Lenovo’s ThinkPad line is now 20 years old, and we’re taking sometime to chat with Lenovo execs to discuss what’s made the brand so popular among business-minded folks. In addition, we’ll also take a look at how the outfit has kept the line relevant, and nab an exclusive glimpse of the outfit’s future plans.March 17, 2013 1:45 PM EDT
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Filed under: Laptops
It’s entirely possible for robots to juggle or play catch. They’ve usually been relegated to playing with their own kind, however, which is as good an excuse as any for Disney Research to experiment with a ball-tossing robot tailored to games with humans. The animatronic creation uses a depth-aware motion camera — there’s conflicting mentions of using both the Microsoft Kinect and ASUS’ Xtion Pro Live that we’re hoping to sort out — to track any mid-air balls as well as throw them back to a human participant. Disney’s robot does more than just move the robot’s arm to account for imperfect tosses, too, as it knows to feign a dejected look after a botched reception. The company suggests that its invention would ideally bring two-way interaction to theme parks, so it’s more likely to show up at Disneyland before it stands in for a parent in the backyard. It’s just as well; when the Robopocalypse comes, the last thing we’ll want at home is a machine that can toss grenades.
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Microsoft’s Research team in Cambridge opened its doors last week to offer a sneak peek at the future. Microsoft has spent nearly $ 30 billion on research and development over the past three years, and this particular lab — consisting of over 100 researchers mainly from Europe — has contributed to Bing, Xbox Kinect, and the functional programming language F#.
Microsoft is now looking well ahead into the future of computing and how user interfaces and the way we interact with machines will change. During an open house, the software maker demonstrated a variety of ways that the company is looking to improve its Kinect sensor and use it for an augmented reality future. From Kinect Fusion, that creates an interactive real-time 3D model…
Building off of the web search capabilities of its research pane for Docs, Google is now giving users the ability to search for and insert their own personal content. For example, if you’re working on a presentation in Drive and want to add a photo from your Picasa album, or a quote from a friend’s Google+ profile, you’ll now have the option of adding personal content from within the research pane without leaving your project. This new search feature pulls information from your personal Picasa albums, Drive and Google+ accounts, and users will also find that the research pane has been extended to Presentation and Drawings. Unfortunately, Google Apps customers will still be limited to web-only search results, as personal content search is intended for individual accounts. However, if you’re a starving student heavily embedded in Google’s ecosystem, this time saver just might shave a few minutes off of your weekend cram session and that’s always a good thing.
Question by Claudia: 9.How far has robotics research and its applications progressed by the year 2005? What can today’s robots do? What kinds of computer hardware and software are involved? What are Asimov’s three law of robotics? Why are they so important, and what changes will have to happen to robots before these rules actually become relevant?
Answer by Frog Head HunterRobot’s can answer Yahoo questions about what robots can do.
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Envious of your pet hermit crabs’ 3D-printed domicile? Maybe you should cast your green eyes upon the Stone Spray project, an Eco-friendly robot printer that’s exploring the viability of soil as a building material. Although making actual buildings is a bit out of the robot’s reach, its team has managed to print a series of scaled sculptures (such as stools, pillars and load-bearing arc structures) out of sand, soil and a special solidification compound. The machine’s jet-spray nozzle seems to have an easier time constructing objects over per-existing scaffolding, but the team is striving to design structures that don’t require the extra support. “We want to push further the boundaries of digital manufacturing and explore the possibilities of an on-site fabrication machine,” the team writes on the project’s homepage, citing makeshift printed bridges or an on-beach canopy as possible applications of technology. If the Earth itself doesn’t make a green enough building material, consider this: the Stone Spray robot can be powered by solar energy alone. Check it out in all of its sand-sculpting glory in the video below.
Filed under: Misc. Gadgets
Question by : What is haptic research in terms of robotics? I get that it has to do with grasping…but thats about all I know. What are applications of work done in haptics?
Answer by sectrixHaptics is using a computer to communicate a sense of touch. If graphics are a computer communicating visual information, haptics are a computer communicating tactile information.
It is not the same as a a human communicating to a computer a tactile information.
Now think, if we could use computers to communicate physical sensations – how could that be useful?
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According to a report filed by technology site CNET, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is forming a new cyber intelligence and research unit dubbed the Domestic Communications Assistance Center (DCAC). The briefing states that the DCAC’s purpose will be “to invent technology that will let police more readily eavesdrop on Internet and wireless communications” (initially focusing on VoIP services, social networks, and wireless communication mediums) . Via a prepared statement, the FBI explained that the unit’s modus operandi will be to “assist federal, state and local law enforcement with electronic surveillance capabilities.” Congress has appropriated over $ 54 million for “lawful electronic surveillance” in fiscal year 2012; the DCAC has been earmarked just north of $ 8 million from that pie. The Bureau’s full statement is after the break.
Continue reading Report: FBI forming new cyber intelligence research unit, focus on digital surveillance
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Like any tech company worth its weight in silicon, Intel puts plenty of cash into research, often partnering with outside labs and schools that are less concerned with turning every project into a multi-billion dollar product. After throwing $ 30 million at Carnegie Mellon last year to open two new labs, Chipzilla is investing $ 40 million more in a global network of university research centers. Over the next five years that money will be rolled out to what the company is calling, Intel Collaborative Research Institutes (ICRI). The ICRI are based on the same premise as Intel’s Science and Technology Centers, like those opened at Mellon, except with a global reach. Two existing labs, the Intel Visual Computing Institute at Saarland University and the Intel-NTU Connected Context Computing Center at National Taiwan University are being rolled into the program. In addition, three new centers are being opened up, including ICRIs for Sustainable Connected Cities in the United Kingdom, Secure Computing at the Technische Universität Darmstadt and Computational Intelligence at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. For more info on what sort or work they’ll be doing at the various labs check out the PR after the break.
Continue reading Intel funnels $ 40 million into global network of research laboratories
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The search for Bigfoot continues and, no, that’s not a nod to a very special episode of Unsolved Mysteries. Though Harry and the Hendersons did its best to humanize that Himalayan monster of myth, a group of well-heeled European scientists are seeking to go beyond the Hollyweird fantasy to actually prove the creature’s existence using advanced genetic techniques. Part of a collaborative effort between Oxford University and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology, the Collateral Hominid project aims to gather material from public and private cryptozoological collections for analysis to determine whether that elusive species branched off from bears or our neanderthal forebears. Project head Prof. Bryan Sykes hopes the research, the results of which will eventually make the rounds of peer-reviewed journals, will dispel skepticism that has surrounded this controversial creature by providing ” a mechanism for… identification that is unbiased, unambiguous and impervious to falsification.” Basically, these real-life Mulder & Scullys want incontrovertible DNA proof that these fantastic ape-like beings are simply the stuff of evolution. Whatever the case, the truth is most certainly out there, folks — it’s just likely encased in fossilized dung.
[Image courtesy Worch.com]
Continue reading Oxford makes big push into Bigfoot research, enlists Swiss zoologists for DNA study
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