Scientists Are Building Robot Dinosaurs Out Of 3-D Printed Fossils <-- Brilliant! -
An unexpected new technique is starting to take hold amongst archaeologists: using lasers to determine the dimension of bones and then 3D printing them to create a full dino skeleton. It’s simple, effective, brilliant, and should have happened a long time ago!
MakerBot is so awesome.
The Return of the Mechanical Turk, And the Uses of Magic -
This magical story begins with inventor and magician Wolfgang von Kempelen’s parlor demonstrations in eighteenth century Vienna, and continues today through a curious turn of events and a California man’s passion for the awe-inspiring Mechanical Turk, an impressive contraption which appears to intelligently play chess by mechanical means alone.
Since the artifact was lost in a fire in 1854, its mysterious inner workings have remained a topic of much speculation. Until now.
After years of research and study, magic-maker and automaton-collector John Gaughan has painstakingly rebuilt the Turk. Gaughan keeps a reliquary shop in Atwater, CA and has a wealth of knowledge, delightful anecdotes, little-known facts, and a master’s experience with magical automatons and cabinetry, Houdini-esque escape hatches, optical illusions, and levitating carpets (and teddy bears).
It’s fascinating how powerful confidence and belief can be. Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first computer experienced the Mechanical Turk in the 1770’s. Says Gaughan,
People then didn’t know it was an illusion. They thought it was a thinking machine. And Babbage thought: “My god, if they can build a machine that plays chess, I should be able to make a machine that that can execute various rational functions.”
So this very powerful illusion could be part of what inspired Babbage as well as Jaquard, the inventor of the mechanical loom, to have the courage to innovate on such a great scale. It turns out magic has its uses, after all.
Do click through and read the entire interview with Gaughan, it’s well worth it.
(Source: Boing Boing)
Keeping Royalty Fresh: The World’s First Augmented Coin
Can you think of anything more traditional than a federal money-making mint, and a Royal one at that? Yet in a delightful turn of events, the Royal Canadian Mint got a breath of fresh air, topped with a breath mint last night. The Mint has sourced internationally renowned artist Gary Taxali to design six new limited edition collector’s quarters. And to spice things up further, our fearless leader Brian Mullins teamed up with visionary augmented reality researcher Helen Papagiannis to develop the world’s first Augmented Reality coin. Helen and Brian created a one-of-a-kind experience that guests were treated to during an evening celebration last night at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.
To learn more, head over to our full blog post here: http://j.mp/xQSao8
Vergence Labs: Bioelectric human computer interfaces -
Erick Miller and Jon Rodriguez are two young, driven startup founders. What sets them apart from the sea of young entrepreneurs with big dreams? For starters, their near term goal is to make an Iron Man suit. Long term, they’re thinking cyborgs.
This is Jon Rodriguez giving a prototype demo.
Check out their website and keep an eye out for Kickstarter campaigns to fund their sci-fi-like projects. In the meantime, see their latest release, social-media enabled goggles that recognize your friends’ faces:
Sweet augmented reality still from Avatar. Nice graphs and charts! But the coup de grace? Home Tree itself of course.