Friday, March 30, 2007

Monkey With Robot Arm

I can comprehend the potential benifits to amputees and spinal injury patients but I still feel bad for the monkey.

Saturn Mystery

So what's the mystery? Its completely obvious that its the early process of terraforming by some alien colonization program of Saturn....duh.

"'s the north pole of Saturn, shot by the Cassini probe in the infrared--but the real question is why it is. Where did that hexagonal shape come from? NASA says "this and other images acquired over a 12-day period between Oct. 30 and Nov. 11, 2006, show that the feature is nearly stationary, and likely is an unusually strong pole-encircling planetary wave that extends deep into the atmosphere."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Military Ray Gun

Vehicle-Mounted Active Denial System (V-MADS)

"Active Denial Technology is a breakthrough non-lethal technology that uses millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy to stop, deter and turn back an advancing adversary from relatively long range. It is expected to save countless lives by providing a way to stop individuals without causing injury, before a deadly confrontation develops.

Active Denial Technology uses a transmitter to send a narrow beam of 95-GHz millimeter waves towards an identified subject. Traveling at the speed of light, the energy reaches the subject and penetrates less than 1/64 of an inch into the skin, quickly heating up the skin's surface. The 95-GHz energy penetrates 1/64 inch into the skin and produces an intense burning sensation that stops when the transmitter is switched off or when the individual moves out of the beam. Within seconds, an individual feels an intense heating sensation that stops when the transmitter is shut off or when the individual moves out of the beam. According to reports, a 2-second burst from the system can heat the skin to a temperature of 130° F. At 50 °C, the pain reflex makes people pull away automatically in less than a second. Someone would have to stay in the beam for 250 seconds before it burnt the skin.

Countermeasures against the weapon could be quite straightforward — for example covering up the body with thick clothes or carrying a metallic sheet — or even a trash can lid — as a shield or reflector. Also unclear is how the active-denial technology would work in rainy, foggy or sea-spray conditions where the beam's energy could be absorbed by water in the atmosphere."

In media reports its been stated:

"The millimeter waves cannot go through walls or glass, but they can penetrate most clothing, officials said."

So there seems to be a fair amount of defense techniques that could make this weapon less effective than one might imagine, a suicide car bomber just needs to make sure he has a windshield and that his windows are rolled up. In addition what is meant by "most" clothing, it wouldn't take much to determine what materials and thickness would minimize the beam's effect.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Packet Garden

A very cool information visualization program that makes a little world out of your packet data when your online. I've seen many of these before but I really like the idea of creating a world that you can latter explore.

Packet Garden captures information about how you use the internet and uses this stored information to grow a private world you can later explore.

To do this, Packet Garden takes note of all the servers you visit, their geographical location and the kinds of data you access. Uploads make hills and downloads valleys, their location determined by numbers taken from internet address itself. The size of each hill or valley is based on how much data is sent or received.

Via core77

Monday, January 15, 2007

iPhone sucks

It's not that I don't like Apple's designs and I do think they push the design envelope quite abit I just can't help but try and look at any new product that receives such high praises and accolates upon its unveiling with a skeptical eye. So after looking at the iPhone for a little while I've come to the conclusion that it sucks. Alot of other people have started "lists" of why the new iPhone sucks so I'll be joining that minority.

1. Apple iPhone has no 3G. Just EDGE.

2. Apple iPhone has a 2 Megapixel camera. Nokia's got a 5 Megapixel camera phone coming out and most on the market already have 3 Megapixel, so their camera is already out of date.

3. Apple iPhone has either 4Gb or 8Gb of memory. Ok the iPod nano has 4Gb or 8Gb a normal iPod 30Gb or 80Gb, so why max it out with just 8Gb?!

4. Apple iPhone battery. With the 3.5 inch touch screen, listening to your mp3s and surfing the internet that thin battery will drain pretty fast for any phone calls you might actually make.

5. Apple iPhone price tag. At $499 for the 4Gb and $599 for the 8Gb that'll severly limit the people who can afford, hell you can buy a brand new entry level Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop for $649!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Strandbeest - Wind Robot

Since about ten years Theo Jansen is occupied with the making of a new nature. Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic matierial of this new nature. He makes skeletons which are able to walk on the wind. Eventualy he wants to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.

Definately go to his website and check out all his other work and their are DVDs of more of the wind walking machines. They are very impressive.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sweating Robots

VIDA 9.0 is an anual international competition created to reward excellence in artistic creativity in the fields of Artificial Life and related disciplines. Projects include autonomous robots, avatars, recursive chaotic algorithms, knowbots, cellular automata, computer viruses, virtual ecologies that evolve with user participation, and works that highlight the social side of Artificial Life. This year's winner was Alexitimia by Paula Gaetano Adi.

"Alexitimia is a term that means the incapacity to verbalize emotions, and it is the name of this robot that looks nothing like a robot. Alexitimia invites contemplation as it quietly exudes a dual impression of severity in its form and sensuousness in its surface. It passively invites a viewer to resort to touch, so as to satisfy an inevitable curiosity about what it is made of. Its only response is an autonomic body phenomenon: sweating."

Initially I thought a sweating robot was something very unique and a concept only possible as a an artistic pursuit. But with a little investigation it turns out sweating robots have been around awhile and are pretty common.

"Although thermal manikin technologies have been used to evaluate clothing comfort and heat stress for many years, no other manikin systems possess the unique measurement capabilities incorporated in Coppelius. The Coppelius manikin is capable of internally generating a controlled supply of moisture through 187 individually controlled sweat glands. Moisture and heat loss can be continuously monitored for full clothing ensembles in a variety of climatic conditions and simulated activity levels. The ability to precisely control sweating over lengthy test periods has been lacking in previous thermal manikin technologies."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

UFOs on Mars?

No not really. It's just NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft, so why is this significant?

" NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft appears twice in the same frame in this image from the Mars Orbiter Camera aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. The camera's successful imaging of Odyssey and of the European Space Agency's Mars Express in April 2005 produced the first pictures of any spacecraft orbiting Mars taken by another spacecraft orbiting Mars."

That's right, "...the first pictures of any spacecraft orbiting Mars taken by another spacecraft orbiting Mars."