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Blayze Tech

The blog of Blayze Millward

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Keeping the Lights On

12:10 - 19/04/2020

Well, it's certainly been a while since my last blog post, eh? But I have not sat idly by watching the sands of time pass me by! Quite the opposite! The last two years have been busy - I've finished my bachelor's degree in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science at the University of Sheffield, and for some mad reason I've decided to stick around, choosing to start a PhD candidacy there, where I'm studying the information content retrievable by insect eyes.

My personal projects have been ticking over nicely and I'll be blogging about them as and when they hit the "write up" phase of my mass collection of to-do lists. I've been working with my local student combat robotics society, building 150 gram remote controlled robot wars-esque robots and helping to keep the society afloat. You can check out the videos we've put out over the years here (and if you want a cool TV-show style series of one of our larger events, you can watch AwksNerd's series here). As part of that I've helped to develop the robo66 and RoboPad, a cheap circuit board for combat and general robotics, that allows anyone to drive a simple robot with only their phone.

I also joined a team to compete in PiWars, a national robotics competition that sees teams of various levels compete to create robots (teleoperated or otherwise) that can solve a number of challenges, this year under the theme "disaster". As part of this I worked on a system to create cheap 360-degree panoramic images inspired by my PhD work.

I've also finally released my collection of common Java utilities under the GitHub repository blayzeTechUtils. It's a collection of useful classes I've been using on-and-off throughout the last few years to build Java-based simulations and games with a focus on 2D geometry, of which a large proportion of the codebase is dedicated to. Incidentally, along with Guru (who you might remember from my last gamejam post), I used that code base to build a video game for Sheffield University's 7th Game Jam. Sadly, it seems that using those utilities aren't exactly the best choice for 2D video games, but I have had much more luck using them for 2.5D games, and to perform geometric calculations in the 360-degree image dewarper mentioned before.

There's a lot on the horizon and a lot of little projects that have gone unmentioned - I'm looking forward to showing you all (or perhaps that should be "both", looking at the view count analytics on these posts) everything that I come up with in the future.

As you might have guessed from the contents of this post, I'm not the... best when it comes to updating this blog, so if anything that I've mentioned interests you and you haven't already, follow me on Twitter - I'm distinctly more active over there.

Until next time!