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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

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If you’re worried about losing your job to robots, this parcel sorting facility from China is not going to make you feel any better about the future. Cool though:

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A “Waldo” is a type of remote-control device, named after a science-fiction novella by Robert A. Heinlein, that’s used by everyone from NASA to the Muppets. It’s when a human controls the actions of a robot, usually through something like an electronic glove (Pacific Rim is an over-the-top example).

Danny Benedettelli has spent four years building a Waldo called Cyclops that he controls with a robotic exoskeleton. Brilliantly, it’s been built out of LEGO Mindstorms kit, an Android app, and a DIY kit micro-controller called an Arduino, all of which are (relatively) cheaply and easily available:

 

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We’ve had face-tracking software for a while now, with the Kinect, which has led to some cool real-time animation…

Animation matches head movement (FaceRig Live2D Module)

 

…but now researchers have built a face detection system that lets you impose your facial expressions on real people. The software uses a webcam to create a 3D model of your face in real time, then distorts it to fit the facial details in the target footage (of someone else’s face):

It’s not anywhere near the market yet, but it’s scarily good. I’m sure there’s already high-powered software out there for creating fake videos, but this looks like it could lower the barrier to entry significantly. Prepare to never believe anything you see again!

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Projection mapped dress

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Astroneer is an upcoming PC game that looks like what you’d get if you combined The Martian, Minecraft, and Journey (one of my favourite games).

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Here’s the full trailer, which makes it look pretty rad, Martian sand storms and all:

 

It’s also interesting to see how the final cartoony animation style, (which I love, it walks a fine line between cutesy and realistic), evolved from the initial concept art:

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Laser etching a wine barrel:

Laser etching wine barrel(via)

 

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Japanese ketchup company Kagome has taken product placement to another level. Unimpressed that most marathon runners rely on bananas as a fuel source, they decided to invent a tomato feeding robot that athletes can wear. Weighing 18 lbs and able to hold 6 tomatoes, the Tomatan is designed to combat fatigue and raise the appeal of tomatoes worldwide.

Japan is a magical magical place:

Tomatan 1 Tomatan 2

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