familiar with using different programming software and familiar with the robot, through software, as well as inspire a project direction.


It was a difficult process due to various conundrums. The first revolved around my laptop being outdated, in which I had to update my macOS system to meet compatibility demands of the various software needed. The second revolved around connection with the robot. Despite being connected, I was not getting any live input data from the robot. The third revolved around the robot not wanting to listen, due to confusion from the code/script, or other. With patient, self-troubleshooting through google search and video modules, along with asking other students for assistance, we were able to get the process moving along.

What I learned

This dev 3 activity helped me understand the interaction between robot, software, and the human (me). I learned that it is important to understand coordinates of the robot’s XYZ axis, in order to be familiar with the language that the robot understand, or how the robot responds to instructions to translate that into movement. This helped with getting the robot to move the way the I wanted it to move. Additionally, in the beginning, I had trouble getting connected with the robot from my laptop, even after doing all the set-up steps correctly. From this experience, I learned that the robot’s system would get confused if it receives more than one internet signal, and wouldn’t always be able to tell which system it should listen to. I was able to trouble shoot by turning my wifi on and off, so that one connection stays dominant.

Dev 4 – Small wins and lessons

Project Idea

Project 2 is inspired by a fishing game for children and inspired by games at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) where you play to win prizes. The idea is for the robot to interact collaboratively with the human, with a common goal of catching or scooping an object. If the robot, in collaboration with the human, is successful, the robot will receive a prize.


The animation and movement of the robot revolves around sending data to the robot. We first played around with the robot using the standard UR robot touchscreen interface, to get a feel of the animated movements, as we are familiar with the touchscreen control. We then used Autodesk Maya 2020 to program the movements offline, and tested the script on the robot. We had mixed results from the process. Though the scooping idea worked well in theory, it was difficult to execute in practicality. The scooping motion was hard to do accurately, and the object had difficulty going into the box. Thus, we decided to pivot. Instead of scooping, we had the robot do a sweeping motion instead. This was inspired by motions from sweeping the floor, or playing mini golf.

Below are a few pictures of the process:




What I learned

In regards to designing robot animation using Maya 2020 versus animating the robot using live touchscreen control, I learned that indeed offline animation may not equate in the same regard as live animation. There was some initial trouble with getting the robot started in the right direction, as it appeared to want to go ‘around the world’ before executing the intended animation. Additionally, certain movements were constrained. For example, it was hard to get the robot to take their prize off the table. When the animated movements looped back, it was not possible for the robot to re-position itself. Thus, these constraints altered some ideas. Lastly, the process from this project inspired thinking on the feet. I altered and pivoted ideas many times, with consideration of the constraints of the robot and feasibility. This taught me that no idea needs to be set in stone, and to go with the flow with the robot.

Next steps

Finalize animation with virtual robot using Maya 2020, set up the robot’s video scene, and consider additional animation and production/post-production activities.


Project 2



Project theme: Sweep the Duck

Nature of interaction: mainly collaborative with one human involved, and the human is in charge. Slightly self-competitive, from the robot’s perspective.

Focus: sending data to the robot

Physical tool designed: sweeper tool, using the robot’s gripper as part of the tool.

Related motion/interaction: left to right to sweep, open to close to obtain prize.

Question investigated:  Can robots play to win?



Project Description

Project 2 is called ‘Sweep the Duck’, which centres around the themes of youthfulness, fun, and teamwork. The question we sought to answer through this project looks at if robots can play to win. More specifically, whether robots can perform a specific movement and receive accurate results repeatedly. In Sweep the Duck, using the fish as an attachment to your arm, also known as your sweeper, the goal is to sweep the duck across the pond, so it can reach the sunflower pad. If the duck touches the sunflower pad, you progress to the next level, where the sunflower pad is slightly farther in distance. If you win three levels, you get a prize at the end of the game. The game is meant to be friendly with encouraged positive reinforcement, through assistive interaction. There are no losses. In this game setting, the robot acts as the player, and the human acts as the game referee and assistive coach. The game is self-competitive and collaborative in nature. From this project, we were able to deduce that robots can perform specific movements accurately, but not necessarily precisely. The outcome of specific movements is not only dependent on the robot, but they are also dependent on supporting factors within its environment.



The themes for project 2 are inspired by children’s fishing games, mini golf, and play-to-win games at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE).


Elements and characters in the setting

Elements and Characters Description
The robot


The main character in the story. Aims to win a prize by sweeping the duck toward the sunflower pad. Does not always have precise aim.
The human


The secondary character in the story. Aims to help the robot win the game, by re-positioning the duck. Gives the robot their prize at the end.


The duck


The secondary ‘character’ in the story. Aims to reach the sunflower pad with the effort from the robot.
The sweeper arm tool


Rather than creating a separate individual tool, I decided to create a tool that acts as an attachment to the robot’s arm/gripper. I was inspired by intelligent robots as seen in movies or in video games (below), who have these capabilities built in.



The sunflower


Is the designated goal for the duck and robot.
The setting Blue-green tissue paper colours aims to mimic water in a pond.
The robot’s prize


A box of sour candy. (In this story, the robot loves candy, particularly sour tasting flavours).

The set-up

Figures from left to right: A) Robot’s fish sweeper to propel the duck, B) Successfully brings duck to the sunflower pad, C) Human brings robot its prize, D) Robot takes its prize.



As the themes for this project centred around youthfulness, fun, and collaboration/teamwork, sound effects were used to support the scene’s approach. The camera angle is from the perspective of the human, with a realistic feel. Slight post-production effects were used to help put the clips together and create the scene atmosphere, by using iMovie video editing software. As the cinematography was filmed by one person, it was difficult to coordinate multiple parts in one continuous filming. As such, filming was broken down into chunks. The minor editing post-production helped to bring all the filmed clips together.

Behind the scenes – the process and exploration

Figures from left to right: A) Attempting to sweep the duck to the sunflower, B) Protective stop from robot’s software, C) Duck landed successfully on sunflower via touchpad control, D) Multiple attempts of duck landing on sunflower via offline animation control, E) robot picking up its prize with gripper activation.


Script file:

Key challenges and insights during the process

  1. It was difficult to film as one person, using one hand, while balancing the timing of the filmed clips versus the robot’s movements. In future production, I hope to utilize access to a supportive device, such as a tripod, to assist me with filming a solo project.
  2. Grip vs blundering. Sometimes the duck would get stuck right underneath the sweeper/robot’s gripper, due to the speed of the robot’s movement or due to the texture of the scene’s man-made setting. This triggered the protective stop from the robot’s software. This was overcome by strategic positioning of the duck. In future production, I would like to consider more slippery textures to utilize as a strategy to reduce friction between objects.


References (images)

  1. Fishing Game with Hook and Reel. (n.d.). Giant Tiger.
  2. Play Tiny Fishing – Reel in a legendary fish | Coolmath Games. (n.d.).
  3. Stortz, M. (2022, August 20). 35 games at the CNE ranked from easiest to hardest. blogTO.
  4. (2023, April 13). The Best Mini Golf In Toronto Is Just A Putt Away (Our Top 7 Picks) – Indie88. Indie88.
  5. Robotic arm Anime Mecha, weapon, game, electronics, fictional Character png | PNGWing. (n.d.).
  6. HD wallpaper: Anime, Metal alchemist, Blond, Robot, Arm, Weapon, one person | Wallpaper Flare. (n.d.).
  7. Xuan, Y. Z. (2019, December 26). From The Bottom. Pinterest.–802414858595500565/