By Joshua Saul
Posted 05.20.2011 at 11:03 am 7 Comments
In 2006, Darpa, the Department of Defense’s R&D arm, commissioned AeroVironment, a company specializing in remote aircraft, to create an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) small enough to fly through an open window. AeroVironment had already built the 4.5-foot-wingspan Raven, which first saw combat over Afghanistan in 2003, but making a UAV so much smaller took five years and 300 different wing designs.
Mark Anthony Riccobono, who is blind, tells PopSci about his mile-and-a-half drive
By Juliet Lapidos
Posted 05.09.2011 at 10:59 am 2 Comments
Mark Anthony Riccobono, who is blind, drove a modified Ford Escape hybrid on the Daytona International Speedway, turning to avoid obstacles. He navigated using feedback from the car’s laser sensors and cameras, installed by a team of researchers from Virginia Tech and the company Torc Technologies. PopSci spoke by phone to Riccobono, the executive director of the National Federation of the Blind’s Jernigan Institute, which researches new technology for the blind.
We love digital, but the earthquake in Japan has made DSLR cameras and accessories a bit scarce and expensive. So why not look to film? There's the cool retro vibe, and even with the costs of film processing, SLRs are awfully cheap. Our sister site, Popular Photography, compiled a great list of 12 of the best film cameras out there that'll give you cred and some great photos.
By connecting a pico projector and an eye-tracking camera, students from the University of Texas at Austin have created a virtual reality gaming setup in which the player cannot tear their eyes away from the action – literally.
For photographers who are attached to their analog equipment but can no longer resist the pull of the digital age, RE35 proposes a solution: a digital cartridge that fits into any 35mm camera and connects to your computer via USB.
The RE-35 cartridge, in place of film, has a pull-out “sensor” that captures the images and saves them to flash memory within the cartridge. When plugged in to a computer, the cartridge charges and transfers images with built-in software.
The Predator tracking software, as any good predator should be, is an incredibly keen hunter. Once shown any object, such as a face or a car, the camera learns to recognize and follow the object with frightening accuracy.
A new mobile app turns your cell phone into a 3-D scanner, stitching together overlapping snapshots to render a 3-D model of any object. A smooth 3-D model of a car, which can be turned and spun in any direction, would take about 40 snapshots; a model of a guitar took only eight.
A new network of surveillance cameras will track meteorites as they enter Earth’s atmosphere, helping meteor-hunters track where the rocks land and where they came from.
So far, there are only three cameras, but astronomers hope to add a dozen more in schools and science centers, eventually broadening the All-Sky Fireball Network to the entire country. The system consists of smart black-and-white cameras that record the entire night sky, fish-eye-like.
A new type of endoscope with a super-small camera on its end could yield cheap, disposable scopes for peering inside your body. The camera is about the size of a grain of kosher salt, and its designers say it's the smallest camera ever.
This week in “solutions to problems we didn’t know we had,” software engineers at NEC have developed a fruit recognition system. That’s right: snap a quick cell phone pic of that papaya in your hand and the system will provide you with everything you want to know about it all the way back to where it was picked.
Researchers at SUNY Buffalo and Amrita University in India have managed to create a tracking network that works well even with the cheapest of cameras. How? It uses the power of its cold, rational brain to make up for any flaws in the equipment.
In this socially networked age it can be tough to manage your personal brand, what with all those hastily snapped pics from last night ending up on Facebook (and Twitter, and Last Night’s Party, any number of Tumblr feeds). What if your hair wasn’t right?
By Rena Marie Pacella
Posted 02.14.2011 at 2:10 pm 0 Comments
Last December, New York University art professor and technophile Wafaa Bilal had a magnetic camera mount installed in his head in a painful two-hour procedure. The device is held in place by three titanium posts and a subdermal plate placed one fifth of an inch beneath his skin. Once a minute for the next year, a coin size USB camera will photograph the often mundane view from the back of his head—525,948 photos in all, which can be seen at www.3rdi.me.
It might seem like the problem with cell phone cameras stems from packing an imaging apparatus into such a small space. But California startup Pelican Imaging wants to up your cell phone’s image quality by packing 25 cameras into the same space. The company claims not only does their camera-array technology produce better image and video quality from a slimmer overall device, but it also does some things that a conventional single-lens camera cannot.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.