Welcome to Cyber Dump number 67, your look at what's going on in this insane age of technology that we live in. As always, all source links mentioned are below.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have created the ModQuad-Vi, a vision-based, self-assembling quadroter system, which enables drones to track and dock together while in flight. I could imagine something like this in a logistics setting, where a bunch of drones could combine to lift heavier objects, then break apart again to carry out other tasks.
Another research team at the University of Toronto have developed The Phoenix, an open source dual rotor tail sitter drone. The 3d print, and laser cutting files, along with all the firmware is available on the teams github page.
In other news, Amazon also showed off their new autonomous delivery drone for the Prime Air service. The curious design incorporates both a quad rotor type design with an interesting fixed wing thing, so it can go from vertical take off, to flying horizontally.
Engineers at Caltech have been developing the Neural Lander too, which uses a neural network, enabling autonomous drones to make smooth landings, even when there is significant turbulence.
AR / VR
Andre Zenner uploaded a very curious VR controller prototype called the Drag:on. This thing has two integrated fans, which can partially or fully open on demand. The idea is that the air drag created by them helps simulate various objects, and thus increases the immersion.
Rokid showed off a video of their Vision mixed reality headset, which apparently plugs into your smartphone to create an interactive browsing or work environment. I'm guessing the actual display quality won't be anything near this marketing hype, but it's an interesting concept nonetheless.
Recently Lukas from the Reform project announced an updated version of the open source laptop. This one includes a new CPU, case design, a new mechanical keyboard design, bigger, higher res screen and new modular 18650 battery system. You can learn more by going to the Reforms homepage.
German researchers have been working on a robot dental assistant called Dentronics. The robotic arm can automatically detect, and manipulate different tools, as well as respond to visual and audio commands from the dentist. I doubt it'll be that long until the arm is the one doing the work too.
In other news, a team at Ben Gurion University have been experimenting with mini wave-like bots. This simple and curious concept allows the machines to move ontop and inside of a variety of surfaces.
A team from the University of Plymouth have also been conducting trials of a new raspberry picking robot, which seems to be able to work through a field, automatically identifying ripe raspberries and picking them.
Amazon have introduced a new fleet of warehouse robots into their sorting facilities. We've seen similar things in China in past episodes, but this has to be one of the first in the US. This particular system includes around 800 robots that transport and sort Amazon packages.
THIS WEEK ON NODE
Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered the Nano Server over the past week. I will start making them right away, and should be shipping them out in a week or two, so check your inbox for a shipping notification.
I've made a few small changes to the Mini Server design too, adding better footprints for exact component placement. I've ordered a bunch of the PCBs, and hopefully they'll be here next week, where they will be on sale in the shop.
I've also added a couple new products to the shop this week. First we have a custom NODE snapback hat, with stealth embroidered logo.
I've also added a new version of the modded Casio watch, this time using the F-91WM. Like the original F-91W, it has the same inverted LCD, custom white LED, and an embedded NFC tag inside it.
Alright, that's it for this week. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video.
Music: Xtract - Audiotool Day 2016 (CC License)