Fembot!!

10 Nov
Synopsis: Engineers of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Media
Interaction group have developed a Fembot, a female robot,HRP-4 which can sing,dance,breathe,tilt its head,blinks,opens her mouth and show facial expressions mimicking a singer. This was done using breathe analysis software
and mouth movement observations. This robot danced with a bunch of other
human performers on stage and it was difficult to identify the robot in the group.
This team has also developed this robot to breathe realistically by modelling the
breathe of real people. The robot tilts its head,feels the beat, rhythm and shows
human emotions as the real singers do.
Opinion: I feel this is a break through in robotics to develop such a robot which
can ape human emotions,movements and also can breathe realistically. This
robot is surely gonna give the pop stars and divas a run for their money!!

Video:

Information Courtesy:

http://www.fastcompany.com/1695928/hrp4c-robot-aist-dancing-android

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-10/video-realistic-japanese-fembot-sings-creepy-tune

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Apple Peel 520!

22 Oct

Do you possess an ipod touch? Wish it had calling option too?? Not interested in investing in iphone? Well, presenting… “Apple Peel”

What is an “Apple Peel”?

It is a device invented by a Chinese firm,Yosion Technology to turn Ipod Touch into an Iphone and facilitates calling from your ipod touch. Interesting? Read on..

 

How does it work?

The accessory fixes onto the iPod Touch and comes with a dock connector; built-in 800mAh battery (rated for 4.5 hours of talk time and five days on standby); and SIM card slot. It will only work with a jailbroken ipod touch as the Yosion and YsSMS apps have to be installed for calling and messaging, and these will be able to run in the background.

The Peel 520 will initially launch with a silicone rubber case, but a plastic version can be expected in the future.

It will be available online for about $57 with a one-year warranty.

Note: Peel 520 doesn’t turn the iPod Touch into a full-fledged phone.

Demerits:

1>No auto screen lock when the handset is next to the ear

2>No caller name/number display.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20013347-1.html#ixzz12SRdi9n5

Augmented Reality

15 Oct

I was surfing the web to find a topic for my technology presentation, and I suddenly bumped upon “Augmented Reality”. I was fascinated by this technology and decided to delve deeper on it to present it to my class.

This is what I presented to my class:

Augmented Reality: After seeing the movie Terminator, many of us would have imagined,how nice it would be to visually scan objects in real world and obtain information about the same. But,Today,we have that technology in place which helps us to do so. This is called Augmented Reality.

What is “Augmented Reality?”

It is the technology that  superimposes digital information, graphics, audio,pictures and videos onto real world environment.

Basically,we have used camera in our phones to capture images and videos. Now,we can even use the camera for retrieving and displaying digital information of real world environment.

Technologies mostly used in A.R:
A camera to view the real world.
A GPS system if it’s a location based AR
An image processing program
An internet connection to send and receive information
A display to view the augmented information.

How does it work?

The camera captures the world as seen through its lens and shows it on the screen. The GPS and the compass determines the exact location. Image Processing takes place and digital information is retrieved over a mobile Internet connection and augmented on the mobile screen.

Where is Augmented Reality used Today?
1> Yelp :Yelp is an augmented reality app used in iphone and android based phones. Turning on the app,shows you nearby places you are searching for like restaurants,grocery stores,hospitals, twitter or facebook friends,building,houses for rent etc.
Suppose you are searching for restaurants, when you turn on the yelp app on your iphone,you can see names of few resturants displayed on your screen. When you click on one restaurant,it shows you the details of that perticular restaurant like ratings,reviews,menu etc.
I actually took out my iphone and ended up showing demo of “Yelp” app  to scan for restaurants and thereby illustrating Augmented Reality during my presentation. 🙂
Video showing usage of Yelp app on iphone!


2>Layar: It is another app with similar functionality used in iPhone, and phones using Google’s Android operating system.
3>Wikitude: an Android mobile app that displays digital information from wikipedia onto the real worl environment.It is described on its website as “a mobile travel guide.

4>Education:Augmented reality systems in combination with other technologies such as WiFi could also be used to provide instant information to its users. like deeper knowledge to students when they look at things.. eg:formation of clouds,structure of buildings etc.

5>Gaming and entertainment: To give the users, real environments as backdrops for his game and to make the user’s senses perceive that he truly is one of the characters in the game.

6> Military: providing field soldiers crucial information about their surroundings as well as friendly troops and enemy movements in their particular area.
Sources: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/augmented_reality_the_web_present_and_future_scena.php

Google’s Robotic Car

15 Oct

Internet giant,Google takes a plunge from search engines into Robotics! Google recently released “Robotic Cars” which drove successfully through Lambard Street,California all along Golden Gate bridge.

Glimpse of Lambard Street:


Technology used in Robotic or Self driving Cars:

Automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps (which we collect using manually driven vehicles) to navigate the road ahead. This is all made possible by Google’s data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by robotic cars when mapping their terrain.

Test Drive :

Google Instant & You Tube Instant

20 Sep

Google Instant: Google, the Internet’s most widely used search engine, announced an update last week called Google Instant that automatically refreshes the page with results as a search query is typed, forgoing the need to press the enter button.

Previously,Google search engine used to predict keywords and display results after hitting the “Enter” key. But now,Google Instant predicts and displays results as you start typing in the search box!

Video explaining “Google Instant”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0eMHRxlJ2c

You Tube Instant: Hours after the launch of “Google Instant”,Stanford University student Feross Aboukhadijeh was inspired by it and he had a bet with his room mate that he could create “YouTube Instant” within an hour. But it took nearly 3 hours for him to create you tube instant. He later posted the website url on his facebook and twitter pages asking his friends to check out his new invention,YouTube Instant. Within hours,he received countless e-mails congratulating him, a bevy of interview requests, a server flooded with Web traffic, the creation of a Wikipedia entry in his name, and — perhaps most notably — a job offer from YouTube CEO Chad Hurley via Twitter!!

Is this what we call Instant Fame??!!

Now any phone is touch screen phone!

20 Sep

Cambridge, UK, firm Input Dynamics is lauches a new software fix that turns any “dumbphone” into a touchscreen device.  Requiring no additional hardware, the system uses acoustic technology to turn every inch of a phone’s casing into touch-sensitive real estate.

TouchDevice, as it’s called, relies on the phone’s microphone rather than expensive touchscreen surfaces to figure out the location of a tap, scratch, scroll, or swipe on the phone’s body. That means you can tap icons on the screen as on a conventional touchscreen phone, but also scroll through screens by swiping a finger along the side of the body, or call up hot-key commands using a special tap sequence on the phone’s backside.

The software uses the phone’s built-in microphone to pick up the unique acoustic signature produced by certain finger gestures – tapping, swiping, etc. – on the phone’s casing. It instantly converts those gestures into software commands that correspond with the phone’s own OS. Right now the software works with single crisp taps from a finger or stylus, but Input Dynamics is refining its algorithms to detect and respond to several more distinct signatures, and will at some point be able to process multiple signatures at once, converting old cell phones into multi-touch devices.

The software is still in concept, but Input Dynamics says they are talking to several big-name phone manufacturers about adopting the software for future phones. In the meantime, it can be uploaded to existing models to turn current inventories into touchscreen devices. Which means you may soon see smart touchscreen tech coming to a dumbphone near you.

Information Courtesy:Popsi.com

Double Rainbow!!

20 Jul

Check out this video of “Double Rainbow”!!

Plane flies for 82 hours continuously!

20 Jul

An unmanned solar aircraft has smashed the world record for continuous flight.

The “Zephyr” plane, developed by UK defense technology company, QinetiQ, took off from the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona on July 9. Seven days on, it was still flying high.

Zephyr program director, Jon Saltmarsh told CNN: “It’s extremely exciting. What we now have is an eternal plane. It has the same amount of fuel at the start of one day as it does at the start of another.”

The aircraft has already doubled its own unofficial record of over 82 hours and smashed the previous world record for unmanned flight of 30 hours and 24 minutes, set in 2001 by U.S. aerospace company, Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4A Global I.

The Zephyr project was conceived in 2001 and secured funding from the UK’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) three years later. After several prototypes, Saltmarsh believes QinetiQ has now created an aircraft that demonstrates genuine military utility.

“It has the persistence to stay up there for long periods of time and it carries payloads that are doing things that the military will find useful.”

QinetiQ also says it will save the military money, performing many of the tasks currently carried out by manned aircraft.

Weighing just 53 kilograms (117 pounds), the plane has a wingspan of 22.5 meters (74 feet) and a wing area of around 30 square meters (323 square feet), the top side of which is covered in solar panels thinner than a sheet of paper.

The panels are rigged up to lithium-sulphur batteries which power the plane at night.

QinetiQ began building the latest Zephyr model 18 months ago and hope to start full scale military trials a year from now.

The company says that Zephyr will also find a civilian use helping communications in disaster relief situations, as well as forest fire monitoring.

“You can sit above a fire, with heat sensor technology and identify hotspots very quickly,” Saltmarsh said.

Zephyr shows no sign of running out of power anytime soon, and Saltmarsh is hopeful it will stay in the air for another seven days,when the plane will finally return to Earth.

Courtesy:CNN

Google’s App Inventor

19 Jul

Google has released a new tool,”App Inventor” which facilitates the users to build applications! “Programming is NOT a Rocket Science anymore! This tool enables the user with zero programming skills to build applications!

You visually design the way the app looks and use blocks to specify the app’s behavior.

The App Inventor team has created blocks for just about everything you can do with an Android phone, as well as blocks for doing “programming-like” stuff– blocks to store information, blocks for repeating actions, and blocks to perform actions under certain conditions. There are even blocks to talk to services like Twitter.

Iphone 4

19 Jul


Features of Iphone 4:
1>Dual camera on front and back of the phone.
2>Introducing “Video Calling”.
3>Highest Resolution display ever on a phone. 364 Pixels per inch,you get 4 times the pixels as before. This is achieved by “Optical Lamination”.
4>Enables “Multi Tasking”. You can easily and quickly switch between applications.
5>Ability to create Folders. This feature is also upgraded in iphone 3GS recently.
6>Multiple thread emails are categorised under single email.
7>Camera -5 MP to capture images. Camera is also facilitated to capture 720P High Definition video. You can also edit your video.
8>Built in A4 chip which facilitates remarkable speed and efficiency!
9>Battery size is increased which delivers 40% more talktime.

Check this video!