My Lime Addiction

No, not the fruit, the scooter company. If you’re in a larger American city (LA, Austin, Dallas, etc) you’ve already seen the bright green electric scooters littering your walkways. Here’s a quick video used as a tutorial to teach new users how to properly park your scooter at the end of a ride.

Hey, can I park it here? No? What about here? Yeah!

Lime started a pilot program in Calgary on the second week of July. The city gave them the latitude to have these devices out on the streets for people to use and to charge same people 30 cents a minute for the opportunity.

So these scooters have pretty good batteries and will last almost a full day but they eventually require recharging. Enter the Juicers!

I’ve signed up as a ‘Juicer’, a contracted employee of Lime that is tasked with gathering, charging and ‘serving’ a number of Lime scooters each day. I was provided with a couple of chargers to use in my activities and will charge an empty scooter to full in about six hours. Then I find a location out on the street to serve, or drop off, the scooter. For that sequence of activities (harvest, charge, serve) i receive a payment of $5.25 CDN for each scooter charged.

Why? Why am I doing this? What is the possible reasoning behind someone who is doing fine financially wanting to run around being a ‘Juicer’? In the rain, tonight, I asked myself that question a couple of times.

It’s tough to explain but people who actually know me will probably understand: it’s about the quest rewards! I’ve always been a big fan of Role Playing Games (RPGs) going all the way back to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Sitting around a table, rolling dice that are desperately trying to kill me and killing the (dragon, kobold colony, Orc infestation) before receiving a reward for all my hard work. +5 Vorpal Sword!

I like the small work/small reward of the ‘Gig’ economy. I like that I can make an extra $10.50 per night doing about 30 minutes (max!) combined of work. Pays for my morning coffee addiction!

The other question I get asked all the time is how much electricity am I paying for to charge these scooters? I asked one of the electronic engineers in my lab for a suggestion as to how much electricity is consumed and his suggestion was about 8 cents per scooter per night. I haven’t gotten my first full electricity bill to confirm this yet but I don’t have any reason to think it’s much more than that.

I’m going to continue doing this until they take the scooters off the road in November. I might still be interested in continuing in the spring but who knows? As long as I continue to get that mini-rush of quest complete, I’ll probably continue the activity indefinitely. I’ll update if that changes.

Some Great PR for CIITS

http://www.harderlee.ca/
Chris Zaal (CIITS @ SAIT) and Mike Allan (Routique). Photo by Harderlee Photography. http://www.harderlee.ca/

Working for Applied Research and Innovation Services at SAIT has been an excellent opportunity for me to grow as a technologist and leader within a technical team, both things that I want to continue to experience advancement as time progresses.

Occasionally, we get a chance to add our voice to the alumni SAIT magazine that goes out quarterly. I just wanted to add a link to the latest bit of propaganda from our communications team. 🙂

You can read the article here:

https://saitalumnilink.ca/2019/06/using-the-internet-of-things-so-the-food-we-eat-stays-frozen-or-fresh-during-transport/

It’s Finally Happened

My flight from Memphis to LaGuardia has been delayed so long that I’m not going to make the last flight from there to Toronto, my final destination today. As it currently sits, I don’t arrive in Toronto until 2345 and I’ve been sitting at the airport since 1100. If I wasn’t sitting comfortably in the Delta SkyLounge I’d be really angry right now. It’s taking a large amount of self control not to deplete their self-serve bar of all their bourbon.

Continue reading “It’s Finally Happened”

CES 2019

I’ve been absolute shite about keeping this up to date but I’ve got an update that I think needs sharing somewhere off the ‘social’ media’.

I’m headed to Vegas tomorrow for CES. This will be my third year attending but this year is a little different: I’ve joined the Canadian Delegation to represent SAIT (and Alberta/Canada) at the show on behalf of Applied Research. Myself and Emerson Burns (see our Bios here) will be at the show and at the Canadian Pavillion manning a booth for a bit of time. I’ve embedded a map below in case anyone might be interested. Blue pin, top left is where we’ll be for a couple days during the show.

The combination of fear and exhilaration is astounding; something that I’ve seen innate value in for the past two years finally becoming something we might use as a vehicle into more potential projects.

I hope I don’t fuck this up, I hope that we can derive some real value out of this and that it turns into something we contribute to on an annual basis. I hope this is something that I can build off of and develop new streams of potential project partners, close to home and abroad.

Don’t expect a ‘Facebook dump’ of selfies and activities while we’re away; I think my boss wants to hedge a bit and see how this trade mission goes before announcing our participation to stakeholders that might look down their nose at two ARIS employees being sent to Nevada simply because of the location without considering the value of the mission. Though when the weekend starts and the pressure has lessened you might get a couple of photos posted of Emerson and I blowing off some steam.

We’ll see.

Got a business problem? College students can solve it. – Macleans.ca

Article about a project we did a few summers ago and how we use student interns to solve business problems.

I’m always perplexed seeing my name included in an article about the work we do. I know we do good work and solving problems that might not find traction elsewhere is really cool but it’s not until someone external says, ‘Hey, this was really neat and I’d like to know more about it!’, that I actually feel a sense of accomplishment. So having an article published about it is almost surreal. If you’re interested, read the MacLean’s article here.

With our change in vector to more IoT and sensor networks based projects, it would seem I should get used to it. Innovation space has never been more exciting.

We haven’t moved into our new lab yet but we’re already getting queries about potential projects and that is very exciting.

Source: https://www.macleans.ca/education/college/got-a-business-problem-college-students-can-solve-it/ “Got a business problem? College students can solve it. – Macleans.ca”

Precision Cattle Ranching Project Video

I’ve been working at SAIT since 2005, in one capacity or another. I’m quite proud of that fact as the school is one of the better employers I’ve had in my life.

Since March of 2013, I’ve been working with the Applied Research and Innovation Services Department at SAIT. During that time I’ve had many roles: embedded programmer, project coordinator and now Research Associate, which is basically the manager for the Centre for Innovative IT Solutions. It’s been a great experience for me and I continue to get more opportunities as time goes by.

The video below is the first time I’ve been asked to present myself for an audio and visual presentation that we’ve published for the world on Youtube. Another good experience.

I thought I’d put the video here for posterity as I continue to inch away from Facebook as a social media platform. I have yet to generate enough courage to release myself fully but I see that in the future.