Updated: Aug 3
I'm closing out July with some interesting news from the tech world that really just tickled my little wanna-be adventurer heart. Coming out of the gate is the newest quadruped robot from CERBERUS, the ANYmal C, and its accompanying hover drone, RMF-Obelix, which are currently learning to explore underground mines and caves. They're using a path planner software to map out their exploration called, GBPlanner2. What's cool is all of the robots and drones are interconnected and share their map info with each other on a central map. Then they all figure out the best way for each of them to explore. This can lead to better rescue efforts during disasters such as earthquakes and tornados. What a cool swarm idea. Plus, the little robot dog has a friend now.
Next is the trippy virtual reality experience called Plastisapiens which debuted at Tribeca Immersive Festival this year. It's surreal and I mean fever dream surreal, an experience that explores the interaction of humans with the environment. You all know I am hugely interested in the climate crisis and this film is definitely memorable. The music alone is enough to grab your attention. Let me know what you think. And if you'd like to check out the other entries, click on the link above.
Ever wanted to name a celestial object? Well, you can officially name a black hole now for only ten bucks. Head over to the International Black Hole Registry and fill out the form to name your very own. They even suggest names that allude to the most known property of a black hole...it sucks. I plan on christening one "Raquel's Novel Plot Holes."
If you're feeling generous with your time (30min) and you have access to a computer, you could become a Walrus Detective for science! The World Wildlife Fund and British Antarctic Survey have launched a citizen scientist program to help them track the effects of climate change. Volunteers will be tasked to look at satellite images of Atlantic walrus and Laptev Sea walrus and count them while they lounge on sea ice. Easy, right? It's fun and also contributes to our body of knowledge during this climate crisis. Anyone over the age of 13 is welcome to help.
Finally, we have some fun AI programs available to the public. I've posted results of playing with Dall-E on my Twitter feed and the results are pretty cool. There seems to be a certain look to the outputs of these programs. So much so that you can tell if the piece is from Wombo or StarryAi. But they're getting better. Some are even churning out renderings that are nearly unrecognizable from the work of human artists. No matter what you think about that subject, you must admit the pictures are intriguing. Now we have Google's Imagen which is light years beyond what's available to consumers just yet.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend heading into August. Stay cool and let me know how you enjoyed the videos and artwork.