Design · Digital Media · Education · Technology

NODE by Variable Technologies

Sensor technologies are all the rage right now, and for good reason. As a kid one of my favorite watches was a Casio with a temperature sensor in it, yet my iPhone 5 has to traverse a network of hardware devices to tell me the temperature, and even then the sensor is miles away. If we want our devices to be smarter, they’re going to need more sensory input about our surroundings. I interviewed Dr. George Yu, the man behind the Node, a platform for sensory input which happens to work with iOS devices.

Today there’s news of the Lapka set of sensors for your iPhone, and a few days ago I read news of the SCOUT, a sort of personal medical Tricorder (although nowhere near as powerful as the ones featured in Star Trek). While Lapka looks nice, how many people really need to measure radiation on a regular basis? Also, logging your EM field for the day is great, but what’s the practical use?

What’s been lacking in the past has been a sort of basic utility device with attachments that you can add as needed, all of which enable your iPhone to “see” the world around it. As if the iPhone were compatible with Batman’s utility belt. Enter Node, a sort of Wiimote-meets-Tricorder device that’s more of a platform than iOS accessory. It’s designed to be functional, has high-grade equipment inside and is hacker friendly.

Text by Victor Agreda, Jr via Tuaw. Continue HERE

Images via Variable Technologies

Performativity · Technology

EnableTalk: Gloves That Translate Sign Language Into Speech



This year’s Microsoft’s Imagine Cup in Sydney, has produced a finalist project called EnableTalk by the Ukrainian team QuadSquad. The gloves automatically translate sign language into spoken words with the aide of a text-to-speech engine.

Worldwide, there are currently about 40 million deaf, mute and deaf-mute people and many of them use sign language to communicate. The problem is, there are very few people who actually understand sign language.

Via 33rdsquare. Continue HERE

Digital Media · Performativity · Sonic/Musical · Technology · Videos

James Bond Theme performed by Flying Quadrotor Robots

Flying robot quadrotors perform the James Bond Theme by playing various instruments including the keyboard, drums and maracas, a cymbal, and the debut of an adapted guitar built from a couch frame. The quadrotors play this “couch guitar” by flying over guitar strings stretched across a couch frame; plucking the strings with a stiff wire attached to the base of the quadrotor. A special microphone attached to the frame records the notes made by the “couch guitar”.

These flying quadrotors are completely autonomous, meaning humans are not controlling them; rather they are controlled by a computer programed with instructions to play the instruments.

Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is home to some of the most innovative robotics research on the planet, much of it coming out of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab.

This video premiered at the TED2012 Conference in Long Beach, California on February 29, 2012. Deputy Dean for Education and GRASP lab member Vijay Kumar presented some of this groundbreaking work at the TED2012 conference, an international gathering of people and ideas from technology, entertainment, and design.

The engineers from Penn, Daniel Mellinger and Alex Kushleyev, have formed a company called KMel Robotics that will design and market these quadrotors.

Video Produced and Directed by Kurtis Sensenig
Quadrotors and Instruments by Daniel Mellinger, Alex Kushleyev and Vijay Kumar

More information HERE

A Swarm of Nano Quadrotors navigate spaces with obstacles.