Apr 23, 2014

Kinetic sculptures made from popsicle sticks

posted by Larra Morris

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Joyce Lin, a design student at RISD, has produced a wonderful set of kinetic sculptures made from popsicle sticks and other media, produced in spare time during the semester. They're incredibly fun to watch and I'm sure they're a delight to play with in person.
via Boing Boing

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Apr 23, 2014

Study confirms monkeys can do math

posted by Larra Morris

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Scientists have long suspected that monkeys are capable of mental arithmetics and a new study is helping them prove it. A research team led by neurobiologist Margaret Livingstone trained three rhesus macaques to identify symbols representing the numbers zero to 25. They then taught the test subjects how to perform addition. To eliminate the possibility of rote learning, the team had the monkeys learn an entirely different set of symbols representing the numbers zero to 25. The monkeys were able to reapply their previous knowledge to the new set and continue performing basic mathematics.
via The Verge

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Image: Margaret S. Livingstone 

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Apr 22, 2014

Watch as swarms of micro-robots run around making stuff

posted by Laura Domela

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We're all familiar with ant colonies, where every tiny creature is running around doing just what it needs to. Well it looks like SRI International has taken inspiration from the giant mounds of insects, to create their own swarms of tiny worker robots that can put together mechanical assemblies and electronic circuits.

Diamagnetic Micro Manipulation (DM3) uses tiny magnets that move under a circuit board, to get the micro-robots to follow a set pattern based on a set of preprogrammed instructions. The system can be set up so just one or a couple of robots are working together, or you can have giant groups of them moving together in sync like some bizarre gymnastics routine. Despite their tiny size, the robots can move up to a foot in a single second, so they can haul around your micro manufacturing supplies pretty swiftly.
via DVICE

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Image: SRI International
 

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Apr 22, 2014

Lytro’s new Snapdragon-powered “light field” camera coming in July

posted by Laura Domela

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We last looked at Lytro's funny little tube camera a couple of years ago when we sat down with one of the devices during a crowded PR event at 2012's CES. The camera's light field capture technology uses a high-megapixel CMOS sensor to record a large amount of "extra" data points over a standard camera CMOS sensor. Rather than using the extra data to pump up the scene's resolution, the camera instead tries to capture a holistic representation of the rays of light it sees. This, coupled with some software magic, allows Lytro cameras to set or alter a picture's focus point after the picture has been taken.

Although Lytro's initial product was small and relatively low-resolution, this July the company will be releasing an updated and vastly improved model: the Lytro Illum. Engadget has posted a lengthy hands-on with the Illum, which sports a sleek exterior that begs to be touched.
via ars technica

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Image: Lytro

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Apr 22, 2014

An electronic orchestra created using 30 cell phones and four pagers

posted by Larra Morris

Wireless telecommunications company SK Telecom celebrates 30 years of mobile history in Korea with a mobile orchestra made up of 30 cell phones and four pagers. The devices play a version of a song from another SK Telecom ad.
via Laughing Squid

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Apr 22, 2014

Twisting mirror bridge reflects every detail of a Shanghai street

posted by Larra Morris

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UNStudio has created a beautifully constructed archway that brightens up the retail sphere of Xintiandi Mall in China. Because it's lined with mirrors, you can track your movements from beginning to end and watch your surroundings skip playfully across the different planes of the mall's entrance. It's like walking down the inside of a wormhole—except you stay safely grounded in both time and space.

The installation also serves as an artistic statement on consumerism, reflecting a warped vision of the activity around it.
via Gizmodo

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Image: UNStudio

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Apr 22, 2014

Hexapod robot can transform, roll out in a ball

posted by Larra Morris

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This is Norwegian engineer Kåre "Zenta" Halvorsen's MorpHex, a hexapod robot that can transform and roll out in a ball.
via Geekologie

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Apr 21, 2014

This is how an engineer feels when he's surrounded by idiots

posted by Laura Domela

My engineer friend George sometimes looks at me as if I'm a rancid chicken wing in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

He doesn't understand why I don't think logically, rationally, understandably -- in short, why I don't think like him.

It causes him to foam at the lips and emit high-pitched noises, not unlike those created by sheepdogs that have been run over by tractors.

I never quite grasped what his problem was until I saw a YouTube video called "The Expert."
via cnet

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Apr 21, 2014

Italy wants to turn its old bridges into inverted skyscrapers

posted by Larra Morris

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Southern Italy is dotted with hulking aqueducts that went out of service years ago. In an attempt to find a new use for the structures in lieu of tearing it down, the government held a competition. One of the winning designs will blow your mind.

This proposal to repurpose an abandoned concrete viaduct in Calabria could be described as a series of connected, inverted skyscrapers. Dreamt up by the always impressive team at Oxo Architecture, the plan not only rethinks the bridge structure but also the very idea of neighborhoods. The structure's location high up and near the ocean makes for incredible views—so why not build a new kind of community to enjoy the splendor.
via Gizmodo

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Image: Oxo Architecture

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Apr 21, 2014

This incredible animation was made by code that could fit on a floppy disc

posted by Laura Domela

This is no 20 GB video file, painstakingly pulled from a render farm. All of it was generated in real time by one tiny algorithm. And it's amazing.

Every Easter, the town of Saarbrücken, Germany, plays host to Revision, a demoparty where hundreds of programmers and artists get together for four days of showing off. This year, the demoscene group Mercury unveiled an incredible 64k intro called The Timeless. Since the file size is limited to 64 kilobytes, the graphics and music are all generated algorithmically in real time—this is called procedural generation.
via Gizmodo

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