Monday, 30 June 2008

Nano Solar Paper made by printing press

Breakthrough in the production of solar electricity cells: Printing of solar cells (video), using nanoparticle ink. World's first 1GW solar production tool, is just like printing newspapers. Nanosolar is currently one of the great hopes for cheap electricity production.

Nanosolar has developed proprietary process technology that makes it possible to produce 100x thinner solar cells 100x faster .


Sunday, 29 June 2008

Robot Clarinet wins International Orchestra competition

A robot clarinet designed by a team from UNSW and NICTA has won first prize with The Flight of the Bumblebee in the final, with second going to a Dutch developed guitar-picking robot which was followed by a Finnish piano-playing machine.

The Artemis orchestra competition was held in Athens, and the goal of the competition is to raise awareness about the growing capacity and applications of embedded computer systems. The contest rules require embedded device robots, with mass less than 20 kg, that play unmodified musical instruments.

Here is the background and explanatory video and here is the actual prize winning Flight of the Bumblebee piece.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Yellow Drum Machine 11 - Stroll 11 Roll

Yellow Drum Machine 11 is a homemade robot that plays beats on stuff it finds, samples it, mixes the samples.. It acts on its own (autonomous drumming machine robot, non stop motion or remote controlled).

The trick with the beat that is mixed in on this video, was simply done by subtracting the rhythm recorded from the robot on the video, and adding this to the video's sound track.

Yellow Drum Machine Bot was made for Audiofile Engineering, and the robot will be a prize in a contest. Visit here for details on entering the competition

Frits Lyneborg made the robot and video see more robots and other like Yellow Drum Machine Bot here.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Control UAVs remotely from an iPhone's web browser

As the title suggests the project enables an individual to remotely control the flight directory of a UAV and to record visuals all from the iphone interface.

Watch the mission flown at 2008 Teaching and Technology Conference. inwhich the project team uses an iPhone to pick tasks for its drone squadron, input a set of coordinates for a local reconnaissance mission, and send the planes new orders while the aircraft are in the sky.

This capacity is good news for reconnaissance and crisis surveillance response !


Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Well if you can't Take Her For A Spin, she May take one herself !

A lady spins around .........

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Comcast's Throttled Ultra HD Video Building Entrance

Comcast presents a 10 million pixel video display and covers over 700 square metres of wall space with four-millimetre LED lights. The images and video that play on this super screen do so with a resolution that's five times that of HDTV. Comcast ended up paying Barco $22 million for the wall display and accompanying automated control room, which handles about 27,000 gigabytes of information. If you have 10 minutes to spare, the impressive presentation video of this thing in action is definitely worth a view, although one may imagine that there is a huge difference merely watching a 10 minute video here on youtube than experiencing it in the flesh as people in the vicinity may, and its open in the lobby of the Comcast Centre in Philadelphia with projections for 18 hours a day.

Read further about Comcast's throttled ultra HD video installation and engineering here.


Monday, 23 June 2008

The Cloud: Organic Interactive Fibreoptic Sculpture

The Cloud was created by MIT's Mobile Experience Lab

An organic sculptural landmark that responds to human interaction and expresses context awareness using hundreds of sensors and over 16,000 individually addressable optical fibers. Constructed of carbon glass, spanning over four metres, and containing more than 65 kilometres of fibre optics, the Cloud encourages visitors to touch and interact with information in new ways, manifesting emotions and behavior through sound and a dichotomy of luminesence and darkness.

Each fibre can be regarded as a changeable pixel which responds to different types of sensors. The proximity sensors will pick up on people approaching the Cloud and track how they move around it. The touch sensors to track where someone is touching the structure. The video shows the beautiful light changes as a woman walks by it and the responses of the fiber optice lights when she touches it in various ways.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Digiwall: An Interactive Architecture Experience

Digiwall presents full body interactive gaming with touch senses

DigiWall is a new type of product that can be described as a physical computer game. At a first glance it looks like a conventional climbing wall but the wall is equipped with computer-game-technology. The result is a climbing wall that provides you with feedback in the form of sound and music, thereby making climbing more fun and encouraging physical activity. DigiWall® will boost the fun factor for kids and adults of all ages in a range of settings such as adventure parks, hotels, sport facilities and youth recreation centres.



Saturday, 21 June 2008

Peter Murphy's Panorama of Apple store opening in George St Sydney

The Apple store in George St Sydney officially opened on thursday evening and is the first to open in the southern hemisphere. The store's transparent architectural facade adds depth to the street-scape as per;

A set of schematic drawings compiled by Apple's architectural partner, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, depict a wide but shallow retail mecca totaling some 15,000 square feet -- about 5,000 square feet per floor. A trademark glass staircase appears to run lengthwise across the right rear.

Of the three floors, the street level floor mainly has the laptops, the first floor is predominately the iProduct line of iMac, iPod, iTouch and on July 11 the iPhone. Meanwhile, the top floor will be reserved specifically for customer service and include a sprawling genius bar made of wood dedicated to sorting out hardware and software problems and glitches

Peter now also has Flash versions of his panoramas but requires macs to use the command key to zoom out, whereas the Quicktime version here use the control key to zoom out.


Friday, 20 June 2008

Frederick's Pen Rant

Frederick doesn't like Pens, swords are better

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Robot Talent Agency Emerges for Droids

Human scale robots are now seemingly to be called Droids which the Wikipedia defines as;

A droid is a kind of robot, specifically an intelligent robot as seen in the fictional Star Wars universe and sometimes Doctor Who, and has a minority appearance in Ben 10. More specifically, droids are defined as self-aware robots, although this does not imply sentience.

Thus droids are now being sought after for video/tv advertising consequently The Droids Love Casting Agency were hired by a production company to find an appropriate droid to play a robot roommate part in the new Rexona / Degree / Sure global campaign.

Here is the link to the video advertisements featuring the accepted droids.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Automate; Camera Mount Roboticizes Ubiquitous Panoramic Transversals for DSLR Cameras

Don French has invented a DSLR camera mount that offers ubiquitous capture management that can be programed to do time lapse movies, time lapse panoramas, event triggers and adds a PDA/cellphone interface as well so you can trigger it from a few feet away.

The various functions of AutoMate can be mixed and matched in unique ways. For example, the intervalometer can execute a program to take a series of photographs while moving the camera. You can tell the robot to take multiple photographs at every node of a panorama. You can even program the self timer to run complex programs if you so desire. Since everything is programmable by the user with a simple, easy-to-use interface, there are no limitations on what you can do.

View some of its features here. It may be worth noting that Automate is a complete package there are also more robust motorized mounts as can be seen here and should you require professional discussion about this topic then perhaps go to this Forum.


Tuesday, 17 June 2008

LED Video Displays: A Tour Of Times Square

If you've ever wondered about the technology driving the massive LED video screens you see all over cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, London and New York, John Woods goes behind the scenes at Times Square.

More crazy though is One Times Square is completely empty, the owner makes enough just selling advertising space on the building itself. At a mere $300,000/month to advertise, who can blame him not wanting to deal with tenants.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Take a Seat a Robotic Chair

This looks like a simple seat, but it's really a robot. It's an RFID-enabled robotic chair which was designed specifically for use in libraries by Dutch designer Jelte van Geest who calls it Take a Seat !

The chair contains electronics, wheels, and an RFID tag. Upon entering the library, a user activate's a chair with their library card. The chair follows the person everywhere, offering up a place to sit wherever needed. Once the person leaves the building, the chair automatically returns to its docking station to re-juice and get ready for the next user.

While libraries might be the obvious location, airports and conference centers could also benefit. A multitude of chairs could be controlled by one access card and programmed to arrange themselves into a theater formation.


Sunday, 15 June 2008

The Conference Bike by Eric Staller

We live in an age of mobility and convenience. Our technology, our cars and laptops and cellphones, are insulating us more and more. The Conference bike is an antidote, a symbol and a tool for coming together: where the boardroom meets the gym, takes a ride in the park and says YES! to life.

This is one amusingly zany site, roll your mouse over the lists of other gadgets, sculptures, drawings and many other professionally produced wizardry's.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Tweel: Poised to take the Air out of the Tyre Industry

This grouse re-working of the car-wheel and tyre offers a much cheaper wheel and hub assembly. The Tweel combines wheel and tyre into one, performing and behaving like a pnuematic tyre without the use of any inflation pressure and with the safety benefit of never deflating.

The inner hub contains a matrix of deformable plastic structures that flex under load and return to their original shape.

Apparently the only reason this profound new invention from Michelin hasn't seen light of day in production vehicles is that the tweel is uncompromisingly noisey and as the car increases its speed so to does the noise !

Consequently the first commercial applications will be in lower-speed, lower-weight vehicles such as wheelchairs, scooters, and other such devices. like the iBOT mobility device and Segway’s Concept Centaur that were both introduced with Tweels.

The Emperor: Welcome to the Play-stalion Throne

The Emperor features three widescreen monitors, THX Dolby surround sound, air filtering, light therapy, a Web cam, battery backup and many other things to help you fantasize about being a tyrannical army commander.......... perhaps this throne were designed for Stephen Hawking except that they forgot the wheels.


Friday, 13 June 2008

Robotic hand Uses Pre Touch to Find Its Grip

Intel researchers have designed a robotic hand that is able to sense the general shape of objects before interacting with them.

The robotic hand gets a rough idea of what it's about to grasp by using electrolocation, as it's known, which is common in fish, particularly sharks, that detect electric fields better than any other animal. The robot hand bounces electric fields off of objects and then conform the hand to that shape in real time.

The researchers are using this technique in an attempt to give robots what they call Pre Touch, a sense that has a longer range than touch but a shorter range than vision.

Notice in this video, how the hand preforms to the shape of an object before it attempts to grasp it and the results are what can only be described as a strangely nervous robotic hand.


Thursday, 12 June 2008

David Byrne: Playing the Building

Music legend David Byrne transforms the Battery Maritime Building in NYC into a giant musical instrument, and Xeni joins him inside for a boingboing tv tour.

Playing the building is a sound installation in which the infrastructure, the physical plant of the building, is converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices are attached to the building structure — to the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, the water pipes — and are used to make these things produce sound. The activations are of three types: wind, vibration, striking. The devices do not produce sound themselves, but they cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument.

Playing the Building is open and free of charge to the public in New York City through August 10, 2008


Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The Paul Vo Edition Moog Guitar Does Infinite Sustain

Moog engineer Paul Vo invented this instrument which offers infinite sustain, perhaps reminiscent of Robert Fripp's use of a very particular set-up of tape loops known as Frippertronics ?

Musicians Lou Reid and Vernon Reid from Living Color among others share with us their experiences of its features which is not a guitar Synth and there is no MIDI.

The sounds you hear are not the result of post-processing they are coming from the strings. Infinite, powerful sustain is available at every fret position and on every string. At the flick of a switch the same power that is used to sustain the strings will immediately mute them. Sustain is controllable; the power to sustain and mute can be shifted between the neck and bridge pickups to create harmonic blends.

A downside if it is one is that you'll have to buy the guitar strings that Moog uses since they have a specific metallurgy designed to work with the Moog pickups. The pickups are simultaneously listening to the strings and controlling them.


Tuesday, 10 June 2008

The Get Out Clause, Manchester stars of surveillance video

This is a really witty, cool concept for a video. Unable to afford a proper video production The Get Out Clause an unsigned band from Manchester UK. made a music video entirely using publicly available feeds from CCTV in London.

Apparently citizens are allowed to request any footage in which they appeared within the last 30 days. The Get Out Clause used this aspect of the law to their advantage, getting the city to film its music video for free !


Monday, 9 June 2008

Blue Hole Dahab 3D computer graphics

Blue Hole dive site at Dahab in the Red Sea

Nicknamed the "Divers' Cemetery," with more than 70 fatalities, Dahab's Blue Hole is basically a coral lagoon which opens to the Red Sea through a tunnel known as "the Arch." The roof of the Arch lies at a depth of 52 m (170 ft). The featureless depths beyond the Arch render the tunnel to the open sea appear shorter than it really is; in addition, a shoreward current causes the 26 m (85 ft) swim through the tunnel longer than its physical distance suggest it to be. The base of the Arch rests at 120 m (393 ft), after which it plunges to 1000+ m (3280+ ft) beyond. Scores of divers have fallen victim to its deceptive nature. The bottom of the Blue Hole is littered with scuba equipment and the bodies of their former owners; the cliffs around the bay bear their epitaphs.

Here is a more detailed appreciation for divers who are contemplating a dive into the the abyss of the Blue Hole Dahab.

Infosculpture entitled Urgently !

Urgently! is an info-sculpture that explores such phenomena as information overload, Web 2.0 and information aesthetics. News coming from the Internet in real time, is thrown right away into a giant recycle bin in order to be updated at the next moment. A snake-like LED display coming in and out the bin shows the RSS feeds from various news channels. Urgently! metaphorically represents digital data - an endless flow of information that is updated every second and gets obsolete and trashed immediately after that. The piece is wirelessly connected to a computer network in order to retrieve the data. A user can select news channels and control update period.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Sphinx Of Giza Secret Revealed

What they found is unbelievable and the next question is what's underneath Pyramid of Giza ??!!

Burkina Electric: presents Sankar Yaaré (DJ Spooky Remix)

This video is a DJ Spooky remix of the song "Sankar Yaaré" and contains live concert footage and impressions from the road.

Burkina Electric is the first electronica band from Burkina Faso, in the deep interior of West Africa. With its main base in the music scene of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital, it is, at the same time, an international band, with members living in New York, U.S.A. and Düsseldorf, Germany, as well as in Ouaga. In Burkina Electric's music, the traditions and rhythms of Burkina Faso meet and mingle with contemporary electronic dance culture.

The core band consists of four musicians and two dancers, often augmented by guests.

Many of the songs are built upon ancient rhythms of the Sahel such as the Mossi peoples' Waraba and Ouennenga, little-known even in Africa outside of Burkina.

Award-winning singer Maï Lingani, a star in Burkina Faso because of her unique voice and charismatic stage presence, sings in Moré, Dioula, Bissa, and French.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Energy From Waste Heat: Promises power on the cheap

Harry Schoell has invented a means of converting waste heat into something decidedly non-wasteful.

The Cyclone Waste Heat Engine (WHE) is a self-starting engine that operates in a low pressure, low temperature range. This feature allows the engine to run on waste heat emanating from an external source, such as the exhaust from an internal (or external) combustion engine, or the direct burning of biomass (i.e., processing garbage into methane would not be required). The Waste Heat Engine is also designed to run efficiently on solar heat without the installation of costly photovoltaic panels. Commercial applications for the engine include boosting the power and efficiency of large gasoline or diesel-powered generators. When installed to the exhaust system of an engine that can generate over 1000 degrees of heat, the WHE could materially increase overall horsepower and reduce fuel consumption. Additionally, once installed, the Waste Heat Engine could serve as a stand-by generator should the primary system shut down. Another major commercial application includes solar-power generators for homes or businesses. By attaching inexpensive panels to a roof, enough heat can be produced to run the Waste Heat Engine. Cyclone believes that such a system could be installed at a price of approximately 20% of the cost of comparable photovoltaic panel systems, while also providing home owners with a back-up power supply.

Engineering tv brings us the action in the (auto-playing) video, and in the second video at this portal Harry Schoell introduces his incredibly efficient lawnmower due for release in 2009.


Scientists Make Magnetic Fields Visible using animated Photographs

Magnetic fields are invisible, at least usually. But Scientists from NASA's Space Sciences Laboratory have made them visible as "animated photographs," using sound-controlled CGI and 3D compositing. It makes the fields, as explained by the scientists, dance in an absolutely hyper-cool movie.

The secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic, ever-changing geometries. All action takes place around NASA's Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, to recordings of space scientists describing their discoveries. Actual VLF audio recordings control the evolution of the fields as they delve into our inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent 'whistlers' produced by fleeting electrons. Are we observing a series of scientific experiments, the universe in flux, or a documentary of a fictional world ?

Here some more movies plus here is a video from the Japanese Solar Mission Hinode of the Sun’s magnetic field. Running time 01:41


Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Bo Diddley passes away aged 79

JACKSONVILLE - Bo Diddley, a founding father of rock 'n' roll whose distinctive "shave and a haircut, two bits" rhythm and innovative guitar effects inspired legions of other musicians, died Monday after months of ill health. He was 79. Diddley died of heart failure at his home in Archer, Fla., spokeswoman Susan Clary said. He had suffered a heart attack in August, three months after suffering a stroke while touring in Iowa. Doctors said the stroke affected his ability to speak, and he had returned to Florida to continue rehabilitation. The legendary singer and performer, known for his homemade square guitar, dark glasses and black hat, was an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and received a lifetime achievement award in 1999 at the Grammy Awards. Diddley appreciated the honors he received, "but it didn't put no figures in my checkbook; If you ain't got no money, ain't nobody calls you honey," he quipped. Born as Ellas Bates on Dec. 30, 1928, in McComb, Miss., Diddley was later adopted by his mother's cousin and took on the name Ellis McDaniel, which his wife always called him.When he was 5, his family moved to Chicago, where he learned the violin at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. He learned guitar at age 10 and entertained passers-by on street corners. By his early teens, Diddley was playing Chicago's Maxwell Street. "I came out of school and made something out of myself. I am known all over the globe, all over the world. There are guys who have done a lot of things that don't have the same impact that I had," he said.

Watch a 1960's video from Tina's compilation of video's on Wat.


Robot Engineers Draw More Heavily On Imitating Quirkiness in Nature

Researchers are increasingly Imitating Behavioral Quirkiness in Nature. Check out some RC Toys of Tomorrow that imitate salamander, a water stridert, mechanical cockroaches and some cool self-configuring robots.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Growing Pains

This animation is by Leo de Wijs a Dutch illustrator/designer/animator, and tells the story of a tree outgrown by an evolving city.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Nanowire Mesh: New 'Paper Towel For Oil Spills

Researchers at the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have created a membrane or a mat of nanowires with the touch and feel of paper, that can absorb up to 20 times its weight in oil, and can be recycled many times for future use. The oil itself can also be recovered.

According to the scientists this new nano material could also impact filtering and the purification of water and other organic pollutants.

Since the membrane is made of potassium manganese oxide, the nanowire is inexpensive to produce because the nanowires of which it is composed can be fabricated in larger quantities than other nanomaterials. The material is created in a similar way to paper.

Watch a video of this new material absorbing gaseoline (dyed blue) from water.


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