*notcot - 07.31.11 , 22:00 - 0 Notes

Robo Mimicry from Shawn Sims + Karl Willis, CMU

robo1.jpg Love this Robo Mimicry from Shawn Sims + Karl Willis at CMU. There’s something magical about those huge robotic arms we always run into in manufacturing plants ~ big bright colors, mesmerizing to watch them assemble, paint, and do just about anything more powerful and precise than a human can… consistently… but there’s a lack of the fluidity and possibility within them… and since Shawn Sims showed me what initially looked like lightwriting pics on his iphone that were already visually mesmerizing… i was even more pulled in upon realizing they were 1) created by those awesome robotic arms 2) they were mimicking in z-space what a human had initially shown it through moving a hand around naturally… and using a Kinect as it’s eye…

The playful potential of taking the precise, programmable motions and actions of these robotic arms ~ and exploring their artistic and more “human” or organic motions ~ opens up a whole world of robotic lightwriting graffiti, painting, or a synchronized visual display (whether multiple robotic arms in one location, or across the globe) ~ the ability to explore ways that others may interact or control these robotic arms and have beautiful visual/motion captured results just send my head spinning with ideas… and perhaps that’s exactly why Shawn and i are teaming up for NOTlabs to see where else we can go with this space where art, technology, and culture are constantly overlapping… (While NOTlabs is in quiet incubation mode at the moment ~ feel free to follow us on Twitter as we figure out where we’re headed!) But for now… take a peek at the videos and images of the beautifully organic movements of the awesomely orange ABB4400 robot that is tucked away in CMU’s Digital Fabrication Lab as it fluidly dances and mimics with light on the next page!

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*notcot - , 14:40 - 4 Notes

PenGo Brushpen

pengo1.jpg On surprising Comic-con discoveries, i had a great chat with the LA based, PenGo. Their latest tablet apps for painting/drawing and their new Brush Pen with three swappable tips (thick, thin, and brush!) were available to demo before launch, and they are more impressive than any others i’ve played with! As you can see in the pic above, they’ve managed to create Wacom-like pressure based sensitivity in their latest version of their app which hasn’t been released yet. It was such a tease to get to play with their app and brush without being able to buy it yet! The ability to draw and doodle was incredibly fun! Take a peek at their newest product the Brush Pen on the next page… and keep an eye on their site for the official product launch!

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*notcot - 07.27.11 , 11:00 - 9 Notes

Spyshots: 2012 Honda CR-V Accident?

2012honda0.jpg So i already showed you the car accident mess i was in here. Sadly my car is totalled, but luckily i’m on the mend ~ and trying to figure out the next car and how to get better as fast as possible! On a separate note… friends and family checking out the accident pics noticed that i might have been hit by a 2012 Honda CR-V in stealth super secret prototype mode? (Bonus points to my dad and Acquire for noticing this!) And all the info and mysterious lack of data on the year/make/ of the car by the police/guy who hit me… and that he was from Ohio and may work for Honda… and checking out spyshots of the 2012 Honda CR-V the design and coverings seem to match really well… So it does seem to point to them being right? Did i really nearly get crushed in my car by a super stealth 2012 Honda CR-V?!?! See pics from the scene of the accident as well as spyshots for comparison on the next page!

p.s. looks like even Autoblog noticed… as did Jalopnik… and Automobile

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*notcot - , 00:35 - 34 Notes

The Car Accident

accident1.jpg Wow. So some of you may have heard on twitter and/or facebook that it’s been a rough few days, since i got in a car accident on Sunday. Sadly out of nowhere a car made a harsh left turn into me (when we were supposed to merge on to PCH) pushing me into stopped oncoming traffic. 4 car collision blocking PCH. Not fun. Airbag in my face upon impact, cops, firemen, and tow trucks on site in no time ~ neckbrace on ~ out of the car and on to a stretcher and into an ambulance and straight to the ER. Apparently it is just like the TV shows ~ the views of rolling by staring at the ambulance ceiling… and the hallways of hospitals from the room with the TV to the xray machines and back… Watched some of The World Is Not Enough from what seemed to be a James Bond marathon on Syfy while waiting. And i was lucky ~ really really lucky apparently ~ while my car is TOTALLED (poor poor car - see pics on the next page) ~ i managed to escape with a separated clavicle leaving my arm in a sling and neck pains that need icing/heating, and quite a bit of bruising everywhere the seatbelt makes contact. Hopefully, that’s all, but they do say things sometimes creep up on you as your body adjusts to the trauma?

Anyhow ~ it’s been a rough few days ~ and that’s why i’ve been pretty quiet. Dealing with the nice insurance guys ~ the collision guys who just shake their head when they see the state of my car and look in wonder at how i survived so unscathed… and starting to come to terms with the fact that my Toyota Highlander that took such good care of me the last 5 years is pretty much a goner (though, amazing how well it took such an impact and protected me!) needs replacing. So car shopping begins now? Ideas? And along the whole insane catastrophe, couldn’t help but to snap a few pics with the HTC Sensation - so take a peek of pics during, after, and the state of my car on the next page!

p.s. Rumor has it that i might have been hit by a 2012 Honda CR-V mule in super spy mode? See more close up pics of it here.

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*notcot - 07.14.11 , 09:36 - 1 Notes

Ace Hotel NY + Chromebook + Superfuture

acechrome0.jpg On awesome tech + hotel collaborations, latest one i’m loving is the Ace Hotel NY and Google teaming up to put Chromebooks in EVERY room and in the hands of lobby folks to experience them throughout their visits. Sure it’s great that they provide them for use both in and out of the hotel throughout your stay, but even cooler? The custom felt cases designed by Ace x Google that they come in! AND the Superfuture powered “Ace Hotel New York Field Guide” they’ve created as well! And bonus? “For guests, we’re laying out an extra gift: an Ace x Google designed notebook - with real paper - wearing a John Milton quote from 1634.” So whether you’re a guest staying at the Ace, or just hanging out for some Stumptown in the lobby - feel free to ask to borrow a Chromebook next time you’re in there! And take a peek at all the fun little details of this collab ~ all the details from the case to the guide are on the next page as experienced in one of the lovely Ace Hotel NY lofts!

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*notcot - 07.12.11 , 10:15 - 1 Notes

People Staring At Computers

stareatcomp.jpg The latest intervention by Kyle McDonald is causing quite a stir… with the Secret Service (and Apple?) - People Staring at Computers. It’s exactly what it sounds like ~ and not so different from what i’m seeing (and looking like) now as i co-work over vidchat. All of those moments when he or i are lost in our work or other windows, there’s that fixated stare that glazes over us all as the screens suck us in… As for Kyle’s project ~ the most interesting aspect is HOW and WHERE he got the images.

So if you happened to wander into an Apple store in NY last week, odds are you may have stumbled right into his exhibition. As you played with one of the machines, you might have a moment where the computer took your picture, showed it to you by fading your image in full screen, and the proceeded to show you those others than came before you. A selection of the pics were published to the People Staring at Computers tumblr, as well as a little video documenting the intervention/exhibition. While it clearly brings up issues of privacy and legality ~ i love the way it shifts our perspectives to see how computers see US ~ and it ain’t pretty. Are all our screens making us zombies? Apparently… So flip that camera on and perhaps start capturing what YOU look like when working/staring away unknowingly at your screens, it may surprise you! Check out the video and more info on the next page!

p.s. And as for the legality and secret service aspect of things ~ great discussion going on over at Techdirt ~ and as for how the press is approaching it here’s the BBC take.

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*notcot - 07.03.11 , 14:40 - 2 Notes

Hatsune Miku in LA

miku0.jpg Toyota invited me tonight to Hatsune Miku’s Los Angeles concert. (It sold out in 2 hours?) Apparently it’s “her” first time outside of Asia and this j-pop 3D holograph superstar has been rumored to be like the next Gaga… how could i say no to this experience to see if vocaloids could take over?

Well, first impressions. I thought she was bigger. Rumors were floating around that she’d be 20ft tall! She was little asian girl sized it seemed. And she felt like a 3D holo-mime in a big screen/box on stage (particularly when she pounded her fists forwards). And things really looked best when you stared at the giant screens that perfectly captured/optimized her 3D look (aka, you might be better off watching the official vids of concerts online). Though i must say the crowd’s energy was something else ~ while everyone was seated (it felt as if we were watching her amazing band play behind a cartoon) ~ there was non stop high pitched screaming ~ and there weren’t nearly as many young girls as i would have expected in the audience. And everyone seemed to know exactly what to do with the glow sticks ~ waving them in sync with certain wrist actions at just the right moments. So, honestly, the hype had me hoping for more, but my curiosity about the tech and real life experience had me fascinated. Where this is heading is definitely curious ~ but Hatsune Miku definitely doesn’t have enough stage presence to pull me in quite yet… perhaps she should have interacted a bit more with humans during the dance numbers to really mix it all… her band members stayed in their respective spots all night. Take a peek at pics of how it felt to watch it in real life on the next page ~ as well as a vid from one of her other shows!

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*notcot - 07.01.11 , 14:25 - 0 Notes

Toyota Ideas For Good: The Video

ifg0.jpg Almost exactly a month ago ~ i shared a peek into my insane days in Pittsburgh with the Toyota Ideas for Good teams ~ a combo of Toyota, Saatchi & Saatchi, Deeplocal, and CMU folks to name a few ~ making the ideas of winners to apply Toyota technologies to other purposes ~ all in the name of GOOD! The ambitious weekend of going from ideation to fully functioning prototypes was one of the most inspiring whirlwind trips i’ve had the pleasure of being pulled into.

So as a recap ~ what have you seen so far? The ROLLERCOASTER Deeplocal made from prius parts! Day 1 chaos! Adventures with the Firetruck! And if you recall ~ throughout the amazing experience, i found myself dancing around the various film crews doing their thing, constantly shuffling to stay out of shots while sneaking a few of my own, till i realized my shots were ultimately documenting their process! So finally, here it is… the awesome recap video to tie that weekend together that Slim Pictures did a great job on. And for a bit more silliness? More sneak peeks at the inspiring weekend… See it all on the next page…

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*notcot - 06.15.11 , 07:37 - 2 Notes

Mini HD Action Cam Roundup

cameramain.jpg This series/post is brought to you by Gillette. Learn more about Gillette and its products at Gillette.com. As usual, thoughts and ideas are all NOTCOT, Gillette is sponsoring us to do our thing!

Technology is AWESOME. I love that moment where it becomes SO easy for just about anyone to capture things we couldn’t even fathom/experience fully without it… like all these tiny everything-proofed action cams that are becoming more and more easily available and create incredible imagery/video ultimately reminding us how amazing humans are… or mounted to things like RC flying magines to create incredible aerial flyover vids of Venice Beach. Why tradeoff between living the action and capturing it on camera? With these Mini HD action cams, you can capture and even stream your activities live and in HD. There’s something for surfers, divers, cyclists, drivers, and just about any other use if you get creative! Whatever your activity, they make a mount for it and a housing tough enough to withstand it. So grab a cam, a mount and get out there! See some of our most enticing finds on the next page!

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*notcot - 06.03.11 , 21:00 - 0 Notes

Ideas For Good: Day 1 Prototyping

ifg0.jpg YES. They are in fact up on a firetruck. Wow. What an inspiringly energetic day it’s been here in Pittsburgh in a huge Carnegie Mellon Robotics workspace ~ playing with Toyota, Deeplocal, Carnegie Mellon researchers, and the Toyota Ideas For Good winners. What they are trying to achieve this weekend is no easy feat ~ the artists/engineers/makers of Deeplocal promised (before even knowing which concepts the internet would vote to win) to take the 5 winning concepts from the Toyota Ideas For Good contest, where Toyota asked how you would use their vehicle technology in a unique way to “do good,” and along with the winners themselves, turn them all in to working prototypes during the weekend. This would be a challenge even without the time limit… but now add on the frenetic circus of 3 camera crews, media, agency folks, and MORE circulating and flitting about throughout the process! Being part of that chaos watching in fascination, i spent the day trying to stay out of the ways of the engineers and camera crews ~ focusing on the great energy and capturing my view of the impressive productivity everywhere i turned… Inevitably, staying out of the camera crew’s way meant a new found fascination with watching and capturing how they work as well!

Ready for a sneak peek at the progress that has been made? And the reality TV like setting of the weekend? From impressive rubberband/plexi/wood ipad keyboards ~ to a FIRETRUCK ~ to a cute mod shelter that will be cooked in tomorrow… check it out on the next page!

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*rugenius - 05.25.11 , 14:50 - 2 Notes

Jaguar C-X75 Concept Car

jag.jpg Just in from the UK ~ Justine just checked out Clerkenwell Design Week!

One of the highlights of Clerkenwell Design Week is Jaguar’s C-X75 concept car. Jaguar will produce 250 of the striking hybrid supercars in association with Williams F1. As for design inspiration - “The C-X75’s designers found inspiration in the innovative engineering and functional design elements of cars like the 1950s C-Type and D-Type racers and unique 1966 XJ13 Le Mans prototype.” Additionally it’s leather is sourced from the Scottish Bridge of Weir, one of the most environmentally efficient leather producers in the world… and up to 50% of the C-X75’s structure is made of recycled aluminium! Stunning, right? Especially in contrast to the old industrial, woody setting of the Farmiloe Building that was once home of Victorian lead and glass merchants! Despite how much the display tries pull you in to photograph it, it’s pretty irresistible. But enough talk, more photos after the jump!

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*notcot - 05.20.11 , 12:55 - 1 Notes

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe

2012c63-0.jpg I might have some C63 lusting happening since spending the week with that Louboutin Mars Red 2011 Mercedes-AMG C63… and when i was going to show you pics of that one, i ended up getting sucked in to the design of the new 2012 model on the way… particularly the Coupe. Something about panoramic sunroofs fascinates me… imagine all the fun and unexpected photo angles you could have through that! Design wise, liking the simplified grill design and body updates, as well as the interior dashboard design that’s evolving nicely. From a tech perspective, this latest model finally gets the driver assistance systems from the S/CLS lines too - adaptive high beam assist, attention assist, parktronic, lane and blind spot assists ~ and even incorporates 3D virtual city views and eco routes built in to the nav. As far as driving tech… first with a new telematics generation, and with the development package you can get it up to 481 HP @ 6,500 RPM… fun, right? Anyhow, while diving into all the details and pictures ~ Mercedes was nice enough to send over some design sketches so we can see where the car evolved from! Take a peek at all the details on the next page!

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*notcot - 05.16.11 , 16:20 - 1 Notes

Acura MDX + Thor = S.H.I.E.L.D Kit

shield0.jpg It has definitely been a car themed month? But what more can i expect when i put a one month travel ban on myself? Inspiration comes through finding other toys to keep me running around a bit… more locally! I played with the Acura MDX recently, and after that i couldn’t help noticing EVERY time an Acura came through a shot while watching Thor! Perfectly timed with all of this fun ~ the Acura/Thor press kit designed by Dead As We Know It (also behind Kraken, NotVentures and more!) arrived! Beautiful, playful designs for everything from branded Pulse Smartpen to sugar cube and scorpion in jars, keys, switches, Rorschach test, and more… all disguised as a playful S.H.I.E.L.D. Assessment Kit. The Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division - you know, that marvel government agency that deals with superheroes?) Being a perfect excuse for yet another Car Unboxing, take a peek at the kit, the components, and Acura MDX details on the next page!

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*rugenius - 05.12.11 , 12:10 - 0 Notes

Project Ocean: Whale Rodeo + Ultralounge

projectoceanultraloungewhalemain.jpg Amazing. Justine has has me laughing so hard with this latest London discovery of hers at Selfridges! Check out part one of her adventures below!

A WHALE RODEO! and a black light lit aquarium of confiscated coral! It’s hard not to love the new campaign, Project Ocean at Selfridges a huge collaboration between the renowned department store, the Zoological Society of London and more than 20 environmental and conservation groups “to celebrate the beauty of the ocean, highlight the issue of over-fishing, help us all understand the threats to the ocean and make positive choices about the right fish to buy and eat.” This is one of a series of posts on the exhibition, which runs from 11 May - 12 June 2011.

Both the Whale Rodeo and Ultralounge are located downstairs in the home section of the store. The Ultralounge houses a large quiet, cinema room with a large screen showing video footage of the ocean. It’s dark walls are filled with small aquaria containing beautiful corals on loan from the aquarium at ZSL and are specimens which have been confiscated from traffickers at Heathrow airport. So pretty! It is also home to a cute shop selling goods whose proceeds support ocean conservation.

The Whale Rodeo is located just opposite the Ultralounge and yes you can give it a ride. More pics and a video of its operators who very obliging demonstrated for you on the next page! Seriously, you have to see this robotic beast in action…

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*rugenius - 05.04.11 , 14:30 - 2 Notes

2011 Prius/Deeplocal Rollercoaster

rollercoaster.jpg Remember that Toyota “Ideas for Good” ad where that guy with the almost 4 year old in the back seat talks about how the hybrid synergy drive would be awesome for the “world’s first self-sustaining amusement park”… Well, in a warehouse in Pittsburgh, they’re DOING it - Toyota teamed up with our favorite engineering crew Deeplocal to build a roller coaster from a 2011 Prius. The team of 5 gutted a Prius, using the engine, wiring harness, batteries, and Hybrid Synergy Drive system in a custom designed and fabricated coaster car… and a 70 foot coaster track out of steel. Drop it from the 10 foot high platform, and it reaches speeds of 15mph. When braking, the cart gave readings of 30 amps of 200 volts from the braking system, with a single drop generating as much as 6,000 watts! This was sufficient to light real amusement park signs and lights, as well as strings of LEDs along the track. This is only the start of their collaboration for the Toyota’s Ideas for Good… Check out the awesome video of the Prius coaster in action and more photos on the next page - it’s pretty amazing!

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