The drones are coming.
Printing three dimensional objects with incredibly fine details is now possible using “two-photon lithography”. With this technology, tiny structures on a nanometer scale can be fabricated.
Electronic Countermeasures is a project by Liam Young of think tank Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today, working with design studio Unknown Fields Division, and Eleanor Saitta and Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu of Superflux. The project is essentially an autonomous, roaming Internet swarm, constructed from repurposed UAVs.
Legislation just signed by President Obama directs the Federal Aviation Administration to open the skies to remotely controlled drones within the next three years. It will begin in 90 days with police and first responders having authority to fly smaller drones of less than 4.4 pounds at altitudes under 400 feet. Gradually, all drones are to be allowed by Sept. 30, 2015.
In his lab at Penn, Vijay Kumar and his team build flying quadrotors, small, agile robots that swarm, sense each other, and form ad hoc teams — for construction, surveying disasters and far more.
I turn to that, Beatrix approves, and we watch. Then, a few minutes later, a commercial comes on. The volume difference is jarring to say the least. I would safely guess it is fifty percent louder than the show. I hurriedly reach for the remote and turn it down…
“Why did you turn the movie off, Daddy?”, Beatrix worriedly asks, as if she has done something wrong and is being punished by having her entertainment interrupted. She thinks that’s what I was doing by rushing for the remote.
“I didn’t turn it off, honey. This is just a commercial. I was turning the volume down because it was so loud. Shrek will come back on in a few minutes” I say.
“Did it break?”, she asks. It does sometimes happen at home that Flash or Silverlight implode, interrupt her show, and I have to fix it.
“No. It’s just a commercial.”
“What’s a commercial?”, she asks.
”It is like little shows where they tell you about other shows and toys and snacks.”, I explain.
“Well the TV people think you might like to know about this stuff.”
“This is boring! I want to watch Shrek.”
A new effort under way at the world’s largest museum and research institution could eventually mean more of its 137 million objects will be publicly available, even if just via 3D digital models.
And yet more from the wearable display front…the way that modern gadget production works seems to be very much a sort of punctuated equilibrium. There are ideas, then a breakthrough in sensor production and pricing causes an explosion of forms, which then settle down into a few winners (see: eReaders in 2010, Tablets in 2011, etc). I am very curious where this particular explosion is going to take us.
Autodesk provides a free 3D modeling tool, complete with straightforward export options for most 3D printers and lasercutters. Windows only for now, although an OS X version appears to be on the way.