Bens House dot net


The MoD Grand Challenge

The MoD Grand Challenge is to "create a system with a high degree of autonomy" that can detect and report upon threats in an "urban environment". The University of Reading is actually in this twice, although I am only involved with the Silicon Valley Team. My task here is to lead the IMSS team of 4 to create the software for the Moonbuggy rover, with my contribution to the code being to integrate the modules together and provide some form of intelligence about what is and isn't a threat, as well as how best to proceed (we don't want to get blown up now). The final test will be in August 2008 when the system will be deployed at the Copehill Down test site and sets about detecting marksmen, technicals (4x4s with guns) and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).


The project page for CALLAS states that the project aims to develop a "multimodal architecture which will include emotional aspects". As a part of that brief, my task in IMSS was to develop an Affective Music Synthesis (AMS) system capable of generating music for any given mood. As of December 2007, this system was functionally complete, although improvements are awaited to be made in the form of better sound quality and affectivisation.

In July 2007 I gave a short presentation on CALLAS to the folks at Microsoft Research, Cambridge. This presentation can be downloaded below.

PowerPoint 2007
PowerPoint 2003


The "electronic tour guide" from my time at Environment Systems was based upon code from BenBen (see below). The idea was that as a user either walked or drove around an area (be that a particular place, a town or a country) EveryWhichWay would be able to provide the user with information about that place. An interesting project, it combined Text to Speech with GPS functionality and had one of my better designed UIs.

See The Daily Post article on EveryWhichWay for a better description.

EveryWhichWay in the Daily Post


GPS, the .NET Compact Framework and Google maps (sorry Google) all mixed together to create something a bit like TomTom but without the route finding. I would absolutely love to rewrite this using the knowledge and experience I've gained over the last year but, as always, finding time is an issue.

A short and technically-lacking presentation about BenBen was presented to IMSS in November 2007. This can be downloaded below.

BenBen Slide
PowerPoint 2007
PowerPoint 2003.

Media Center Add-ons List

A list of add-ons for Windows Media Center that I started searching for in 2005. After 2 years, I finally retired it due to a lack of time to update it. It was also about to get hugely complicated due to the release of Windows Vista; checking compatibility of the add-ons for each version of Media Center would take more time than I had. The list as it stood at the end of 2007 can still be found here.