Welcome to Cyber Dump number 74, your look at what's happening in this insane age of technology we live in. As always, all the source links and a transcript of this video are below.
VIRTUAL / AUGMENTED REALITY
Lots of training simulations this week. The first is Ghost Pacer, which it's creators call a holographic workout partner. Designed by avid runner, AbdurRahman Bhatti, these mixed reality glasses allow you to race and pace against a hologram.
The project launched it's kickstarter campaign the other day, and has already passed it's target.
Another recently successful kickstarter was the Kat Walk C, a personal treadmill for virtual reality. The device couples with special shoes to allow forward walking and running motion, as well as strafing, turning and bending down. Imagine mixing all this with the exo skeleton gloves, haptic feedback suits, and temperature mimicing accessories that I've covered in previous episodes.
In other news, FLAIM Systems uploaded a new video showing their FLAIM trainer virual reality training platform. The system incorporates a custom breathing mask, heat suit, and hose to train firefighters for a range of scenarios. I wonder if this kind of physical training, especially for uncommon situations gives an advantage over just reading about what to do?
Facebook's Reality Labs have been doing some very interesting work lately. Recently Douglas Lanman, the Director of Display Systems Research gave a presentation where he detailed a new technique for headsets which uses folded optics and an electronic varifocal module which has no moving parts. This allows for on the fly focusing and zooming directly in the headset.
In other research news, a patent application that Valve submitted a while back was officially published the other day. It details a wireless VR system, which outside of regular head and controller tracking, also streams video in realtime with electrically steerable antennas. I wonder if this sort of thing will be another step in making headsets smaller and lighter, basically turning them into low latency transceivers and offloading the computing to external devices.
More wireless-related news. The FCC recently granted authorization for WiBotic to start using their 300 watt wireless charging system. What's interesting here, is that this system can charge both robots and drones, allowing for further automation . Imagine electric cars having this feature built in, where in order to charge, you simply park in a certain spot.
Industrial robot manufacturer OMRON unveiled their new HD-1500 mobile robot that can lift and transport heavy payloads up to 1500kg. This machine is designed to work alongside humans, and is smart enough to sense its surroundings and reroute as things change.
Researchers at Columbia Engineering have shown off a prototype for a multi-material SLS 3D printer. Unlike regular SLS, or selective laser sintering printers, this one has a laser at the bottom pointing upwards, and a glass print bed, allowing users to view prints as they progress, but also to potentially use multiple materials in a single print. It's early on in development, but is an interesting concept.
I've mentioned 3D printing buildings a few times before on these videos, well 3D printing new site Fabbaloo recently wrote an article outlining a range of these construction companies and projects all over the world. Worth a look if you're interested in the topic.
The other day E3D announced a new Additive & Subtractive Manufacturing by Layer system, which allows users to automatically switch various tool heads for a single project, meaning they can combine 3D printing and CNC milling to do things like automatically smooth surfaces. Their tool changer and heads are open source and available on Thingiverse and Github.
In another sign of things to come, the US Marine Corps recently awarded Sarcos Defense with a contract to deliver the Alpha version of it's Guardian XO powered exoskeleton. This thing looks like it's straight out of the movie Edge of Tomorrow.
StoreDot announced what they call the fasted commercial drone charging station, which can wirelessly and autonomously recharge batteries in 5 minutes. This seems like similar technology to the WiBotic system I mentioned earlier, but StoreDot have also developed custom batteries that charge up to 12 times faster than regularly Litium-Ion batteries.
Some more trial flights this week too. First up is the Airbus VSR700 prototype which performed it's first autonomous flight at a test centre in France. This thing is similar to the Camcopter I showed a few weeks back, with one of it's main uses being sea-based surveillance.
Another is the Project aEro VTOL vehicle designed by Dufour Aerospace, which completed it's first phase of flight testing in Switzerland a couple weeks ago.
Youtube user GrassJelly uploaded a video the other day of their CHAMP mini quadruped robot. This little thing is open source and based on the larger MIT Cheetah robot. More info is on the projects Github page.
Another little robot recently launched on Kickstarter. The Smartipresence by Ross Atkin is a little cardboard robot which turns a smartphone into a low-cost remote telepresence robot. That's pretty cool.
Researchers at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated how their AI program can detect prostate cancer to almost 98% sensitivity. They did this by first having an expert pathologist train the program on thousands of tissue slides to tell the difference between healthy and abnormal samples. Then it was let loose on a separate set of 1600 slides, and even flagged some that the medical professionals had passed over.
In other news, researchers at Michigan Technological University have developed an open source vision-based algorithm that monitors 3D prints as they're printing. It uses a single camera, and basically super imposes the 3D STL file over the print, comparing and looking for any errors. At the moment it can auto pause or stop prints if something goes wrong, but in the future they want to integrate it further with the printers, allowing them to spot and auto correct common errors like under and overextrusion in realtime.
You know I have a soft spot for functional 3D prints, well I saw this the other day and thought it was a great idea. Thingiverse user Aptimex has created a custom slide switch for electronics using 3D printing and a paper clip. A full how-to guide is on Instructables.
Another cool open source 3D printing project that caught my eye was by Youtuber Let's Print, where he designed and tested a range of water pump turbines to see what shapes are the most efficient. I love watching people experiment and incrementally push this kinda thing forward.
I also saw this PCB stencil printer, which seems like a very handy tool aligning stencils, allowing you to accurately apply solder paste to lots of circuit boards. There's a guide and files to create your own on the Dengler Mechatronik site.
Anthony Camu, a final year Industrial Design student at Loughborough University has designed the Theia, a handheld device which helps visually impaired people navigate, much like a guide dog would. The Theia is voice activated, can automatically plot routes, and uses a force feedback system and sensors to steer the user in the correct direction.
THIS WEEK ON NODE
Alright that's it for this week. Something else I've been wanting to change up is the thumbnail for the Cyber Dump series. I think I'm over the toilet phase, and want to do something else. I was thinking maybe a futuristic dump truck dumping out robots, drones etc. Anyways, I know some of you are 3D designers and animators. If you want to help me make a little intro animation in the same isometric line art style as the other content, get in touch (email@example.com). Let me know how much it would cost for like a 10 second animation, and put Cyber Dump Intro in the subject line.
Another thing I wanted to ask you all about was channel memberships. I got a notification recently that this Youtube channel is now eligible for them, and wondered what you thought about me turning them on? Any extra support would definitely be helpful and allow me to concentrate on making more projects, and working through the mountain of ideas I've got. I'm not sure what perks I could offer, but I will think about it. Obviously you don't have to, and everything I make will always be free, but let me know what you think.
Anyways, thanks alot for watching/reading, I appreciate you all, and I'll see you in the next video.
Music: Xtract - Audiotool Day 2016 (CC License)