Paper Signals: A Voice Experiment from Google

Super interesting maker/prototyping experiment from Google…use a few pieces of cheap hardware and paper construction to build a device that listens to your voice, and acts as an ambient information sensor. Potentially really useful for maker programs in libraries (if you don’t mind the creepy Google factor).

Paper Signals are build-it-yourself objects that you control with your voice.

Source: Paper Signals: A Voice Experiment

LulzBot drops some hardware

Lulzbot, everyone’s favorite 3D printer company, announced some amazing new stuff today. The first is a new version of their customized Cura, my choice for quick and easy slicing/plating for Lulzbot printers. But the really interesting stuff is all the hardware they announced!

Modular Bed System for both the Taz and Mini

Dual Extruder v3, with a new water-soluble support filament

 

A new inexpensive enclosure for either the Taz or Mini, and very exciting for a lot of libraries, a stand-alone controller for the Mini that just clips on and allows for computer-free printing directly from an SD card.

It’s great to see Lulzbot continue to innovate and make their printers even more useful. There’s a reason they are my number one choice for libraries looking at a 3d printer purchase.

OMG a new Aibo!

 

From The Verge:

The new Aibo is available to pre-order in Japan today and will go on sale on January 11th, 2018; there aren’t any plans yet to release it outside of Sony’s homeland. It costs 198,000 yen, or about $1,700, as well as the monthly subscription — but what price can you put on cloud-powered robot companionship?

Amazon releases new Echo/Alexa devices

Amazon announced a ton of new connected devices today for their Alexa ecosystem, including the first serious revision of the basic Echo (now $99) and the Echo Plus, an Echo with smart home hub built in. Also announced is the Echo Spot, a new form factor for a screen-bearing Echo with camera. The somewhat odd ones are the Echo Connect, a VOIP box that connects a landline to an existing Echo device in the home. The Connect then allows the Echo to act as a smart speakerphone, enabling voice-controlled dialing and the like. Potentially huge for accessibility, it’s an unusual product for the Echo ecosystem.

 

But not quite as odd as the Echo Buttons, which are 2-for-$20 accessories for playing games with an existing Echo. The idea is to use them like buzz-in buttons on game shows, with the Echo acting as a gamemaster for trivia games and the like.

I suppose the Buttons + Echo might make for a fun library trivia night activity? Let me know if you plan to try it out at your library.

Source: Amazon debuts redesigned $99 Echo, plus a slew of new Echo devices, too | Ars Technica

3D Scanning with Water

The research is documented in a paper entitled “Dip Transform for 3D Shape Reconstruction,” which you can access here. In the paper, the researchers describe how they created what’s called a dip scanner, which literally dips an object into a bath of water. The object is repeatedly dipped in different orientations, and the water’s volume displacement is measured, which provides an accurate representation of the object’s entire shape.

Source: 3D Scanning with Water: Researchers Introduce New “Dip Transform” Method | 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing

 BlackBelt 3D Printer

This is the first truly novel FDM 3d printer that I’ve seen in years…not only do they look like they’ve solved a few issues (printing at an angle allows for overhangs to be dealt with differently) but the never-ending printed is genius. The printer isn’t cheap, but this is extremely clever engineering.

I look forward to seeing this come to fruition.

Elon Musk Thinks We’re Four or Five Years Away From Neural Lace

Elon Musk’s neural lace project could turn us all into cyborgs, and he says that it’s only four or five years away. The billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla has long been an outspoken critic of unrestricted artificial intelligence, and has been quietly researching the concept of “neural lace,” a merger of machine learning and human intelligence that could revolutionize our species. In a profile published Monday in Vanity Fair, Musk said he thinks a “meaningful partial brain interface” could be here in less t

Source: Elon Musk Thinks We’re Four or Five Years Away From Neural Lace | Inverse

DJI MG-1S – Agricultural Wonder Drone

Farmers are required to manage acres of farmland at a time, and have recently begun to tap into aerial technology to do so efficiently and sustainably. DJI MG-1S revolutionizes the way in which farmers can utilize drones to manage and take care of their crops. In this video, three individuals in the agricultural drone industry speak of their experiences with DJI’s MG-1S and tell us why it stands out amongst the UAV choices when considering factors of precision, effectiveness, intuitiveness, ease of use, s

Robot Scanners + AI metadata = Ripcord

Sounds more and more like Rainbows End every day…

Ripcord takes your static, paper records collecting dust in warehouses and uses robots to scan, OCR and upload them to Ripcord Canopy, our cloud platform. Once on Ripcord Canopy, you can manage your records or integrate them into your existing enterprise systems. Ripcord’s end-to-end solution includes shipping, scanning, indexing, auto-classifying and unlimited access to Ripcord Canopy. We also include connections to the enterprise systems you already use at no extra cost.

Source: Digitization | Ripcord