‘Info-bulbs’ can turn almost anything into interactive surfaces
From Digital Trends:
Back in the 1980s, people working on bringing the graphical user interface to PCs adopted the metaphor of the desktop to help people understand how to use their personal computers. Here in 2017, the technology exists to let us expand our computer interfaces out beyond our machines, and onto our real life desks.
That’s the basis for a new project developed by Carnegie Mellon’s ever-interesting Future Interfaces Group (FIG). They’ve created a nifty interface concept that allows your regular work desk to transform into one giant touchscreen — and even compensates for your desk being cluttered. If you thought the iPad Pro was big, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
“We believe the time has come to re-imagine the light bulb as a 21st century computational appliance, illuminating our days not just with light, but information,” Professor Chris Harrison, head of FIG, told Digital Trends. “Instead of simply emitting light when a switch is flipped, why can we not emit structured light, more akin to a digital projector? Further, wherever the light may fall could become an interactive surface, infused with rich communication, creation and information retrieval capabilities.”
Check out this funny little jumping robot
From IEEE Spectrum:
Last December, Duncan Haldane, whose research on incredibly agile bio-inspired robots, ended up on the cover of the inaugural issue of Science Robotics with his jumping robot, Salto. Salto had impressive vertical jumping agility, and was able to jump from the ground onto a vertical surface, and then use that surface to change its direction with a second jump. It was very cool to watch, but the jumping was open-loop and planar, meaning that two jumps in a row was just about all that Salto could manage.
Haldane mentioned to us in December that future work on Salto could include chaining together multiple jumps, and in a paper just accepted to the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), he and co-author Justin Yim at UC Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab, led by Professor Ronald Fearing, show the improvements that they’ve made over the last six months. Thanks to some mechanical fine-tuning and the clever addition of a pair of thrusters, the new Salto-1P is jumping longer, faster, and higher than ever.
Autonomous police cars patrol the streets of Dubai
From Popular Mechanics:
Small self-driving cars will act as mobile surveillance units for the Dubai police by the end of the year. First reported by the Gulf News, the vehicle is about the size of a children’s toy car and is built by Singapore-based start-up OTSAW Digital.
They’re officially known as O-R3, and the company says that the Dubai police will use the robots to “fulfill low-level order enforcement tasks,” which include scanning an area “for wanted criminals and undesirables.” Capable of 360-degree surveillance, the bot comes with its own drone to further investigations.
In a press statement, the commander of the Dubai Police Force, Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, said: “We seek to augment operations with the help of technology such as robots. Essentially, we aim for streets to be safe and peaceful even without heavy police patrol.” The addition of the 0-R3 is (in) line with the Dubai goal of a 25 per cent robotic police force by 2030.”
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