Week 3: Prep Work

Sorting out the paper work and other infrastructure

It was important to not spend too much spinning my wheels this week. So, naturally, I started this week out with a flat tire. It seems that thorns on trails that can cut your hand can also pierce bike tires. After getting the tire fixed (it’s one disadvantage of being abroad, you have no tools to fix flat tires), I made it to the university to truly begin the week.

My attention this week focused on completing the ethics application for the university. This form is not too different from other ethics forms that I have filled out before. Of course, there are all the additional documents that need to be created and included as well. Here, I needed to create standard documents like the interview guide, information letter, and informed consent form. UH has their own approved versions of these, and they are a bit difference than what is in Norway. I think the Norwegian ones are a bit easier to read, but both get the job done.

There was a new item that needed to be include, and that was a risk assessment form. Since the robot involved in this experiment will be big, heavy, and moving. There’s always a chance that a participant (or the person running the study) could get hurt. The possible dangers need to be documented. I guess my previous projects have had things with little danger to someone. It was an important point to think about.

Otherwise, I presented the MECS project and my research. I had planned on discussing my study, to get hints on recruitment or other opinion. But just before the presentation, I found out that some of these people may want to be participants in the study. So, I had to throw out the last bits. Regardless, I did get a lot of questions. So, there is some genuine interest here. I hope it actually translates into genuine participants showing up for the project.

Otherwise, I started spent some time writing an application to a workshop and looking at the local planner. The good news is that I think I know where I need to integrate my work, but I got bogged down in getting my computer set up for more efficient development (I was moving too slow trying to understand different data types). I think everything is set up now, and my plan this week is to finish the workshop application and make an implementation of the local planner while my ethics application goes through the university (it takes a minimum of 10 days).

Let’s end this by discussing the local fountain in Welwyn Garden City. It’s in the masthead for this entry (sorry, it’s only decoration and I can’t add an ALT attribute). The fountain apparently changes colors for different themes. For October, the color is pink for breast cancer awareness. Previously, I heard it was blue (not just from water). Since October ends next week, it seemed like a good time to include it, although I wish I had got a picturing managed to get a picture as the sunset. You’ll just have to imagine. As we begin November next week, I wonder if the fountain will grow a mustache to promote men’s health.