Adam Ellison

Brand new online University started by two Stanford Professors

Posted by | Education, Entrepreneurship, The Big Picture | No Comments

Taught by Professor David Evans and Professor Sebastian Thrun, two high-level subjects in “Building a Search Engine” and “Programming a Robotic Car” appear to offer outcomes based education, free, and online for all!

Rather than ramble on, I’ve cut and pasted the FAQ from their site here: (I hope Google doesn’t anti-SEO me for this!)

FAQ From

Is there a fee to take the course?
Nope, no fees. All of our classes are offered entirely free of cost.

Can you enroll in both classes?
Yes! Keep in mind CS101 is intended for students with no previous programming background, while CS373 assumes students have prior programming experience.

When do classes start?
February 20th, 2012.

When do I have to be online to watch the lectures?
The lectures are posted each week for you to view at your convenience.

How is the class formatted?
Both classes are broken into 6 week-long units and seventh week that wraps up the course and has a final exam. Each unit contains multiple lecture segments with interactive quizzes built in. There will be one homework assignment which will include programming problems each week. There will be approximately 50 minutes of lecture videos.

How long will enrollment be open?
Enrollment will be open until the first homework assignment, February 28th.

Will the courses be offered again? When?
The courses will be offered again starting April 16, 2012.

Which programming language will be used?
Python will be used in both CS101 and CS373. If you are taking CS101, don’t worry if you don’t know what a programming language is yet. If you are taking CS373, you should either already know Python, or have enough experience with another language to be confident you can pick up what you need on your own.

Will there be closed captioning?
Yes, the videos will have captions in English. We’re also working to support other languages in future.

Will you be offering other classes?
Yes! We will be announcing more courses soon.

What will I get for completing the classes?
Students who complete a course will also receive a certificate signed by the instructors.

Is Udacity affiliated with Stanford and/or Google?
No. Udacity is an independent company.

Can I audit the course?

Dr David Rock – Fantastic Google Talk on the Brain

Posted by | Entrepreneurship, Optimising The Brain, Personal | No Comments

It’s been a while since my last post, that is due primarily to some changes in my personal life, including a change to a leadership role in a new internet company. While researching some leadership theory, I came across this brilliant talk by Dr David Rock. It’s an hour long, so I hope you can set time aside to have a look. It is well worth it!

A Kinect hack worth blogging about!

Posted by | Entrepreneurship | No Comments

Ok wow. Kinect and Microsoft Research just impressed me a lot! I have been imagining that dynamic 3d mapping was possible for a few years now, and it turns out the KinectFusion team have been working on this for a while! Not only is it dynamic and 3d, but they can do in real time, as this video amply demonstrates.

Warning: The following video will cause you to feel a warm smattering sensation as your brains pressurise, explode and then fall into wet clumps on your lap. They actually had to reduce the quality to 240p just to reduce the intensity of the nerdgasm that will follow.

I found out about this on TechCrunch

Testing some rc servos

Posted by | 6 axis CNC / robot prototype | 2 Comments

Just as a quick update to the last post, here are my servos for the prototype… basically dancing at the whim of my computer!

For those interested, I’m running a Mini Maestro servo controller (by Pololu), using the supplied sequencing software. This took about 5 min to program.


Another project begins…

Posted by | 6 axis CNC / robot prototype, Entrepreneurship | No Comments


This one has been in the “still dreaming” phase for about a year, but a few parts are finally starting to arrive, so I thought I’d share a photo.
These parts are going to become a prototype of a 6 axis milling machine/general manufacturing robot which I intend to launch one day as a low cost/open source alternative to the current expensive commercial offerings.
Up next, a video of these being tested – Keep your eyes open!

Open Source hardware – The start of something big?

Posted by | Entrepreneurship, Personal, Sustainability, The Big Picture | One Comment

Imagine a future where anyone in the world could build their own everyday items… along with the plans for a machine to build them out of accessible materials. Every single bit of R&D would be done by someone who was passionate about the subject, and all their work would be documented online daily, available for re-use by anyone. From kids in an struggling African school, to the biggest corporations around the world.

Sound far fetched? It is happening now! is an emerging online community of professional and auteur tinkerers, working together to make open source designs for many high tech fields, perhaps the most notable of which is 3D printing. The machine below has been developed by enthusiasts around the world, and can be built for around $1000. A commercial version would be in the order of $30,000. It can print almost any shape in 3D out of plastic.

I am a member of the Melbourne chapter, called We meet every meet every Tuesday evening in Camberwell.

The power of this collaboration is in it’s scalability. I don’t know where this movement is headed, but I like it!

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