images taken from: http://eikimartinson.com/engineering/pipe/
Eiki Martinson published a really cool senior university project, where he and his team implemented a Pipe Crawler robot. Pipe inspection definitely is one of those specialized killer apps of robotics, like exploring space, recently search and rescue within radioactive facilities or mowing the lawn, that have spawned a remarkable number of experimental attempts, working machines for industry, and even (in the case of mowing the lawn) consumer products. Examples of pipe-crawling robots pop up every couple of months in the popular scientific magazines. To distinguish their approch from other already existing efforts, they decided that the machine should be able to travel through horizontal segments, around corners, and straight up. This last requirement rules out a simple rover or wheeled cart. To maintain itself in a vertical section, the robot has to press wheels against the sides of the pipe by mechanical means (ruling out serpentine or inchworm mechanisms—but these also have to press something at least against the walls). They selected a radial arrangement of three sprung wheels. The robot would consist of many such units, articulated like a railroad train, so that it could negotiate corners.
A really nice work, despite the fact that it was finished in 2003. The online documentation of the work is really good and worth reading.
Gokul Chittaranjan and his team, including members from Nokia, published an interesting work which introduces the investigation of the relationship between behavioral characteristics derived from rich smartphone data and self-reported personality traits. They used data stems from smartphones of a set of 83 individuals collected over a continuous period of 8 months. The analysis showed that aggregated features obtained from smartphone usage data can be indicators of the Big-Five personality traits. They also developed an automatic method to infer the personality type of a user based on cellphone usage using supervised learning. Surprisingly, their method performs signicantly above chance and up to 75.9% accuracy.
This seems to be one of the first studies that analysis and classifies the personality characteristics by using smartphone data!
And they won the Pervasive2011 conference best paper award, congratulation guys!
Its time for a special issue about LED-Throwies, because i like this simple and illuminated concept so much! A LED-Throwie is a LED mounted on a coin cell battery in combination with some sort of a glueing material, such as a magnet for throwing it on metal. LED-Throwies were invented by the Graffiti Research Lab (GRL), as a destruction free variant of a lightning graphity. LED-Throwies are used mainly for street art or as light effects for events. There are no limitations for endless applications on public statues, buildings, bridges or transport.
The mobile and online payments and ID verification startup Jumio got an additional investment by Citi Ventures, a unit of global financial services company Citi. This is another funding that followed Jumio’s $25.5 million from March, led by Andreessen Horowitz. Although Citi’s investment amount is not being disclosed, to date, Jumio has raised $35.4 million in funding.
Daniel Mattes, the founder of Jumio, is building an online and mobile ID and payment platform which should make it easier and safer to pay online with your credit card. Mattes also founded and successfully sold his first VoIP company Jajah for more that 200 Mio $ to Telefonica, which is quite a bit 😉
Apparently there’s a retro vogue going on in the design world when it comes to appliance, lamp, and power cords. Shown here, a selection of colorful braided fabric cable looms available from Sweden’s FRINAB Fristad Industri Aktiebolag. The cable is available in small quantities, online through their NUD Collection brand, which includes a webshop that will sell you either mix-and-match custom lamp cordsets or just the cable. They have 44 different colors and / or patterns; the 10 foot length costs $14, and the longer, 20-foot length actually costs more, on a per-foot basis, at $35.
They’ll send you free samples, too, in the colors of your choice. Shown here is a scan of the card they just sent me, with two three-inch whole cable samples on the left and two loom-only samples on the right. [via adafruit]
Watch the interview with Eric Migicovsky, who is the creator of the Pebble Bluetooth watch, a Kickstarter project that’s raised over $8 million.
Pebble Founder Eric Migicovsky, the 25-year behind the 8 million dollar Kickstarter campaign, the largest ever. According to Eric, Pebble is the watch of the 21st century, allowing it to connect to your iPhone as well as download different apps and watch interfaces. Eric talked with Shira about how Kickstarter gave them an opportunity, making something people want and how awesome the Pebble watch is.
Well finally Nokia’s Beta-Labs gets some sort of a drive to publish innovations for the Windows Phone smartphone family. In this video Beta-Labs shows Nokia City Lens. Using an augmented reality browser, the user is offered a virtual view through walls and buildings of various points near you that can be browsed by categories such as food, nearby, sights or searched for with text. Better still, searching for AT&T WiFi will find access points nearby and all you then need to do is hoof it in the direction shown by the small icon on the display. Follow the video to get some insight view of this new augmentation application from Nokia Beta-Labs.
Sometimes, when the stars are right, the talent for metal sculpture and the talent for machining manifest in one person. It doesn’t happen often, in my experience, but when it does the results are usually mind-blowing. In my years of writing for MAKE, I can think of only a couple of other artist-machinists whose work has affected me in the same way as Chris Bathgate’s: Mark Ho, whose intricately articulated bronze-and-stainless mannequins I wrote about in MAKE Vol 30, and GarE Maxton, whose interlocking solid puzzles are machined in multiple metals and include parts that can be reassembled into other, working machines.
Chris has just released a self-published art book with photos of his catalog and beautiful plan drawings that are almost as eye-catching. It’s slim, at 84 pages, but not too pricey at $19.95. You can buy it directly from Chris’s print-on-demand service here.
Chris is one of the lucky people who got a Raspberry Pi out of the first charge to experiment with. He started to enable the external GPIO pins, which are of specific interest for hardware hackers. With a little bit of PHP coding in combination with a Linux cmd line program he is able to blink externals LEDs whenever somebody visits the website, which is hosted on this handy Raspberry Pi device.