Published on: 16 March 2016
Written by: Thomas van Heyningen

AVE AI #6: through the eyes of a "meeloper" - CogBlog

13/01/2016, written by Yana van der Sande

I remember it like the day of yesterday. The excitement rushing through your veins while you wake up before your alarm starts torturing you. A day where it is not so hard to get up in the morning. Okay, well that’s a lie. But it truly was a day like no other. It was the day my future would become clear for me. A revelation, a flash forward, my destiny. To be honest, without jokes, it was just a normal day like the others.. I have always been good at exaggerating, but I’m not lying if I say I did feel some butterflies.

I was taking the train towards University. I travelled with a friend, or at least that was the plan. In the Netherlands, in Limburg to be precisely, we have two trainservices. The notoriously known NS and Veolia. My friend checked in with her OV at the NS “pole” while getting on a Veolia train. We were happy enough to get on the train in time, so we never thought about checking in at the right train service. I mean, how difficult can it be.. You just hold the card above the “pole” and it bleeps and you live on. But the trainconductor saw it differently. And there we were, at the next station, kicked out of the train. He told us he would wait. That we had the time to check out and check in again, this time at the right trainservice. So filled with hope, we ran like young, frisky, lambs towards the check in “poles” [disclaimer: this is a translation of "incheckpalen" given by google translate]. We checked out and in again and ran back towards the train. And than.. In front of us, we could almost touch the train that close we were.. the doors closed and the train drove away. Slowly, as to rub in our face that we were only less than a second too late. So yeah, we basically were to late to catch the train which we already did catch before, and thereby too late for our first college ever.


Every student knows the total public humilation of getting to late at a lecture. The walk of shame you have to endure. All the way to the front because all side seats in the back are taken. The irritated but mostly amused looks of your fellow students while you tiptoe past them. And the euphoria when you maniged to get to your seat without an evil look of your professor.

Back to story, we got the next train and after a half hour trip we arrived at Heyendaal. And there it was. Our future. Radboud University. We had two lovely studentparents who came to get us from heyendaal and took us with them to their lectures. We had a lovely lunch, where I found out that Arjan Wildhagen puts salt on his broodje kroket (that’s weird, right?) and I know, my friend an I knew, this was the place for us. Or at least we knew after seeing the robots.

Today I had a few “meelopers” myself. And I can only hope that I can be the same for them as my meeloopparents were. Though I don’t have friends who put salt on their broodje kroket.
I asked for their opinion about the day, if it was what they had expected. If they were planning on studying AI at Radboud and if they had fun. Because except for the tests, dishes and the dissapearance of the “stufi”, studentlife is supposed to be fun. The response I got? “Woow, robots are so cool!” My reaction: “I KNOW RIGHT?! SO COOL!”

It seems like nothing has changed since the old days. Conclusion: robots are cool. Not only through the eyes of a meeloper. But through the eyes of a first year AI student too.