Extrapolating numbers and letters from digital images is still a tough task, even for the best computer programmers. But it would be handy to extract business names, or graffiti, or an address from pictures that are already stored online. Aiming to make its Street View service even more accurate, Google would like to extract your house number from its own Street View photo cache.
Magazine images are so heavily retouched nowadays that the models hardly look human at all, with absurdly flawless skin and unrealistic body shapes that drive equally unrealistic expectations. It’s so unbelievable, and so potentially damaging to readers’ self-perception, that even the American Medical Association has condemned preposterous postproduction retouching.
Like parents of twins, wildlife biologists can easily differentiate between similar-looking creatures by noting slight differences that an outside observer would miss. But in the wild, it can take some time to locate the right animals so they can be identified.
A new algorithm can scan zebra photos like they were bar codes, helping researchers track individual animals more easily.
An autopilot system modeled after honeybee flight is faster and more accurate than gyroscope-based programs, according to a new study. By imitating how honeybees sense their surroundings, aircraft can quickly determine which way is up and complete complex aerobatic maneuvers.
Using a learning algorithm, Italian researchers taught a child-like humanoid robot archery, even outfitting it with a spectacular headdress to celebrate its new skill.
Petar Kormushev, Sylvain Calinon and Ryo Saegusa of the Italian Institute of Technology developed an algorithm called “Archer,” for Augmented Reward Chained Regression. The iCub robot is taught how to hold the bow and arrow, but then learns by itself how to aim and shoot the arrow so it hits the center of a target.
Look for images of "Washington" online, and Google's search engine may turn up a random sea of pictures showing the Washington monument, the White House, George Washington, and actor Denzel Washington. Now Google's new "Image Swirl" feature could eliminate that hit-or-miss frustration by organizing images in neat, expandable thumbnail stacks for users to explore.
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.