A tradition of failing live demos


Last night I presented at the Women Who Code meetup in Sydney one of the project I have been working on on my personal time involving a Sphero robotic ball, a Parrot AR Drone and the Myo armband.

As this wasn’t my first talk, I learnt to double check that everything was working before even going to the meetup. I was pretty confident this time because I knew all my code was still working. After talking quickly about how I managed to connect all the devices together and control the Sphero and Drone using the Myo armband, I moved on to the live demo, and.. of course… it failed.

I wanted to start by showing the Sphero and for some reason, this one did not want to connect to my computer. It sometimes takes a few seconds because it connects via bluetooth, but this time, it just didn’t seem to be working fast enough. As I had just 5min to do my presentation, I just gave up and moved on to showing the drone. This one worked really well and I was able to show how I applied some specific gestures to some drone commands. I had to disable the actual directions because we were indoors and I did not want any accident to happen but it was still taking off when I was executing the “fingers spread” movement, and landing when I was doing the “fist”.

I still need to work on the code to make sure the directions are working fine and maybe make it do some more fancy stuff but for now I’m pretty happy it’s working.

I will demo this project again in January at the SydJS meetup and hopefully the demo gods will be fully with me this time.


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Charlie Gerard

Software Developer @ThoughtWorks, I am passionate about programming, Generative Art, Robotics, the Internet of Things and anything related to creative innovations.

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