Sudharshan's profile


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Mind, Body, Network

tldr: This article talks about my personal principles for well-being, and the strategies I employ in my daily life to feel healthy, happy and fulfilled.

This post is mirrored on Mirror:

Mind, Body, Network
This article talks about my personal principles for well-being, and the strategies I employ in my daily life to feel healthy, happy and fulfilled.

People who have known me since 2016 would know that I have had a hell of a relationship with health and my body. Part of why I am working on a preventive health project at the moment, is that I have struggled with body dysmorphia and health issues for a large part of my life. That's why people who meet me after a long time, often find themselves quite shocked at how much I have changed- both on the outside and on the inside with my perspectives on human well-being.

For reference, this is a photo from when I was 16:

Me, in 2016 on my birthday 🥳

And this is me now at 21:

Me in 2021, after tons and tons of gym time 🏋️‍♀️

These days I have much less

Top, Bottom, Up, Down

tldr: Building web 3 startups is hard, as you have to balance product-market fit and iteration speed with community and governance. To achieve this balance, a mix of strategies must be deployed- using concepts from 20+ years of startup history, political science and human behavior.

This post is mirrored on Mirror:

Top, Bottom, Up, Down
Building web 3 startups is hard, how do you balance product-market fit and iteration speed with community and governance?

Visionaries and dreamers have defined innovation culture in the startup ecosystem of the last 3 decades. In fact, we find ourselves in a world where cult founder personalities are aplenty, look no further than Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

This makes sense. Elon Musk's vision for affordable electric cars, and his drive to bring that vision to reality is what gave us Tesla. The company's mission was always driven top-down by what Elon Musk wanted for the future. In a sense, Tesla was an extension of Elon's ambition. The recipe for c

Do you need to be taught to teach?

I've always wondered why it was so difficult to become a teacher. Do you really need a school for teachers, where teachers teach students to teach? Are the licensing requirements to teach students, really that useful? Is there that much value to restricting the supply of teachers through regulation and compulsory education. And above all, isn't teaching something that is inherently human?

Let's first take a long hard look at how teachers learn to teach. An aspiring teacher has a set of hurdles to overcome before they can even teach professionally. The biggest, is a teacher training program, in Singapore this is primarily done through the BABSc diploma.

The Bachelor of Arts (Education) and Bachelor of Science (Education), also known as BABSc (Ed), is a 4-year sponsored undergraduate programme. It equips you with an academic degree in arts or science-based subjects, with a teaching qualification to teach in primary or secondary schools.

If they don't pursue this diploma, they can also do a

Institutionalised Learning

Since the industrial revolution, many public services have been institutionalised and organised into structures - of which the biggest two are healthcare and education. Healthcare gave rise to public hospital and health insurance while education gave rise to primary, secondary and tertiary schools.

The industrial revolution brought along with it, a toolkit on how to approach system design, which revolved around standardisation and efficiency. With a heavy focus on measurements and indexes, industrialists imagined a world where everything could be quantified. Undoubtedly, this has led to the many problems one can observe with the education system today.

A focus on metric based thinking, brings the culture of test-taking to school. When these professional test-takers enter the workforce, it creates a vicious cycle of industry leaders who can't look past KPIs and quantitative evaluations. This then leads to even more metric based study and evaluation.

In a schooled world, the road to happine

Learning used to be fun

Think back to when you were just growing up. When you were 4, enjoying the little things you did. Maybe you loved to draw on paper, maybe you were more of a musical person or maybe you loved to dance- but it doesn't matter what you did. You were just having fun.

You probably also asked a million questions. Why does the sea look blue? Why does the person on the TV talk funny? Why does the train make more noise when it goes into the tunnel? As kids, we were full of curiosity, wonderment, maybe even blind to the realities of the world.

It really starts with the formal education system, where we switch from asking questions, to being asked questions. "I don't know why" goes from a statement of curiosity to one of incompetence.

You need to learn because your worth in society is decided by how much of the test you get right.

This decouples the act of learning something new, from the reward which is extrinsic, through grades, compliments from teachers or comparison with peers. By now, long gone

The Hephaestus Project

Hephaestus is the Greek God of design and creativity. More commonly known as the partner of Aphrodite, he was also the god of the Forge and was well known for creating some of the finest jewellery in Greek mythology. Hephaestus was banished from Mount Olympus, simply because he walked with a limp, and when he joined the mortals on Earth he taught them how to make art and the importance of doing so. Analogous to that, the Hephaestus project aims to cultivate unique people with different perspectives, spark creativity and dares the participants to propose the ideas people might dismiss out of hand.

Edit: We take admissions on a rolling basis, so once we get the required number of innovators, admissions will close

What is Hephaestus?

Hephaestus is a week long innovation boot camp for the people who dare to dream 🧠. It aims to bring together a group of 10 people, for a program where they are able to debate, discuss, brainstorm solutions to anything they might be interested in. It provides th

Making a blender 🥤 feat. Zubin

As a kid, I wasn't actually all that into technology. When I was 7/8 years old, the only real things that mattered to me was going to chess club and studying. So I was really surprised when I was introduced to Zubin, a rather inquisitive kid who just wants to tinker.

I was approached to coach Zubin, and help him along with the projects that he would want to make, and I met him for the first time yesterday! The first thing that caught my eye was how his parents had encouraged his maker habit, he had a room with a 3D printer, cardboard boxes, LittleBits, literally anything a 7 year old with maker ambitions might want. On top of that, when I met him, he was working on a 3D printed boat which he was in the middle of designing using TinkerCAD.

My first task with him was to help him finish his boat which came along splendidly. Unfortunately, it took about 4 hours to print it out, and our session was only 2 hours long so we had to come up with a way to keep ourselves busy. I told him that brush

r8168 driver problems 😔

This morning was rather unpleasant, when I woke up to notifications that my server decided to randomly off itself in the middle of the night. Upon digging, it turns out that the network driver connecting my RealTek Ethernet Interface just up and vanished. Seems like someone has cursed me :/

I went about the diagnosis by first trying the following methods.

ifconfig -a     # Does not return eth0 or alternative representations
lspci -vv       # Returns the detection of the  Realtek Controller but does not have any kernel driver (suspicious?)
lshw -C network # Prints network UNCLAIMED

Then, I managed to identify that the driver I needed wasn’t even getting loaded onto the kernel. To reinstall the r8168 driver, you need to download these links to a hard drive/thumb drive.

  • Latest r86168 driver (As of 15 June 2020)
  • linux-headers-<your kernel version> where your kernel version can be found with uname -a (ie: linux-headers-5.3.0-1026-gke)

Then install these packages using dpkg. And loa

Using a Windows VM in Azure as a replacement for Dual Booting/Local VMs

As a electronics/design engineer cum software developer, I use a Macbook Pro running MacOS. For anyone familiar with MacOS and it’s never-ending battle to sparsely support all games and design productivity software, it would be needless to mention that running my suite of design/editing tools on MacOS was a pain.

Previously, I tried my best to switch to mostly Unix supporting open source variants of my design tools, such as KiCAD for PCB design and FreeCAD for 3D modelling. But some tools, are just no replacement for professional tools such as the Autodesk Suite. Not to mention, in many undergrad level EEE modules, board logic design IDEs (like Vivado for Xilinx FPGAs) only support Windows.

As such, it is the burden of students to either dual-boot, run a local VM, or get an additional Windows PC. Knowing the performance bottleneck for my 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD Macbook running VMs and professional productivity software, I wanted to find an alternative solution to this problem.

That’s when I

Designing a 5521-MG servo

Haven't touched Fusion 360 in a while, but it seems as easy and straightforward to use as it was ever. Designed a 5521-MG servo motor model to be used in the linkage design for the Droid Project.

Droid Project: Completed Simulation Body

Currently finished coupling 6 legs to a simulation body, with the leg inverse kinematics functional for all of the legs. The remaining elements to implement would be select-able individual joint controls for each leg and the body kinematics itself.

Then I completed the inverse kinematics that allows for the coupling between the body of the robot and its 6 corresponding legs (arranged with 60 degrees between each leg). I won’t bother explaining the mathematics going into these calculations in detail as they have been outlined in Oscar Liang’s blog post and the equations from TogleFritz’s Lair.

The resultant equations needed a bit of tweaking, especially with the orientation of the coordinate plane and the direction of certain rotations. Additionally, the equations from TogleFritz’s Lair are unnecessarily redundant when implemented in code. I added some optimizations and loop logic to help make the equations less cumbersome to use.

void Droid::ikCalculate() {
  const float increment = M_

Droid Project: Introduction

The Droid project, is a project where I am attempting to design and build a hexapod robot from scratch. Given, that I have no prior experience dealing with the forward and inverse kinematics problems (FK & IK) that need to be solved, I resolved to using Cinder and ImGUI to create a simulation of the hexapod first.

So far, I am still in the early stages of the project, but I have come up with a simulation for a single leg of the hexapod. With much help from Oscar Liang, and his informative blog series on the kinematics of hexapods, I managed to get the IK for a single leg to work.

Now, the next part would be to get the full body IK to work, and figure out how to implement basic movements. And then we can finally take a look at the hardware we have to work with :’)