Air Hockey Robot Doesn't Puck Around
This week, it's all about the outdoors, whether it's for fun, for adventure, exploration or for Olympic gold. Check out the latest gadgets gone wild.
A robotic boat and a flying hexacopter have teamed up to form the Riverwatch system, developed by the European Clearing House for Open Robotics Development. The duo are designed to cooperate to collect data from rivers and lakes. The hexacopter scans the area from the air and then transmits navigational information to the boat, directing it to areas of suspected pollution for example, or providing a route that avoids obstacles.
Camping is not for everyone. The idea of "roughing it" in the woods without the amenities of modern society is enough to give some people the heebie-jeebies. But luxury camping, or glamping — now
another story. South Korea-based Archiworkshop combined comfort and tradition to make "tents" that give a camper a sense of home.
Ice skaters, walkers and other winter enthusiasts playing along the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg, Canada, will be happy to see these colorful sculptures that also double as warming huts. Called Nuzzles, the huts are made from foam bristles, otherwise known as pool noodles. Each one has a heated, lit core. Toronto-based RAW Design won first prize in the city'sWarming Hut competition
with their concept.
This year's U.S. Olympic bobsled team will be racing a machine designed by BMW. In 2012, the German automaker joined the the U.S. Bobsled federation to redesign the sled's aerodynamics. The new, more aerodynamic sled is 50 pounds lighter than the previous models and is expected to reach speeds of 90 mph.
Bryan Young and Noah Marciniak, Young Projects
In Times Square until the beginning of March, this magenta sculpture called Match-Maker may spark love in the heart of the Big Apple. It's made of aluminum tubes that contain mirrors and work like periscopes. Visitors position themselves around the sculpture at one of 12 points corresponding with their astrological sign. When a person looks into a tube, she will see the four most “ideal astrological mates,” according to creators Bryan Young and Noah Marciniak from the Brooklyn-based studio Young Projects.
This art installation called The Ark, created by Romain Tardy, is in a botanical garden in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The artist projects a dynamic display of lights combined with music and narration onto cacti. The results are hypnotic. See a videohere
: The project is part of the European group AntiVJ, which specializes in light installations.
The Hy-Fi structure, designed by architect David Benjamin, will open in Queens at MoMa PS1 in late June. It will form from bricks made of corn husks and mycelium, the vegetative part of fungus. The material will be chopped up and put into rectangular molds. Over the course of a few days, the mycelium will eat the husks. What's left after the digested substance solidifies, are lightweight blocks that, over time, will grown into the tower.
Lifehand 2 / Patrizia Tocci
For the first time, an amputee has used a bionic hand to obtain a sense of touch. The prosthetic has sensors that measure touch and pressure and convert tension from artificial tendons into an electrical current. Algorithms turns the electrical current into an impulse that nerves in amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen’s arm are able to receive and interpret.
Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Avegant is releasing their Glyph headset, which works both as audio earphones and cinematic goggles. As a head display, the goggles use 2 million microscopic mirrors -- 1 million per eye -- to project high-resolution video, including 3-D, directly onto the wearer's retinas.
This week, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), approved the use of the “PillCam,” a swallowable device meant to be used in place of the traditional colonoscopy, which due to anatomy, previous surgeries or colon diseases, more than 750,000 U.S. patients are unable to undergo. The pill has two mini cameras that take high-speed photos as it winds its way through the patient's digestive system. Images are transmitted to a recording device worn around the patient's waist. After the pill has passed, doctors can review the photos for signs of colon cancer.
A new music video harkens back to an optical illusion fad of the 1980s. Remember the autostereogram poster? One only needed to stare at the jumble of nonsensical shapes for a minute or two until suddenly an image popped into view. Canada-based Young Rivals used a Microsoft Kinect to do a similar thing invideo
. Don't get cross-eyed.
I’d like to think I’m a decent air hockey player, but I’m not match for what Jose Julio built. Using 3-D printer parts and a PlayStation 3 camera, the Spanish hacker constructed an air hockey-playing robot that’s not only a pretty good shot, but one heck of a goal tender, too.
After designing the air hockey table, using two PC fans create the cushion of air, Julio got to work dismantling his RepRap 3-D printer. The printer’s stepper motors, drivers, belts, bearing and rods were all repurposed to bring his air hockey robot to life. Julio developed a vision system by attaching a PS3 EYE camera, which tracks the puck’s trajectory and moves the robot into place for a block.
“Now the robot could easily beat a child. An adult with some experience can still the robot, but I am sure that with some more small improvements it is going to be really hard to beat,” Julio wrote on his blog.