We're a little crazy, about science!

Visitor to the lab

Today was the day! Luckily I somehow managed to get the robot assembled and working properly… mostly. I’ll get to that. We got to showcase some of the stuff we did in the lab, I got to explain “big idea” to yet another person who may be interested in helping fund the project (since technically I’m running on a budget of funding scraps), and overall I think it was well received.

So I’m being a bit vague about who our visitor was and that’s somewhat intentional. I don’t feel comfortable sharing that kind of stuff, but they are someone who could help direct funding and possibly people to our lab. It wasn’t a life or death type deal, but it could lead to something cool in the future, possibly. Hospital-PI is pretty happy with how things went as well, he’s a bit skeptical about the visit, but he always is skeptical about everything. It’s probably why we work so well together.

In any case… the bulk of what happened today was around the robot, cleaning up the large mess I made overnight from cutting things in a space that had no way for me to clean up. We had the hospital cleaning staff come in overnight to do the work, but they didn’t do a great job unfortunately so there was still quite a mess to deal with. Once that got done, I could assemble everything and hope for the best.

I had tested everything before finalizing the wire routing and what not because I didn’t want to have to take it all apart again to fix something, so I had it all checked and double checked. Assembly went smooth and everything worked, for the most part.

The robot would do the things we asked it to do, but there were some bugs in the software obviously. The person who built it finally had a chance to test it out on his duplicate rig back at his home overseas and it worked perfectly so have no idea why there is an issue. It could be a wire problem, but given that the programs we use work, the system just freezes up once we stop it, I think it’s somehow software related.

In the end we still managed to do a bit of a demo for the person, so that was cool to watch. Everyone had a chance to discuss the projects they were working on and what they were doing and we had a surprising amount of time with the person, probably more than we needed and I don’t believe we even used the full time.

It was fun getting to sell my little project a bit and explain the ways I see it being used. There are a lot of applications and I’m excited to explore them. Hospital-PI and I have been discussing the implications the entire morning getting ready for the visit, but mostly because we want to start the project, not specifically for the visit.

I felt this was important enough to add to the archives of my journey because it’s the first major visit we’ve had at the hospital lab. We’ve done similar events at the school lab, but I think because it’s a hospital events are not typically lab specific. Instead they tend to do large, group presentations. This was very personal and dare I say fun.

This marks the end of the week and a half of robot assembly, which means (I hope) no more back to back to back 10-12 hour days rushing to get it built. I’m sure we’ll ramp up with some other project soon that will require even more time a day, but those tend to last a few days at most. This was brutal, but it got done and that’s all that matters. Now I feel like I could sleep for a week, but tomorrow is class, so hopefully this weekend I can just crash for a bit.

At least until the next big thing to work on comes around.


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