I’m a roboticist, technologist, futurist, beta tester, public speaker, pretend hacker, quadriplegic who is slightly obsessed with Game of Thrones.
Back in 2004 I was a Comp Sci (AI) undergraduate. I began losing function in my arms and legs, which later I learned was due to cervical spina bifida with tethered spinal cord syndrome and chiari malformation.
I had to leave uni in my last year as I lost the ability to type and use a mouse and had no realistic alternatives in those days. I’m now quadriplegic, but over the intervening decade I have developed a pretty decent voice operated system, using Dragon Dictate for Mac, Switch XS, Tracker Pro, Alfred and a whole hotchpotch of things, and I can code again, without my hands.
As a natural tinkerer, I’ve gotten involved in loads of beta testing over the years and now consult as an accessibility software tester, both in OSPs and professionally. Some of my favourite projects I’ve beta tested on are: Apple iOS7, Apple OS X 10.9 Mavericks and AO3, (there’s a lot of As in this list!) Im currently building an accessible smarthome joint funded with the NHS and, in my spare time, studying Penetration Testing.
Inspired by my friend Henry Evans who set up Robots for Humanity, I founded my own project called Robots and Cake! I’m going to bring together roboticists, researchers and disabled people so we can all learn from each other and advance state-of-the-art of assistive technology robots.
Over the past year or so I’ve been working with Professor Chad Jenkins and his team at Brown University helping to test various user interfaces, they’ve been working on a system called the Robot Operating System (ROS) which aims to be an all-purpose operating system for a variety of different robots. My contribution has basically been somewhat hilariously flying a Parrot AR drone through the halls of Brown University, using a web browser from my house in Manchester over 3000 miles away! A giant dollop of awesome sauce I think you’ll agree! :-)
This blog is not about that stuff, this blog is about any of the technical things that have tickled my fancy and don’t fit over at Robots and Cake! Expect anything, everything and probably more Raspberry Pi stuff than is healthy really. :-)