The Wednesday Update: Reviewing the plan

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday update, after the Speed Edition last week, this one is a little more academic.

Introduction to Machine Learning

So this Wednesday I focused on trying to complete the 4-week course on Machine Learning. I have done ML courses in the past but fancied a refresher. What I was most impressed with is how far the tools have come along to lower the bar to entry for people to use them.
Machine Learning For Kids was a great way for kids to start thinking about ML and it was super easy to use, had templates to get you going and you could even see how the ML had built its model

I also enjoyed using Teachable Machines by Google. This allowed me to make a vision-based model really quickly to play the game Paper, Scissors Rock.


As mentioned 2 weeks ago I had a great call with MakeBlock, this has resulted in me being sent 3 of their latest products to have a play with. It’s really interesting to see how far they have come since their original Kickstarter back in 2012.

So at the weekend, I started working on making a bit more useful. I have now added back the chatbot based on AIML which I hope to develop further. I have also cleaned up the code and added a Web Directory. I can now easily deploy it and have fixed a few proxy issues.

Reviewing the Plan

Below are the items I wanted to achieve, I am now 5-6 weeks in so it’s a good opportunity to see how I have done

  • Begin Robotics : Done
  • Math : Not really started
  • Python course : Done
  • Introducing Robotics : Awaiting Maths
  • Do some practical : Ongoing via Robot head and Gwiz project
  • : Started

Redefining the plan

So I think I did alright, I think I have achieved more than is above but at the same point, that shows that I have maybe missed the point in having a plan and not sticking to it. I want to raise the bar a bit and set some harder goals to help me focus. These are part of the end-of-year goals.

I think that’s a rather challenging list but this is for the end of the year.

The Wednesday Update: On Saturday!

Even though it’s Saturday night, I wanted to do a weekly update. It’s important to me to at least show progress or benefits of taking time off from work to progress my hobbies/education in one way or another. In the last update, I said I had a rough plan. Now, how well have I progressed with that plan!

Begin Robotics by Reading University

This is now complete and I really enjoyed doing it even though I have completed it before. The simulations tasks really get you thinking and I now even understand the maths in the motor controller example. I did have to take a little time out to get my head around it however this is all part of that plan.


So I have started relearning Algebra using Khan Academy, I have also been asking friends and family who know maths a lot better than me. This has really helped and I am starting to get the brain working again. At school, maths was my strongest subject by far.

Gwiz electric car

The Gwiz is back from the welder, I have done a few jobs on it and it is booked in for an MOT next Wednesday :). It did come back with an odd beep sound but that was just the door sensor being a pain


Taking a step back from trying to jump before I can walk, as mentioned I did really enjoy the simulations on the Begin Robotics course. So much so that I plan to set up a hardware (e.g using actual robots) version of it. I have a VEX Robotics competition area that I plan to put in the conservatory. This should allow me to do ultrasonics wall detection, light following, line following and even sending data between robots.


All in all, I do think I am making good progress so far!

The Wednesday Update: Progress so far = I need a plan

So I have had my first Wednesday afternoon off and I did do some useful things (clear space for working, sell some stuff, do some online learning). However, it has become apparent I really need to focus on a subset of things and get them done. Already I have signed up for lots of online courses, and have a billion ideas. Usually, this would be good thing but context switching wastes time and I don’t have a lot of time!

So, initially here are the high-level objectives I want to achieve over the next couple of months from my Wednesdays afternoons.

Finish Begin Robotics by a Reading university.

To be fair I have completed this 4-week course before but I really enjoyed it and have nearly finished it already again. This is a great introduction to robotics. (ETA 1 week)


Next I think I need to improve my Maths, mainly Algebra and surrounding topics that are useful for robotics. Robotics can contain quite a lot of formulas from PID controllers to working out the position of things (kinematic) and this is usually the area I really struggle on. Khan Academy is my go-to place for this. (2-3 weeks)

Re-intro into Python and Kinematics
there are 2 other Future Learn courses I want to finish, another robotics one (again nearly finished but paused on the maths) and a really simple Python course which I should smash through. I have done a bit of Python in the past but it’s been a while. Python is the go-to language for AI & Robotics (2 weeks)

Do some practical
Once I reach here I hope to take a short pause from education and put into practice some of the stuff I have learned. I would like to get my Inmoov head talking with lip sync (Arduino wired up to a sound level meter) and I want to add some sensors to the GWiz car and see if we can get a picture of the outside. (2-3 weeks)

On a slight diversion, I would also like to update to be a bit more useful/themed around my learning. Everything is a bit static and rather boring. (1-2 weeks)

End of year goals

Once I hit these, I think it’s then time to review and see what I want to do next.
By the end of the year, I would like to be more comfortable with Maths, general robotics and have a semi-complete Inmoov robot. I would also love to finish the Udacity Self Driving course I attempted years ago.