Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DARPA Challenge Comes to UC San Diego

Every few years the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) holds a public competition to stretch the outer limits of what technology can do. Two years ago they dispersed 10 large, red weather balloons at undisclosed locations across the U.S. The celebrated 2009 DARPA Network Challenge to find the balloons was solved in just nine hours by a team from MIT. Now, Manuel Cebrian, a member of that winning team, is aiming for a repeat win – only this time, the challenge is exponentially harder.
According to Dr. Cebrian – who is now a research scientist at the University of California, San Diego – instead of just looking for 10 balloons, the new DARPA Shredder Challenge’s ultimate puzzle involves piecing together roughly 10,000 pieces of different documents that have been shredded. “This is almost certainly the most challenging puzzle ever created,” said Cebrian. “A combinatorial number of possibilities makes the problem intractable by computer algorithms alone. A combination of crowd-sourcing and advanced computer-vision algorithms is necessary. This is exactly our approach.”
Interested in participating or to learn more? Visit the UCSD Shredder Challenge Team online athttp://shredder-challenge.ucsd.edu.), or contact the UCSD team at shredder-challenge@ucsd.edu.

Fallen Star Hoist Videos

Learn more: http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_releases/release.sfe?id=1137

Also, check out a great view of Fallen Star from Octocopter. Learn about the Octocopter project on the Octocopter site at the National Geographic Society.

Untitled from Radley Angelo on Vimeo.

A great video montage from UCSD-TV

Here is another view of the Fallen Star hoist from Bucky.

And a great Fallen Star with shadow pic:

Baby blue siding

They seem to be getting close to hoisting this house clad in baby blue siding.

- Mobile Post

9:30 AM Fallen Star UC San Diego Stuart Collection

It looks like they are testing out the hoisting harness...but I'm no expert.

Learn more about the project:  Fallen Star to Land on Campus this Fall

Fallen Star 9 AM photos

Jacobs School Robot in the Headlines

iFling, a robot developed by Prof. Tom Bewley's Coordinated Robotics Lab, has been grabbing the spotlight this past week. It has been featured on MSNBC's Future of Technology blog, the popular website Gizmodo and the Automaton blog at IEEE Spectrum.
The robot is designed to pick up standard-size ping-pong balls off the floor and fling them across the room (hence the iFling name), all while standing upright and balancing on two wheels, Segway-style. It is currently going through its third design iteration. It could be automated to create teams of bots playing catch together. Or it could be built on a bigger scale and fling tennis balls, baseballs and volleyballs. It could even work without an operator. But bloggers seemed particularly excited by the possibility of iFling becoming dogs' best friend.
A video produced by Bewley's lab showing off iFling's moves had received more than 37,000 views as of Wednesday morning. Watch it for yourself to see what this little robot can do: