Meet The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium’s New Submersible ROV!

I spent the day down at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium with my pal Jaclyn Friedlander, the author of ‘Friends with Fins’. She was kind enough to set up a tour of the facility, and we got to demo their new Submersible ROV!

More info on Jaclyn Friedlander and Friends with Fins:

More info on Heal the Bay’s education and conservation efforts:

Continue reading “Meet The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium’s New Submersible ROV!”

NASA Uploads Voyager Golden Record Audio To SoundCloud

the-golden-record-nasaThe Voyager spacecraft was launched in 1977, and on board NASA included a record with a series of recordings as our introduction to the galaxy. This spaceship is flying out past the outer reaches of our solar system, so it would take us quite a while to catch up to it if we wanted to take a listen to that record on board.

Thankfully, we live in the age of the internet, and online media distribution is way easier than planning a rocket mission.

Last week NASA uploaded the contents of the Golden Record to SoundCloud. You can listen to the intro below, or the full contents of the disc on NASA’s page.

DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals 2015 Wrap Up and Results!

One of the coolest events I’ve ever had the privilege to cover. I’m a robot NUT, and the DARPA Robotics Challenge brought the best teams from around the world to see who could create the best robot for disaster relief and assistance.

More info on the DARPA Robotics Challenge –

Microsoft’s Hyperlapse Might Come to Windows Phone

microsoft research hyperlapseWe reported on Microsoft’s Hyperlapse project last August. While Instagram might have an iPhone app which provides for simplified timelapse tools, Microsoft’s solution is a sophisticated 3D rendering program which radically smooths out videos shot from 1st person perspective cameras like a GoPro or Google Glass. It’s incredible output, and I would highly recommend checking out the project video below.

It’s now being reported by Microsoft Insider, that there’s an internal BETA for a phone version of Hyperlapse, and that the app was updated as recently as March 25th. This could be a fantastically fun feature to bring to Windows Phones, and would be yet another class leading photo/video feature to land on Lumia devices.

Of course, we’ll need to wait and see if this is brought to market soon, with Windows 10, or ever.

(via Microsoft Insider)

Microsoft Details “Hyperlapse” Process for Smoothing Out First-Person Perspective Video

hyperlapseStrap a camera to your head, and your neck can be a pretty decent stabilizer, but engaging in sporty activities can give even the most rugged neck a challenge in producing smooth video. Speeding up a timelapse series can look extremely jittery.

Microsoft posted a video preview of their new Hyperlapse process, which scans through video for details, stabilizes the image, and creates a subtle 3D effect to help image to image transitions.

We just sort of take it for granted that footage from a GoPro, or other head mounted camera, is going to be shaky. Hyperlapse looks like it can provide some stunning effects. Fingers crossed we see this type of image processing at the consumer level soon. Continue reading “Microsoft Details “Hyperlapse” Process for Smoothing Out First-Person Perspective Video”

Japanese Research Group Develops Battery with 7 Times the Capacity of Li-Ion

rav4ev battery cutawayThe longest running smartphones on the market today last at best two days. Imagine if they ran for almost two weeks.

A group at the University of Tokyo School of Engineering led by professor Noritaka Mizuno, and working in cooperation with Nippon Shokubai Co Ltd. are developing a new manufacturing method which might substantially improve energy density in cars and as storage units for homes connected to a smart grid.

Using an “oxygen rocking” design, the team is confident their new storage technique should be capable of storing up to seven times the energy of traditional Lithium Ion cells, while maintaining a high degree of reliability and safety.

Of course like several of the other recent “exciting” scientific battery discoveries, this is still at the research phase. However developments like this should mean improved run time for our gadgets and vehicles is getting closer.

Just for Fun: Bill Nye is posting full episodes of ‘Bill Nye The Science Guy’ on Youtube

Bill-Nye-640x350Inertia is a property of matter…

If you were in school in the 90’s, chances are pretty good that you spent a little time watching Bill Nye the Science Guy, and it was an entertaining look at scientific concepts for young and old alike. Apparently Mr. Nye has been uploading full episodes to Youtube, and the dude only has 10,000 subscribers. What’s up with that?

Now we just need someone to get on delivering a full set of Square One…

WSU Engineers Teach One Computer to Teach Another Computer How to Play Pac-Man

Pac-Man (1980), will go on show at MoMA in New York in 2013Well I for one welcome our robotic overlords…

Matthew E. Taylor, Allred Distinguished Professor in Artificial Intelligence at Washington State University has published a paper detailing a system where one computer can share information and processes with another computer. The first practical demonstration? Video games!

One system “taught” another how to play Pac-Man, and the “student” system was eventually able to surpass its “teacher”.

A system for delivering “advice” could be an exciting breakthrough, especially if these systems can share information and processes between computers with different hardware builds. Often a set of instructions wont work if you change hardware parameters.

If you’re worried about Skynet happening soon, Taylor had this to say:

“They’re very dumb.”

(via WSU News)