Violet Blue reports its “it’s worth a look if you have the glasses“.
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Violet Blue reports its “it’s worth a look if you have the glasses“.
We’re seriously entering into “chop my weak flesh off and give me that” territory here.
From IEEE Spectrum:
German researchers have built an anthropomorphic robot hand that can endure collisions with hard objects and even strikes from a hammer without breaking into pieces. [Video]
In designing the new hand system, researchers at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), focused on robustness. They may have just built the toughest robot hand yet.
The DLR hand has the shape and size of a human hand, with five articulated fingers powered by a web of 38 tendons, each connected to an individual motor on the forearm.
The main capability that makes the DLR hand different from other robot hands is that it can control its stiffness. The motors can tension the tendons, allowing the hand to absorb violent shocks. In one test, the researchers hit the hand with a baseball bat—a 66 G impact. The hand survived.
The hand has a total of 19 degrees of freedom, or only one less than the real thing, and it can move the fingers independently to grasp varied objects. The fingers can exert a force of up to 30 newtons at the fingertips, which makes this hand also one of the strongest ever built.
Another key element in the DLR design is a spring mechanism connected to each tendon. These springs give the tendons, which are made from a super strong synthetic fiber called Dyneema, more elasticity, allowing the fingers to absorb and release energy, like our own hands do. This capability is key for achieving robustness and for mimicking the kinematic, dynamic, and force properties of the human hand.
During normal operation, the finger joints can turn at about 500 degrees per second. By tensioning the springs, and then releasing their energy to produce extra torque, the joint speed can reach 2000 degrees per second. This means that this robot hand can do something few others, if any, can: snap its fingers.
For the two people that hadn’t already seen this, I may as well wedge it in here. How quickly we go from joke to near-future fact:
Whether you use QR codes or not, its undeniable that mobile tagging has become an integrated part of the marketing landscape. Popping up in print advertising and corporate-sponsored event/experiences, there still seems to be a lot of confusion about the application and usage of mobile tagging in delivering a more comprehensive marketing and retail message. PSFK just released a great “Future Of” report exploring some key trends in the field and interviews with experts an innovators in the field.
At 1:10PM PST, the this Delta IV, the largest spacecraft in the world, took off from Vandenberg Air Force base in Lompoc, California. It was the most powerful anything to ever be launched from the West Coast—unless you count Tupac. (West side!) According to ABC, you could hear the rumble of the engines from 50 miles away.
This shows an early incarnation of the Sporenspiel, a glockenspiel which is automatically played based on the amount of spores falling from a mushroom in real time.
We’re 11 days into 2011 and I’m watching the north of my country drown on live-television, as they in turn switch between exhausted officals giving press conferences, to reports straight from social media. In fact, they’re just sending viewers straight to #qldfloods. But, look.. SHINY!
Let’s face it, we’re going to need ever better methods to record disaster pr0n and navigate our way through it. OK, we don’t need them, but some kind of distraction is needed now and again. What have we got so far this year?
Augmented reality HUDS? Check. This was just released for skiers:
Introducing Transcend, Recon Instruments’ collaboration with Colorado’s Zeal Optics. Transcend is the world’s first GPS-enabled goggles with a head-mounted display system.
Minimum interaction is required during use, sleek graphics and smart optics are completely unobtrusive for front and peripheral vision making it the ultimate solution for use in fast-paced environments.
Transcend provides real-time feedback including speed, latitude/longitude, altitude, vertical distance travelled, total distance travelled, chrono/stopwatch mode, a run-counter, temperature and time. It is also the only pair of goggles in the world that boasts GPS capabilities, USB charging and data transfer, and free post-processing software all with a user-friendly, addictive interface.
Just like the dashboard of a sports car or the instruments of a fighter jet, Transcend’s display provides performance-enhancing data, but only when you choose to view it. Safe, smart, fun…all wrapped up in the hottest goggle frame of 2010/11.
Now, of course you ask, but how will I best show my friends a panoramic, interactive recording of that sick black run (or train for the next one)? Sony has just the thing:
Besides looking über futuristic, Sony’s “virtual 3D cinematic experience” head mounted display (aka ‘Headman’) sports some fairly impressive specs. The tiny OLED screens inside are head HD resolution (1280 x 720), and the headphones integrated into the sides of the goggles are outputting high quality simulated 5.1 channel surround sound.
OK, that’s just a prototype. But something like it will be coming soon, so leave some space for it in your underground bunker.
In 2008, as a proof of concept, Babak Parviz at the University of Washington in Seattle created a prototype contact lens containing a single red LED. Using the same technology, he has now created a lens capable of monitoring glucose levels in people with diabetes.
It works because glucose levels in tear fluid correspond directly to those found in the blood, making continuous measurement possible without the need for thumb pricks, he says. Parviz’s design calls for the contact lens to send this information wirelessly to a portable device worn by diabetics, allowing them to manage their diet and medication more accurately.
Lenses that also contain arrays of tiny LEDs may allow this or other types of digital information to be displayed directly to the wearer through the lens. This kind of augmented reality has already taken off in cellphones, with countless software apps superimposing digital data onto images of our surroundings, effectively blending the physical and online worlds.
Making it work on a contact lens won’t be easy, but the technology has begun to take shape. Last September, Sensimed, a Swiss spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, launched the very first commercial smart contact lens, designed to improve treatment for people with glaucoma.
The disease puts pressure on the optic nerve through fluid build-up, and can irreversibly damage vision if not properly treated. Highly sensitive platinum strain gauges embedded in Sensimed’s Triggerfish lens record changes in the curvature of the cornea, which correspond directly to the pressure inside the eye, says CEO Jean-Marc Wismer. The lens transmits this information wirelessly at regular intervals to a portable recording device worn by the patient, he says.
Like an RFID tag or London’s Oyster travel cards, the lens gets its power from a nearby loop antenna – in this case taped to the patient’s face. The powered antenna transmits electricity to the contact lens, which is used to interrogate the sensors, process the signals and transmit the readings back.
Each disposable contact lens is designed to be worn just once for 24 hours, and the patient repeats the process once or twice a year. This allows researchers to look for peaks in eye pressure which vary from patient to patient during the course of a day. This information is then used to schedule the timings of medication.
Parviz, however, has taken a different approach. His glucose sensor uses sets of electrodes to run tiny currents through the tear fluid and measures them to detect very small quantities of dissolved sugar. These electrodes, along with a computer chip that contains a radio frequency antenna, are fabricated on a flat substrate made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a transparent polymer commonly found in plastic bottles. This is then moulded into the shape of a contact lens to fit the eye.
Parviz plans to use a higher-powered antenna to get a better range, allowing patients to carry a single external device in their breast pocket or on their belt. Preliminary tests show that his sensors can accurately detect even very low glucose levels. Parvis is due to present his results later this month at the IEEE MEMS 2011 conference in Cancún, Mexico.
“There’s still a lot more testing we have to do,” says Parviz. In the meantime, his lab has made progress with contact lens displays. They have developed both red and blue miniature LEDs – leaving only green for full colour – and have separately built lenses with 3D optics that resemble the head-up visors used to view movies in 3D.
Parviz has yet to combine both the optics and the LEDs in the same contact lens, but he is confident that even images so close to the eye can be brought into focus. “You won’t necessarily have to shift your focus to see the image generated by the contact lens,” says Parviz. It will just appear in front of you, he says. The LEDs will be arranged in a grid pattern, and should not interfere with normal vision when the display is off.
For Sensimed, the circuitry is entirely around the edge of the lens (see photo). However, both have yet to address the fact that wearing these lenses might make you look like the robots in the Terminator movies. False irises could eventually solve this problem, says Parviz. “But that’s not something at the top of our priority list,” he says.
So close… And Terminator eyes? That’s a feature, not a bug. YES PLEASE!
Video via lifehacker.
The QR cloud project is a recent temporary installation by the amsterdam based design group golfstromen. The project began in july 2009 and is still running in the west end of their city. the project consists of embedded QR codes in the urban environment, linking to pieces of artwork. the project features seven large QR codes that when photographed on a web-ready cell phone link viewers to small stories, poems or proverbs by dutch writers and poets. Each written piece was commissioned for the project as a short inspirational message to users. The QR codes were placed on a soon to be demolished building and focus on making the public aware of QR codes in contexts outside advertising.
Picture and words from DesignBoom.
Syuzi, from FashioningTech explains:
The Binary Glove, by game designer Pete Hawkes, is a fun interactive gaming wearable that teaches you a bit about bits. Each fingertip represents a bit value in a simple binary sequence 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 and is fitted with a pressure sensor that turns each bit on and off. The LCD displays the sum total of the sequence along with each value in the sequence.
Original pieces of polar ice will be sold in a shop in Amsterdam from this Friday the 25th. MyPolarIce is a venture led by Coralie Vogelaar and Teun Castelein. They went to the northern part of Greenland to harvest some of the finest polar ice still available. The pieces of ice were extracted from the Sermeq Kujalleg glacier, and were put on transport to Amsterdam
Starting from November 26th till December 5th your are invited to get your piece. It is the chance of a lifetime to obtain a frozen relic from the last ice age.
A piece of polar ice will cost 24.95 euros, but if the stock rapidly diminish prices may rise. A fixed amount of 1000 pieces is for sale, each numbered and a certificate of authenticity is attached. The pieces are packed in special capsule-shaped containers. This packaging ensures that the ice remains frozen up to three hours outside a freezer. The goal of MyPolarIce is to sell the pieces to people that cherish and preserve it.
From tonyleather over at EnvironmentalGraffiti:
LAPP-Pro is a Bremen, Germany-based duo that specializes in light art performance photography, often accompanied by music. Jörg Miedza and Jan Wöllert have been working together since the autumn of 2007, although both have photographic connections going back many years. The basic concept of LAPP was invented by Jan, accidentally trapped overnight in an old industrial complex in Bremen, back in the summer of 2007. He amused himself by making shapes and patterns with some LED lamps, quickly realising that he had discovered a new way of creating photographs.
Descended from light drawing, the basis of their work are long-time exposures, with moving light sources used to create luminous light sculptures that are captured in photographs. Many compositions consist of up to 20 single steps between the opening and closure of the shutter. This requires that, apart from imagination, fantasy and creativity, the performer must have body control to achieve the exact pace of synchronised steps with the handling and distribution of lights. It is very much a performance that must in many cases be rehearsed before the images are made for real.
Tongue tied on your next date? Let your bottle of vodka do the talking for you. Medea Vodka can be programmed with up to three messages, 255 characters each in length. Your chosen message will then scroll across the screen, speaking for you, when you can’t.