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Category: Technical

Walking your dog with a drone

Walking your dog with a drone

With isolation orders spreading around the world, people are staying inside to avoid spreading coronavirus. Some people are coming up with clever ways to avoid catching this disease…even when walking their dogs.

Balancing a bouncing ball

Balancing a bouncing ball

Electron Dust shows off a nifty machine that can bounce a ping pong ball, while keeping it balanced and centered on its moving platform. It uses combination of open-source image processing software and Arduino-controlled stepper motors to work its magic.

It is an arduino project with 120 FPS OpenCV image processing and smooth stepper motor moves. The machine calculates the ball’s 3D position from the image processing data and uses this information to control the orange ping pong ball.

Uses an e-con Systems superb See3CAM_CU135 camera. Find out more about the camera here: https://www.e-consystems.com/4k-usb-c…

This machine requires the following things to work:

  • 1x Teensy 4.0 Microcontroller
  • 4x StepperOnline DM442S stepper motor drivers
  • 4x Nema 17 Stepper Motors with 5:1 planetary gearbox
  • 1x 48V 8A power supply
  • 1x e-con Systems See3CAM_CU135 camera
  • 1x Windows Computer with OpenCV installed on it –

All the parts defined the Fusion360 project – Custom Windows Application (made with Unity). Read more here: https://electrondust.com/2020/03/02/t… Complete code and Fusion360 data on Github: https://github.com/T-Kuhn/HighPrecisi…

Nightmare fuel

Nightmare fuel

Image result for faith game

While a relatively short game, the indie horror game FAITH has gotten great accolades. It’s available for free on itch.io if you want to give it a try.

One of the more frightening elements of the game are the voices of the encountered creatures. The voices for at least one of the creepy characters was generated using a text-to-speech program called SAM (Software Automatic Mouth) written in 1982 for the Commodore 64.

The C source code is available on github, or you can give some of your own phrases a try here via a clever web interface.

Unreal Engine resource viewer

Unreal Engine resource viewer

This is a really cool tool (UE Viewer/uModel). I have used this several times to explore and export models and resources from various games. You just need to know what version of Unreal the game was developed with.

For example, I extracted a model from Dead by Daylight by pointing this tool at the pak file directory (…\Steam\steamapps\common\Dead by Daylight\DeadByDaylight\Content\Paks) and indicated the game was ‘Unreal Engine 4 version 4.21’.

Improving mental health with games

Improving mental health with games

What if we could start treating mental health issues using games? The game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice sought to capture experiences of those with mental illness – especially schizophrenia.

The Insight Project is a partnership with the game studio Ninja Theory and clinical neuroscientists. The video is a little bit pretentious, but is a solid idea.

Does VR have the ability to help diagnose and treat people deal with various mental health problems? I believe so. The ability to simulate the experiences of schitzophrenia (a disease that often sets in later in life) could help people recognize the symptoms and get treatment before their condition deteriorates. Many conditions such as phobias and anxiety are often treated with exposure therapy. A virtual reality environment might be the perfect place to set up environments in which people can be safely be exposed to their fears – with all variables controlled. People that need help with social anxiety could be treated with simulated situations to help them learn good interaction skills. I think this has some great potential to really improve lives.

UFO’s finally explained

UFO’s finally explained

This guy mounted a 1000 watt LED light bar under his drone and creating some pretty amazing shots. Check it out. Opens some interesting photography ideas up for me. The ability to turn a spot location from night into day has some interesting implications…