Jose Gonzalez-Vargas
17 May 2017

Making Motivational Videos

Some time ago, I was asked by some people back in Costa Rica to make motivational videos about robotics. The first video I made was for my old university: the Technological Institute of Costa Rica. This video was aimed at motivating future students to join the Electronic Engineering school, so a colleague and I talked briefly about what we were doing in Japan and how it connected to our studies. For this reason, I spoke a little bit of my work on Human-Machine interface for prosthetic hands using electromyography signals and how my training as an electronic engineer helped me realise this work.

It was interesting to prepare and make the video since we had to think very careful what to say and what to show in the video. We had quite a short time to make a good impact on the students. So we had to deliver a clear message in an engaging way. One thing that I believe made the video quite attractive was including the NAO robot. First, I programmed NAO to talk somehow in Spanish (with a very strong accent 🙂 ), using some very popular phrases in Costa Rica. It was not that straight forward since NAO did not have the Spanish language and we had to play a little bit with the English sounds that it had stored. Phrases such as "Pura Vida" (literally it translate to Pure Life, you can find more info in here) or "A Ponerle Bonito" (Do your best) added a nice touch to the video. 

Another video was a little bit harder to make. This video was aimed at children as a way to introduce some topics of robotics to them. I made this video for the Omar Dengo Foundation, which teaches children about robotics. That is why I had to think quite carefully how to explain generalities about rehabilitation robotics to children. Due to the success of the first video, I also included NAO to be my assistant. I changed a little bit the way I interacted with NAO and introduced more movement. 

In the end, I think these videos were quite good, and as far as I know, they are still being used to motivate students. It would be interesting to learn how many people were motivated and followed a career in robotics thanks to these videos. I guess I will never know, but I hope a lot. 

You can see the videos here: 






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