Erica’s Wising Up … and Half-Painted! Brain Update

This week, we’re bringing you a further update on the progress of Erica’s brain. Before that however, you may be excited to see some of Erica’s artwork progress – Chris is painting her this week and we have got a few time-lapsed snaps. Here’s one – tell us what you think!

Erica - Painting Progress

Back to the update… last week, we chatted with Mike who gave us an introduction to the behaviour part of Erica’s brain and he demonstrated how easy it is to create and modify behaviours – she’s eager to learn! Since then, we have spoken with Ash who is also part of the brain team but whose involvement reflects his passion and day-job; gathering and structuring open data.

Ash works for the university’s tech solutions and he has a particular responsibility for essentially making sure that non-confidential data is made publicly available. The University’s Open Data Service structures this non-confidential data in an easily accessible format so that anyone can use it or build tools on top of it without needless bureaucracy that is typically found in a large institution!

As you might imagine, as soon as Ash got on board with Erica the Rhino, he saw an opportunity for scraping relevant open data from all over the World Wide Web to educate Erica about all things Rhino! The process is in quite an early stage at the moment but it poses an exciting challenge – to see how much information we can collate and structure in such a way that Erica can learn about her environment – the weather, the news, rhino facts, all-sorts.

Check out the video below and hear it straight from Ash.

Next week, we’ll be speaking to John who has been working on the mechatronics of Erica’s eyes along with Tyler – he’s made some fantastic progress and we have got a virtually finished prototype – tune in next Wednesday!

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