Some awesome swarming quadrocopters
For some reason my wordpress has decided twitter is not worth updating. OIGH wordpress…update already!
When I was a lot younger I can remember spending a vast amount of my time messing around with my second hand ZX Spectrum. I had a book to accompany the epic device which ran through how to draw an array of very simple pictures, everything from smiley faces to abstract madness. It took so long to create a simple picture and debugging was a nightmare. Things have definitely come along way. Check out the video below showing Iñigo Quílez (n) working some pure code magic to create a generated apple. It is also well worth checking out his tutorial page with over ten years of informative tutorials.
You only have to look back through this blog to realise that I have a great love for Rube Goldberg machines. There is something so alluring about the vested time vs the outcome. In a world where we want everything now but we don’t want to put much effort into getting it the Rube Goldberg machine is the antithesis of this. I admire anybody that not only has the imagination to dream up such machines but also embraces the absurdity and invest time and money into the craft of realising their creations.
If you’re like me revel in the absurdity then check out the video below which I found on the NYTimes website. Joseph Herscher’s love for Rube Goldberg machines has lead him to working within the community and is getting him some well deserved interest.
Just bought one of these!
I shall be posting videos of it up here as soon as it arrives!
Here are some useful links that I have been using for reference:
How to get a video feed from the new toy (manual insists the quadrocopter is not a toy!)
A really informative forum thread
The Conrad 450 ARF Quadrocopter manual
Possible Camera setup 1:
Roughly two years ago there was big hype around Augmented Reality, the main driving force behind this was the transition from augmented reality being bound to desktop software to the ARToolkit being ported for Flash and therefor able to run in the browser. I jumped on the band wagon and wrote some samples in AS3 using the FLARToolkit which is an as3 port of the ARToolkit and the results were very nice. Thats pretty much where it ended.
In the last couple of weeks I have had more and more request for code that involves augmented reality. Most notably a project involving a wide open space being mapped as an AR maze. The challenge is to have a persistant 3d virtual maze to walk around. I am not sure if it is even possible with the equipment we have here but I have begun testing some ideas.
The video above is the first experiment in a long time involving AR. I wanted to check how well processing would handle the ARToolkit instead of Flash. I used the wrapper class of the NYARtoolkit as a base but I found the adaptation by cpbotha.net who has added multiple marker functionality to the library. The end result is a lot slower than i remember AS3 to be but I am loading an .STL file with 97000 triangles. I am using the unlekker library to load the .STL file but I am thinking about using the OBJLoader library instead because of the texture support.
The .STL was a download from thingiverse.com. I can’t find the name of the person to credit anymore but the file is called doneShell.stl
Occasionally, I ponder a machine that is capable of reading all the chaotic thoughts inside my head at any given time. Once the thoughts have been collated, this device should then find a tangible yet beautiful media to output these thoughts in a cohesive manner. The closest that technology has come to doing this so far, that I am aware of, is reconstructing the brains vision. At UC Berkeley, scientists have been using an fMRI system to record the blood flow through their brains’ visual cortex as the user watches youtube videos. Using this data scientist have been able to reconstruct the visuals that the user was being fed.
There are some obvious concerns when it comes to human rights and violation of privacy but thats not what concerns me the most. Once they have invented this mind reader device what if my thoughts output like this:
Whilst researching into artificial intelligence I came across this article. David Cope is a composer that wrote a computer program he called Experiments in Musical Intelligence. The program was written to analyse past compositions from great composers such as Bach or Beethoven and read the notes like data. Once the data has been read in the program identifies common patterns and styles within the composition and recreates those techniques for new arrangements and compositions. The thing I find most interesting about EMI is the reaction the software received from the audience of music lovers. If a machine can mimic and create works of beauty equal to that of the greats then does this discredit and invalidate the idea of the master piece? It reminds me of the core marxist belief of metaphysical materialism which states:
the mind, or thought, is purely the product of the material composition of the brain.
Quote from site
Recently I have been looking into cybernetics. The website: http://www.v2.nl/ seem to be an invaluable resource so I thought I would post it here so it might help others as well.