53 posts tagged Technology
53 posts tagged Technology
Today we learned that the reindeer in Finland are magical creatures with luminous antlers. We’re still waiting on confirmation that they can also fly.
Okay, maybe not, but the truth is still pretty awesome. The Finnish Reindeer Herders’ Association is testing a reflective spray on the antlers of 20 reindeer in hopes of preventing their caribou from being struck by motorists at night. Roughly 200,000 reindeer roam the wilds of Lapland. So far reflective tape and road signs have been ineffective in preventing the road deaths of thousands of the animals, so the herders are hoping this spray will be much more effective.
But first they have to see how the animals react to it and find out if it can withstand the harsh Arctic climate. Produced by Swedish company Albedo 100, it’s made of transparent glue and “reflective microspheres”.
"The goal is specifically to prevent road accidents, "Anne Ollila, the association’s executive director, told YLE, the country’s public broadcaster. “The spray is being tried on their fur, but it is maybe more effective on their antlers because the reflection can be seen in every direction.”
We hope it this radiant experiment is a success. Or, failing that, that the reindeer really do learn how to fly.
Here’s an awesome high-tech sweet for geeky valentines. Liz and Kyle von Hasseln of The Sugar Lab (previously featured here) used their ChefJet™ 3D printer to create these beautiful long stemmed chocolate sugar roses for Valentine’s Day.
It took their machine about an hour to produce three 7-inch-long chocolate roses. Although the long slender stems are delicate, the roses are strong enough to be displayed in a vase. According to Liz and Kyle, the roses taste like a rich chocolate cookie. Yum!
While some artists are hard at work perfecting depictions of hyperrealism and photorealism, Austin, Texas-based artist Shawn Smith uses composite wood, ink and paint to painstakingly create an awesome series of modular sculptures that appear pixelated. Smith calls his animals and objects Re-Things.
"My work investigates the slippery intersection between the digital world and reality. Specifically, I am interested in how we experience nature through technology. When we see images of nature on TV or on a computer screen, we feel that we are seeing nature but we are really only seeing patterns of pixelated light."
Instead of using real animals as subjects, Smith bases his pixelated creations on digital images found online, creating three-dimensional representations of two-dimensional images.
"I build my "Re-things" pixel by pixel to understand how each pixel plays a crucial role in the identity of an object. Through the process of pixelation, color is distilled, some bits of information are lost, and the form is abstracted. Making the intangible tangible, I view my building process as an experiment in alchemy, using man-made composite and recycled materials to represent natural forms."
3D modeler Sean Charlesworth designed, printed and built this tentacular Octopod Underwater Salvage Vehicle as his thesis project for a Masters of Science in Digital Imaging and Design at NYU. Inspired by the Nautilus from Disney’s 1954 film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Sean’s awesome mechanical octopus-shaped vehicle is beautifully detailed. It features LED lights and an assortment of other working features such as a functional door, hoist, latches, and opening floor panel.
"…the model was designed in CINEMA 4D Studio and different materials, types and colours were assigned to each part. The digital models were printed at the New York University Advance Media Studio on an Objet Connex500 3D Printer. The Objet Connex500 is Objet’s pioneering multi-material 3D printer featuring a large build tray size of 500 x 400 x 200mm and can print from a range of 107 different materials, with up to 14 different materials in a single part."
Designers Liz and Kyle von Hasseln of The Sugar Lab (previously featured here ) teamed up with artist Josh Harker (previously featured here) to create this stunning one-of-a-kind 3D-printed El Dia de los Muertos filigree sugar skull. Based on Harker’s Cráneo de La Calaca and created for Halloween 2013, this edible beauty is one of the loveliest sugar skulls we’ve ever seen.
These beautiful geometric objects are 3D-printed sugar sculptures and they’re some of the prettiest pieces of candy we’ve ever seen. They were made by 3D Systems and The Sugar Lab. The latter is a micro-design firm created by Liz and Kyle von Hasseln, a husband and wife team dedicated to the awesome craft of creating bespoke, 3D-printed edible confections.
‘The overlap of technology, food and art is so rich, and the potential for customization and innovation is limitless,’ said Liz von Hasseln, cofounder of The Sugar Lab. Existing commercial applications for printable sugar include complex sculptural cakes for weddings and special events that are made possible only with 3D printing, and customizable confections for bake shops and restaurants. continued von Hasseln, ‘We see our technology quickly evolving into a variety of flavors and foods, powered by real food printers for professionals and consumers alike and we could not think of a more qualified partner than 3D systems to help make that a reality.’
The ChefJet will deliver single-color prints; while the more advanced ChefJet Pro will dispatch full color prints. Both can produce either sugar or milk chocolate confections, in different flavors that include cherry, mint and sour apple, and will be available to the market later this year.
Behold the awesomeness that is the Mantis Hexapod or Mantis Walking Machine, a hydraulic powered hexapod walking machine created by Matt Denton and his team at Micromagic Systems. After four years of design and development, the Mantis is the largest all-terrain operational hexapod robot in the world.
"Mantis runs off a 2.2-litre, 50 horsepower turbo diesel engine, and it stands 2.8 meters (9 feet) tall. It can be piloted directly or controlled via wifi. Functionally, it can manipulate objects (like pushing a trailer) or fold itself into a truck bed.
As of now, Mantis walks around at the achingly slow pace of 1 km/hr. Its navigational software has to rely solely on the information given to it by its legs as they touch the ground. Future versions will likely utilize visual systems, allowing Mantis to evaluate the topography of its environment in advance.”
If you’re looking to host a truly memorable occasion, considering a career in supervillainy, or simply want to scare the pants off your curmudgeonly neighbour(s), the Mantis is available for private hire, custom commissions, events, and sponsorships.
This video was shot during field tests in May and October 2012. Click here for more Mantis videos.
Plenty of us have played with a Rubik’s Cube, but have you ever tried to solve the puzzle on the sides of an office building? For an awesome project entitled Puzzle Facade, Spanish designer Javier Lloret used a specially designed interface-cube to transform the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz, Austria into a giant Rubik’s Cube and then invited passersby to play. Here’s how it works:
The interface-cube holds electronic components to keep track of rotation and orientation. This data is sent via Bluetooth to a computer that runs the Puzzle Facade designed software. This software changes the lights and color of the large-scale Ars Electronica’s media facade in correlation to the handheld interface-cube.
Due to the nature of this building and its surroundings, the player is only able to see two sides at the same time. This factor increases the difficulty of solving the puzzle, but as the player is able to rotate and flip the interface-cube, it is not a blocking factor.
TL;DR: Building-sized playable Rubik’s Cube = Awesome
[via Laughing Squid]
If you’re looking for a little high-tech in your ugly Christmas sweater, Mark Rober and his company, Digital Dudz, have got you covered. Mark is a former Nasa scientist who spent nine years working on the Curiosity rover before breaking into the novelty clothing business. Mark creates holidays garments which utilize a pouch, the wearer’s smartphone, and a free app to take their festive look to the next level.
His latest efforts make use of a free Android and iPhone app to reinvigorate the tired ugly-Christmas-sweater genre. Download the app, slip your smartphone in the Velcro pouch, and then just stand back smugly sipping your eggnog as the plaudits roll in.
Rober said, “It just blows people’s minds, because for thousands of years clothing has been static. It doesn’t move. And then when it does, people are like, ‘What kind of sorcery is that?’ And then you explain that it’s a phone and they’re like, ‘Oh. Yeah.’”
Here you see a design which features a cozy, flickering fire merrily burning inside the sweater’s kitschy fireplace. This is just one of the five different designs available this year. Click here to view videos demonstrations of all the sweaters.
Mark Rober’s awesomely ugly Christmas sweaters can be ordered here.
Let’s pay a visit to the Department of Awesome Antiquities and take a look at a 17th century pocket watch, courtesy of Columbia University. This astonishing device is a sort of sundial called a diptych dial, used for telling time by the light of the sun or the moon. They were produced by exceptionally skilled craftmen, most often in Nuremberg, Germany, from the 1500s through the 1700s.
"When opened, the string gnomon—the raised device that creates a shadow—is drawn tight. On some more sophisticated models, the string can be adjusted to account for different latitudes. Typically the top section would be used to determine the time using sunlight and the bottom section would be used to learn the time with moonlight."
This exquisitely beautiful Diptych Dial was created by Hans Trvschel in Nuremberg in 1603. It’s made of ivory, with a string gnomon horizontal dial and pin gnomon for the vertical dial.