Dragonfly Inspires Hi-Tech Hovercraft for Mars

first_imgExclusive  Dragonflies possess not only compound eyes like other insects, but additional “simple” eyes called ocelli (sing., ocellum) with full-field retinas like mammalian eyes.  These function as a “horizon sensor/attitude reference system,” according to an engineer trying to copy it.  In an engineering project supported by the military and aerospace, Dr. Jaavan Chahla and an Australian team have built mechanical ocelli that allow small drone planes and helicopters to mimic the dragonfly’s ability to achieve low-altitude flight without hitting obstacles.  In a presentation at JPL August 13, he showed film clips of flight tests that apply the dragonfly’s processing of “optical flow”, the information that comes from a shifting angles of light as you move.  Since this is not dependent on heavy inertial guidance systems, magnetic compasses or other flight technologies, it permits the development of low-mass flight hardware suitable for Mars, which has no useful magnetic field.    Commenting on the dragonfly’s abilities, Chahla stated that it (and other insects) are able to process huge amounts of data with 8-19 millisecond response – a volume of data man-made sensors have trouble managing.  Yet they do it with a tiny brain with 0.01% the neurons in a human brain.  All insects rely on optical flow sensing, he said.  It’s a useful sense, because as a passive response system, it does not depend on echoes or transmissions, as with radar, and also is independent of wind motion.  Another inherent problem with horizon sensors is failure when the sun falls into the field of view.  The dragonfly has overcome this failure mode using multispectral processing in the green and UV bands.    Insects also have rapid ability to “self-bootstrap” or respond quickly to new information, for instance when released into the open from a dark enclosure.  This has been a challenge for humans to emulate.  Another challenge has been hovering in place.  Optical flow sensing is easier in a moving environment, but more difficult when the horizon is stationary.  Chahla showed a film clip of a dragonfly hovering next to a blade of grass moving in the wind.  The dragonfly’s motion tracked the movement of the grass almost instantaneously.  Having worked with model helicopters, Chahla seemed particularly impressed with that ability.    An abstract of an earlier paper by Chahla et al. is available on Journal of Robotic Systems.  A diagram (PDF format) of a dragonfly head with ocelli can be found at University of California Press.The simplest, ordinary things in the garden or out on a nature walk are really extraordinary when you look at them in detail.  No one respects nature’s abilities more than a human engineer who has tried to figure it out and reverse engineer them.  When our brightest designers can barely keep up with the observed specifications in the insect world, are we to honestly believe that blind, undirected natural laws achieved these natural abilities without a Designing intelligence?(Visited 45 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

MH370: University pinpoints location

first_imgThe University of Western Australia, which predicted the landfall of debris from MH370 well over two years ago, has identified a precise location of where it believes the Boeing 777 crashed on March 8, 2014.On the eve of the third anniversary of  the plane’s disappearance with 239 aboard, UWA’s Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi, said that its reverse drift modelling put the location of MH370 “at Longitude 96.5 E Latitude 32.5 S with a 40km radius.”This UWA location is at the northern end of a new area of 25,000sq km identified late last year by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as the most likely impact point for MH370.READ: MH370 search must resumeThat new area was arrived at through an independent analysis of the satellite data and the drift analysis from the CSIRO and is close to what is called the 7th arc and bounded by latitudes 33°S to 36°S.The ATSB and its partners have spent over two years searching an area of 120,000sq km in the Southern Indian Ocean which was based on the hourly satellite communication with the Boeing 777 whereas the new areas of interest overlay reverse drift modelling from the debris finds on the 7th arc. “Of the 22 pieces of debris found the location of 18 were predicted by the UWA model,” said Mr Pattiaratchi.Despite the new analysis from the Canberra meeting, released in ATSB’s First Principles report in December,  Federal Transport Minister Darren Chester, on behalf of the Chinese and Malaysian governments killed off the search.Mr Chester said the new area identified was not specific enough, which provoked ridicule from around the globe.The parties involved in the ATSB-led search for MH370 include the British and US crash investigation agencies, Rolls Royce, Boeing, Thales of France, Inmarsat of the UK and the CSIRO.The ATSB said in December that “the participants of the First Principles Review were in agreement on the need to search an additional area representing approximately 25,000 sq km.”It added that “based on the analysis to date, completion of this area would exhaust all prospective areas for the presence of MH370.”Also exhausted is debris hunter Blaine Gibson, who announced last week that he had given up his one-man crusade to find MH370.Mr Gibson has found over 20 pieces of suspected debris but has received death threats and been accused of planting debris.Recently Mr Gibson said he was disgusted at the attitude of the Malaysian government in calling off the search and its reluctance to pickup debris he had found. “ It’s comical, and it’s tragic,” Mr Gibson said.The relatives of the victims of MH370 have announced a crowd funding campaign to raise US$15 million to continue the search.last_img read more

Two South Africans most admired in global survey

first_img26 October 2015Two South Africans top a list of leaders who millennials around the world admire: Nelson Mandela at number one and Elon Musk at number three. Pope Francis came in at number two.A survey of over 1 000 young people aged between 20 and 30 from around the globe found that millennials admired leaders who offered technology and social change to the world.Three of the world’s leading technology brains were flagged by the millennials. Musk, of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, leads a pack that includes Microsoft founder Bill Gates (at number five) and Apple founder Steve Jobs (at eight). Other business leaders these young people admired include Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson (seven), social entrepreneur Mohammad Yunus (nine), investor guru Warren Buffett (11). Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for founding the Grameen Bank and his work to “create economic and social development from below”.Mandela topped the list of political movers and shakers that included Mahatma Gandhi (four), American President Barack Obama (six) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (10).The Global Shapers Annual Survey 2015 is one of the most geographically diverse surveys of millennials, with responses from 285 cities in 125 countries. The respondents are all members of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, a network of over 450 city-based hubs of young, civically engaged leaders aged between 20 and 30.According to Yemi Babington-Ashaye, the head of the Global Shapers Community, the survey reveals that millennials care about society in their reflections and in their own career and economic choices. “In addition to the diversity that we observe, the survey reminds us of those things that millennials value everywhere.”The Global Shapers Annual Survey 2015 was released on the eve of the Summit on the Global Agenda, which started yesterday and ends tomorrow in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.The summit is the world’s largest global brainstorming event, bringing together the most relevant thought leaders of the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils.Comprising more than 80 groups of experts from business, academia, government and civil society, the councils advance knowledge and jointly explore critical issues shaping the global, industry and regional agendas.Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

The New ReadWriteWeb 2WAY Summit Site is Live. Get Your Golden Ticket to the Future!

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… seamus condron Want to be part of the action? Our $595 early adopter price is ending at midnight PST this Sunday, April 17. After that, the regularly priced 2WAY Summit ticket will be $795. We’re also offering ticket levels for qualifying startups, non-profits and students. The time to save $200 is now, so head over and scoop up your golden ticket to the future of the Web. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Last month we announced our biggest live gathering to date: the 2WAY Summit, happening June 13-14 in NYC. Since our initial announcement, we’ve been working diligently to put together what we hope will be the best tech event of the summer. To that end, we’re extremely pumped and jacked to announce that the full 2WAY Summit site is NOW LIVE. Tags:#events#web Related Posts The 2WAY site features the outstanding speakers and program details for day 1 on our main stage at Columbia University, as well as a portion of the day 2 breakout talks that will be led by some of the smartest folks working on the Internet. Over the next few weeks we’ll be adding even more exciting programming.The site also features a slider that will spotlight 2WAY programming and video features, and a blog where we’ll be posting updates and leading right up to the main event in June.last_img read more

Landscapes of Sound: An Interview with Mandell Winter

first_imgPremiumBeat sat down with this seasoned pro to explore his process, working relationships, and the challenges involved in sound design.With over twenty years of experience in the film industry, Mandell Winter is intimate with the landscape of sound. Most recently, he received two Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie, Or Special Category for his work as the sound supervisor on HBO’s Deadwood: The Movie, and Season Three of HBO’s anthology crime series True Detective.Mandell’s accolades also include two MPSE (Motion Picture Sound Editors) Golden Reel Award nominations for his work on Season Two of True Detective and a third Golden Reel Award nomination for the film Southpaw.Mandell Winter via IMDbPremiumBeat: Tell us about what your role as Supervising Sound Editor entails.Mandell Winter: As a Supervising Sound Editor, I work with the director, producers, and the picture editor to make sure I understand their sensibilities and how they want the show to sound. I also work with the producers to make sure I understand the parameters, schedule, and budget. At the same time, I work with the sound editors to coordinate the dialogue, ADR, foley, sound effects, and sound design. Then I take those elements to the mix stage, working with the Re-recording Mixers to make sure they have everything they need to deliver the soundtrack.Ian McShane in Deadwood: The Movie via HBO FilmsPB: How were you invited to work on Deadwood: The Movie?MW: I was originally just going to handle the ADR for the film, as Ben Cook was slated to supervise. However, as schedules shift, Ben was no longer available. So with his recommendation, I became the Supervising Sound Editor for the show, along with Daniel Colman as Co-Supervising Sound Editor.Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood (TV Series) via HBO – 2004PB: The original Deadwood series ended in 2006. What was it like re-creating that world over ten years later?MW: It was a bit daunting at first. In the film, Deadwood is more established than the original series. We had access to and used the original recordings and sound effects from the series, leaning into authenticity. We also used a lot of loop group to establish the town. The same loop group from the series was used on the film. Joyce Kurtz, our loop group leader, brought folks out of retirement. It was invaluable because they knew the sound of Deadwood and, instantly, became the characters on-screen.PB: Did you want to keep a sonic continuity between the original series and Deadwood: The Movie?MW: Yes, we did. We leaned into it, taking every effort to make sure it sounded familiar to the audience. At the same time, we were directed to add scale to the soundtrack because it was a movie.Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood: The Movie via HBO FilmsPB: Deadwood: The Movie is set in 1889. What are some challenges in creating sound for a period piece?MW: It is important to use clean sounds that are free of anything that sounds modern. You can’t have traffic or airplanes in the recordings. We used the fine tip brush to add all the gritty sonic details. We had the added responsibility of being accurate to the time and place. Daniel Colman went to great lengths to make sure the train sound was geographically accurate, making sure the horn was from the train that ran through Deadwood at that time.Stephen Dorff and Mahershala Ali in True Detective via HBOPB: How did you approach creating the sound for True Detective Season Three?MW: We focused on tension and mood in True Detective. Nic Pizzolatto writes such interesting characters, and it’s such a dialogue-driven show that we wanted to make sure that the dialogue was crystal clear. It was a minimalist approach to the sound effects, as it has been the aesthetic for the series. It has to feel real and timely. Concentrating our efforts on the transitions between the three timelines and making sure that the audience is tracking where we were in the story, at any given time.PB: Did the time jumps in True Detective present any unique challenges for you and your team? Were there any other challenges designing the sound and mix for the show?MW: We wanted to make sure the audience was tracking the timeline transitions. So, we spent additional time on the first set of transitions because it’s all about creating tension. We played with the sounds and timing — from the card in the spokes of a boy’s bicycle tire to the ticking of the watch and then the ticking of the clock — as we transition between the three timelines.Carmen Ejogo in True Detective via HBOPB: Did True Detective’s show-runner, Nic Pizzolatto, want to create a sense of aesthetic/sonic continuity between the different seasons of True Detective, or are they viewed as existing with their own context?MW: No. Each season is a separate story.PB: How did you weave T-Bone Burnett’s score into the sound design?MW: T-Bone’s tracks are awesome. They often play really low, and naturally dance on that fine line where you don’t know where the music hands over to sound design, and vice versa.PB: What elements of the show/film inspire the sound design and how do you know if you got it right?MW: We listen to the director, producers, and editors to understand their sensibilities. Then, we lean into the story and visuals, adding our own interpretation.Gerald McRaney in Deadwood: The Movie via HBOPB: What was your favorite aspect of working as a Supervising Sound Editor on True Detective and Deadwood: The Movie?MW: I really enjoy working with the director, producers, and editor(s) to understand their vision. Then, translating that so the sound team can add a sophistication and their interpretation. That’s when it becomes a collaboration.PB: Do you often work with the same sound mix/sound editing teams? Tell us about working with the sound teams on these two shows.MW: There are several people that I work with, as often as possible. Our Sound Designer on True Detective, David Esparza, and I have worked together on nearly forty projects now. Ryan Collins cuts for us, whenever he is not mixing.  Eryne Prine is another key member of the team. In fact, the whole thing would fall apart without her. Micah Loken recently joined the team, but he’s not going anywhere, if we can keep him busy enough.I brought several folks onto Deadwood that I’ve wanted to work with over the years. But, I also finally had the pleasure of working with Daniel Colman, John Cook, and Bill Freesh. It’s always nice when you get to work with such talented people.Mandell Winter via IMDbPB: What programs and software do you typically work with?MW: On both shows, we edited in Pro-Tools and mixed on the Avid S6 console. Our sound designer on True Detective, David Esparza, used Kyma for some of the designed elements — when Hayes is haunted by the ghost of his wife.PB: Do you have any advice for aspiring audio engineers wanting to work in sound for TV and film?MW: You have to really love sound because you’re going to put in long hours. Find mentors and people that’ll teach you what they know. Go for it.Looking for more industry insights from professionals? Check these out.Editor Tom Jarvis on “Carpool Karaoke” with Paul McCartneyFilm and Video Game Composer Austin Wintory on Success from Failure7 Filmmaking Interviews with Real-World Career AdviceIndustry Insights with Cinematographer Michael FranksDirector Nora Mandray on Using History to Understand the Presentlast_img read more

What lies behind Nitish Kumar’s flip-flops?

first_imgAs the CBI conducted a raid at RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s 10, Circular Road, an official residence of former chief minister and his wife Rabri Devi, over corruption charges early on Friday morning, CM Nitish Kumar was taking a break in the hillocks of Rajgir, some 100 km from Patna.Mr. Kumar had left Patna abruptly on Thursday. This point sparked much speculation in political circles when the CBI reached Mr. Prasad’s place.Now what will be Mr. Kumar’s next step: will he prefer to carry on the alliance with the RJD to save his government until 2020? Or, would he snap ties mid-way with the ‘tainted’ ally to bolster his image for a possible Prime Ministerial bid in 2019? Only, time will tell.Mr. Kumar’s recent flip-flops have surprised many. At one time he extends his support to the Congress party in the name of Opposition unity, the next moment he backs the BJP-led NDA government’s policies, plans and presidential pick and says he cannot be a pichhalagu (camp follower).Blowing hot and coldOne day he is seen to be cold to his ruling alliance partner while, soon after, he declares that the alliance is united.He often says he is not in the race for the Prime Minister’s post in 2019 but, a year back he had said, “if a person is destined to become Prime Minister, he would become the PM one day.”Unlike his alliance partners, he commands not more than 4% of his caste vote bank in Bihar but in the last 2015 Assembly election his JD(U) got 16.8% vote share with 71 seats out of a total of 243. His party came second in seat numbers after RJD (80) but, he became the chief minister for the third time. He has allied with almost all mainstream political parties taking their inside or outside support just to remain in power.Aiming highBut, why has he been blowing hot and cold with both his ruling alliance partners: RJD and Congress? Why does he take a step towards BJP one moment and take two steps back the next? Is he trying to keep everyone in the loop while exploring possibilities for that “something big” in 2019? Many believe, yes.last_img read more

Paul George heading to Thunder, Griffin stays with Clippers – reports

first_imgPagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games What ‘missteps’? Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games LATEST STORIES In other trade moves reported Friday, Los Angeles Clippers stalwart Blake Griffin is set to sign a new five-year deal that will see him remain in California.The Los Angeles Times and ESPN both reported that Griffin would sign a deal worth $173 million after scrapping scheduled meetings with Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets.It follows a tumultuous week for the Clippers, who on Wednesday saw Chris Paul depart for the Houston Rockets ahead of free agency starting on Saturday.READ: Clippers coach Rivers on Chris Paul trade: ‘I hate the way it ended’Paul joined the Rockets following a reported rift with coach Doc Rivers. Griffin, the top overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, last week opted out of his contract and became an unrestricted free agent.ADVERTISEMENT China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Paul George and Russell Westbrook are set to become teammates in the Oklahoma City Thunder. AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTOLOS ANGELES—Indiana Pacers star Paul George is set to join the Oklahoma City Thunder in a blockbuster deal that will see Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis head in the opposite direction, reports said Friday (Saturday, Manila).ESPN reported that four-time All-Star forward George heads to the Thunder despite pledging to remain with the Pacers for the 2017-2018 season.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Pacquiao, Horn make weight for fight LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments George, 27, had been widely linked to a 2018 move to the Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes a free agent next year.READ: Paul George informs Pacers he will leave in 2018FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsInstead, the Pacers star is now poised to join Oklahoma City, where he will forge a partnership with NBA 2016-17 Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook.No further details of the proposed deal were immediately available, but the move would enable Indiana to obtain talent for losing George, something they wouldn’t get if he played out his contract next season. Paul and Griffin have been integral to the Clippers’ record of reaching the post-season in the last six seasons, although they have never made it further than the second round.Griffin has also endured recent seasons disrupted by injuries that have restricted him to just 83 regular season appearances in the past three seasons.Griffin averaged 21.6 points and 8.1 rebounds last season in 61 games.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more