PLATYPUS BLOG

Research, development, data, and STEM for business and education.

Getting a Jetson Nano up and running

I recently had need to buy one of NVidia's Jetson Nano Development Kits. Platypus Technical is currently doing some research and development in mobile computer vision and artificial intelligence. The Jetson Nano seems like a good option for the project, and...
Designing a circuit to measure temperature

Designing a circuit to measure temperature

In a previous post I wrote about the importance of accurate measurement, and how it is not always straight forward. That post introduced the first part of a video series on how to accurately measure temperature with a micro:bit. In that video I talked about the basics...

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Accurate measurement with a micro:bit

Accurate measurement with a micro:bit

Accurate measurement is critical to our everyday lives, and yet it is often taken for granted. When I buy petrol, I am assuming that the petrol pump is accurately measuring the petrol going into my car. This means that I pay the correct amount of money. Buying food is...

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How do we measure the senses?

How do we measure the senses?

We’ve all rated our pain at the doctor’s office, read an eye chart for a licence test, or told a friend the truth about their cooking. Despite the commonly held view that we have just five senses, we actually have many more, and we depend upon their accuracy and...

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Proprioception: Sensing position and movement

Proprioception: Sensing position and movement

In November I wrote about the senses, in particular the ones beyond the usual 5. This post focusses on the group of senses that tells us the position and movements of our body, called proprioception (pro-PREE-o-SEP-SHUN). Proprioception is not a new discovery. The term proprio-ceptive has been used by physiologists since the early 1900s, and the idea that the brain senses the body’s movements has been around even longer. So what exactly is proprioception for?

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Measuring how the brain controls breathing

Measuring how the brain controls breathing

Neural control of breathing The muscles that make us breathe need to work or ‘contract’ both when we are awake and asleep to bring oxygen into the lungs (and remove carbon dioxide) to keep us alive. This contraction of our breathing or ‘respiratory’ muscles occurs...

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Using python to program micro:bit

Using python to program micro:bit

One of the things Platypus Technical does is develop tools for learning and teaching STEM.  This month I have been looking at the BBC micro:bit through the Advent Kit from Little Bird Electronics.  As part of that I have been uploading example python code to...

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How many senses do we have?

How many senses do we have?

Most people reply that we have five senses vision, smell, taste, hearing and touch. Why stop there? How come most people don’t list any others? When I have worked in schools with students in year 1 or 2, they can think of many...

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Tools: Installing Bodhi Linux on a Yoga 910

Tools: Installing Bodhi Linux on a Yoga 910

Measuring people requires good tools, including a computer.  I don't like having to update my research computer, but recently went through this and settled on a Yoga 910.  For data analysis and experimental control I have always preferred a Unix operating system. ...

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Proving it: Validation

Proving it: Validation

Validation is a vital concept when it comes to proving what things do.  It is a term commonly used by engineers, scientist, physicians and other people working in evidence based professions.  I usually need to explain how I have validated a new method or tool to my...

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Good measurements are critical

Good measurements are critical

I can call myself a lot of different things.  For example, currently I am an engineer, a neurophysiologist, a public servant, an investigator, and exercise scientist, etc.  However, if I try to collect all my roles together and look for a common theme, I find that I...

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