Category Archives: FutureTech

Shooting the $17,000 Linux-powered rifle

This is a wonderfully detailed article about an interesting new blend of weapon and tech…the Precision Guided Firearm. For those unfamiliar with guns, it’s effectively a computer-assisted firearm, relying on a human to pick a target and tell the gun where you’d like the bullet to go. The gun then tells you when it’s in the right position and angle to actually hit the target you chose, and fires appropriately. According to the article linked below, the reporters were able to hit targets the size of a dinner plate at 1000 yards…insane, unheard of accuracy even for the very best human marksmen.

With a marketing plan that involves iPads, Google Glass, and gamification of target practice, this company is very, very savvy. I am interested to see what they come up with, and how quickly this system drops in price.

The Precision Guided Firearm is a “whole widget” type of thing—it’s not just a fancy scope on top of a fancy gun, but rather a tightly integrated system coupling a rifle, an ARM-powered scope running a modified version of Angström Linux (with some custom BitBake recipes and kernel modules to support the rifle’s proprietary hardware), and a linked trigger mechanism whose weighting is controlled by the scope.

via Bullseye from 1,000 yards: Shooting the $17,000 Linux-powered rifle | Ars Technica.

How doctors printed my new face – Telegraph

Another example of how 3D printing is revolutionizing certain medical procedures. Prior to the spread of 3D design and printing, this work was done by individual artists at huge expense and with often long turn around times…and, with no disrespect to the artists involved, often not as much precision and matching of existing structures.

By creating scans of what was left of his skull and using computers to recreate what his face would look like, they were able to use a new type of printer that builds up layer upon layer of nylon plastic to produce the exact components they would need.

via How doctors printed my new face – Telegraph.

MYO – The Gesture Control Armband

This looks….promising. I don’t expect any single type of input mechanism to “win” in the alternative-input-wars, as some combination device/system is more likely to be more effective. But this looks very interesting…

The MYO armband lets you use the electrical activity in your muscles to wirelessly control your computer, phone, and other favorite digital technologies.

MYO – The Gesture Control Armband.

The DIY Kid-tracking Drone

via The DIY Kid-tracking Drone – IEEE Spectrum.

On school-day mornings, I walk my grade-school-age son 400 meters down the hill to the bus stop. Last winter, I fantasized about sitting at my computer while a camera-equipped drone followed him overhead.

 

So this year, I set out to build one.

I had said in several presentations that I was betting that 2012 was the year we’d see the first lawsuits for stalking-by-drone. This project is the first steps to that…if you use professional-grade hardware and add in facial recognition, it’s within the boundaries of current technology to build a drone that identifies someone visually, and then just follows them around, filming them.

That said: This is a _freaking cool_ project. 🙂

Memoto Lifelogging Camera by Memoto — Kickstarter

I’ve been looking for a good answer for lifelogging for awhile, and have been anticipating the point at which the technology drops in price enough to make this possible for the average consumer. Google Glasses is the high-end answer, and this may just be the sort of thing that emerges at the low end.

The Memoto camera is a tiny camera and GPS that you clip on and wear. It’s an entirely new kind of digital camera with no controls. Instead, it automatically takes photos as you go. The Memoto app then seamlessly and effortlessly organizes them for you.

via Memoto Lifelogging Camera by Memoto — Kickstarter.

3-D Printer Company says “not with our machine”

The WikiWeapons/Printable Gun project seems to be drawing the ire of not only one of the largest 3D printer manufacturers in the US:

Stratasys’s legal counsel wrote back: “It is the policy of Stratasys not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes. Therefore, please be advised that your lease of the Stratasys uPrint SE is cancelled at this time and Stratasys is making arrangements to pick up the printer,” stated the letter, which Wilson posted to Defense Distributed’s website. The next day, contractors hired by the company arrived at Wilson’s apartment in an Enterprise rental van and took the printer.

…but also the ATF:

Wilson visited the ATF field office in Austin on Monday to ask about the legal and regulatory issues surrounding the Wiki Weapons project, he tells Danger Room. Instead, he was brought into a room, questioned and was told the agency was preparing to visit his apartment this afternoon for an “investigation,” he says. He added that the ATF believes he’s not broken any laws, and that the agency believes 3-D printed guns fall into a regulatory gray area, but that he still needs to get licensed if he’s to manufacture a weapon.

This is going to be really, really interesting. Is it illegal to post instructions for a printable weapon? Where do those lines fall? The next 5 years is going to make these sorts of questions very troublesome…and just wait another 10 years until molecular-level printing is happening and see what that does for drug laws.

via 3-D Printer Company Seizes Machine From Desktop Gunsmith | Danger Room | Wired.com.