Mekas robot head makes eyes at nextwave users w video

first_img Small wonder that human heads were turning last month at the IROS (Intelligent Robots and Systems) 2011 event in San Francisco where visitors met the most sociable humanoid head around, attached to a torso and arm assembly. The robot belongs to Professor Luis Sentis of University of Texas at Austin.The Meka robot goal was to design a head that can elicit a sense of trust and sociability. In viewing the head, it is difficult not to feel an affinity, even though the head is not at all truly representational of a human head but rather is a curious blend of anime and cartoon character searching for a DreamWorks home.The head carries much expressiveness and the focal resting points are the engaging eyes. Meka co-founder Aaron Edsinger fielded questions about the robot at the event, and provided technical details: The humanoid head is a seven degree-of-freedom robotic active vision head. Designed for a wide range of expressive postures, it is a useful platform for researchers interested in human-robot interaction and social robotics. The system features high resolution FireWire cameras in each eye, integrated DSP controllers, zero-backlash Harmonic Drive gearheads in the neck, and Meka M3 and ROS software stacks. When asked why the little ears, he answered, “That was my idea. I had a puppy, so they were inspired by that.” Edsinger also noted that the robot involved the Meka team and the Human Centered Robotics Group at UT Austin. At UT Austin, Professor Luis Sentis is known for his work with force augmentation, which looks into how robots can help to augment the movements of humans. ”We worked closely with Professor Sentis to achieve a friendly anime aesthetic for the overall look, adding two 2DOF ears with RGB lighting for added expressive ability.”Meka Robotics, in addition to the humanoid head, offers specialized parts–hands, grippers, arms, torsos. The company supports the Willow Garage Robot Operating System (ROS), an open source platform for personal robots, including RVIZ kinematic visualization, URDF descriptions, posture control of all joints, and common sensor interfaces.Meka is a 2006 spin-off from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, where its founders, Edsinger and Jeff Weber, developed the Domo humanoid robot. Weber’s work with prosthetic ankles and knees at the MIT Media Lab led to the first commercially available powered prosthetic ankle. More information: mekabot.com/ Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — You’ve seen robots in the form of alpha dogs and insect swarms capable of military deployments but the next wave of robotics also includes a special breed of “sociable” robots for use in medicine, eldercare, and education. These are the robots that demand scientists’ skills toward making robotic parts that can mimic their human counterparts, and be responsive to social cues. The Meka Robotics’ M1: A customizable human-like bot at $340,000center_img © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: Meka’s robot head makes eyes at next-wave users (w/ video) (2011, October 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-meka-robot-eyes-next-wave-users.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Scientists produce a 3D morphokinematical model of the planetary nebula NGC 2440

first_img(Phys.org)—Astronomers from the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences (IAG) in Brazil have developed a 3D model of the planetary nebula NGC 2440, describing the kinematics and morphology of this interesting object. The model, introduced in a paper published on June 3 on the arXiv pre-print server, could shed new light on the origins and formation processes of planetary nebulae. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Colorful Demise of a Sun-Like Star © 2016 Phys.org Mesh model to NGC 2440 built with SHAPE (left) and reference HST image (right). Credit: Paulo Lago/Roberto Costa, 2016. Discovered by William Herschel in 1790, NGC 2440 is one of the most well-known planetary nebulae in our Milky Way galaxy. The object is located in the Puppis constellation and its central star, designated HD 62166, is possibly the hottest known white dwarf to date.While studying NGC 2440, Paulo Lago and Roberto Costa of IAG, were particularly interested in the nebula’s core. The central region has drawn attention of the astronomers due to its complexity and a wealth of microstructures.In order to create a model that would showcase the nebula’s complicated structure, the scientists used high-resolution spectra and position-velocity diagrams of NGC 2440. The high angular resolution images required for modeling purposes were selected from the Hubble Space Telescope’s (HST) Wide Field Planetary Camera (WFPC2), available in different filters.The astronomers utilized the SHAPE software to construct the 3D model. This tool allows researchers to reconstruct the 3D structure of a planetary nebula in great detail, taking into account projection effects, using high angular resolution images such as those from the HST, and high resolution spectra. SHAPE is capable of building a mesh model inside a 3D environment in order to analyze the morphology and kinematics of planetary nebulae.”SHAPE modeling requires a mesh model and a set of physical parameters such as velocity fields and density distributions derived from the observational data. In general, the larger is the database, the better is the model due to the increase in the number of independent constraints,” the researchers noted in the paper.According to the newly developed 3D model, NGC 2440 is a multi-polar nebula with at least two bipolar components. The larger structure has a position angle of 85 degrees, while the smaller one has a position angle of 35 degrees; thus, they are tilted 50 degrees apart. These findings suggest the presence of a toroidal structure surrounding the core of the planetary nebula. “This torus is inside the inner bipolar structure at position angle of 35 degrees, however, it is very hard to distinguish such a feature in the high angular resolution images from HST due to filaments and ‘secondary’ morphological structures,” the paper reads.Moreover, based on the observational data and the 3D model, the scientists found that a toroidal structure not only exists but is also strongly interacting with the environment or the radiation field.NGC 2440 was found to showcase a molecular emission of carbon monoxide, particularly in the bipolar component, with a position angle of 35 degrees. According to the research, the presence of fast carbon monoxide components in the core region points to the destruction of a neutral and dense torus by the out flow at the moment of the lobes formation.”From our models and the observational data, we conclude that a segmented toroidal structure is a good description for the inner part of NGC 2440. The model based upon this hypothesis provides a good reproduction of the observed position-velocity diagrams, therefore it can be said that a torus, segmented at least in three parts, is in good agreement with the observational data. This result agrees with that of Wang et al. (2008), who detect a molecular outflow in NGC 2440, aligned with the optical bipolar lobes,” the astronomers concluded.The authors of the paper also managed to derive the distance to NGC 2440. According to their estimates, this nebula is located about 5,900 light years from the Earth. Previous calculations indicated a 4,000-light-year distance. More information: NGC 2440 : A morpho-kinematical model, arXiv:1606.01234 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1606.01234AbstractThis work describes the modelling of the 3D structure and position-velocity (P-V) diagrams of NGC 2440, a well known planetary nebula, aiming to describe the morphology of this object, specially its core. We have used high resolution spectra and P-V diagrams to reproduce the 3D structure of the nebula using SHAPE, a software that allows 3D modelling. HST high angular resolution images were used as reference to the model. The observational data point to a segmented core, and the simulations confirm this assumption; the best model for the nebula is a torus segmented in three pieces. The simulated P-V diagrams agree with the observations. We suggest that the torus was torn apart by interaction with the surrounding medium, either as winds or the radiation field. For the two bipolar lobes, orientation angles to the plane of the sky of 27±5 and −5±3 degrees, respectively for the bipolar components with PA of 85 and 35 degrees, were derived. No additional bipolar lobes were required to model the observed features of NGC 2440. A distance of 1.8±0.5 kpc was derived for the nebula using our velocity field for the toroidal structure. These results are the first derived for NGC 2440 from modelling in a 3D environment. Explore further Citation: Scientists produce a 3D morpho-kinematical model of the planetary nebula NGC 2440 (2016, June 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-06-scientists-3d-morpho-kinematical-planetary-nebula.htmllast_img read more

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Study of fossil remains on Sumba island reveals unique creature history

first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from the U.K., Indonesia and Australia has found fossil evidence of several unique creatures that once lived on the Indonesian island of Sumba. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes their expeditions to the remote island, the fossils they found and their theories regarding the evolutionary history of the Wallacean archipelago. More information: Samuel T. Turvey et al. Quaternary vertebrate faunas from Sumba, Indonesia: implications for Wallacean biogeography and evolution, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1278AbstractHistorical patterns of diversity, biogeography and faunal turnover remain poorly understood for Wallacea, the biologically and geologically complex island region between the Asian and Australian continental shelves. A distinctive Quaternary vertebrate fauna containing the small-bodied hominin Homo floresiensis, pygmy Stegodon proboscideans, varanids and giant murids has been described from Flores, but Quaternary faunas are poorly known from most other Lesser Sunda Islands. We report the discovery of extensive new fossil vertebrate collections from Pleistocene and Holocene deposits on Sumba, a large Wallacean island situated less than 50 km south of Flores. A fossil assemblage recovered from a Pleistocene deposit at Lewapaku in the interior highlands of Sumba, which may be close to 1 million years old, contains a series of skeletal elements of a very small Stegodon referable to S. sumbaensis, a tooth attributable to Varanus komodoensis, and fragmentary remains of unidentified giant murids. Holocene cave deposits at Mahaniwa dated to approximately 2000–3500 BP yielded extensive material of two new genera of endemic large-bodied murids, as well as fossils of an extinct frugivorous varanid. This new baseline for reconstructing Wallacean faunal histories reveals that Sumba’s Quaternary vertebrate fauna, although phylogenetically distinctive, was comparable in diversity and composition to the Quaternary fauna of Flores, suggesting that similar assemblages may have characterized Quaternary terrestrial ecosystems on many or all of the larger Lesser Sunda Islands. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Pleistocene fossils from Lewapaku. Credit: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1278 Citation: Study of fossil remains on Sumba island reveals unique creature history (2017, September 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-09-fossil-sumba-island-reveals-unique.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img © 2017 Phys.org Wallacea is an archipelago that lies between Australia and Asia—one of its most famous islands is Flores due to the discovery there in 2004 of fossil remains of Homo floresiensis, subsequently dubbed “the Hobbit” due to its diminutive stature. That discovery caused archeologists to wonder if other islands in the archipelago might harbor other fossil remains of interest. Little research has been conducted in the region, which makes the area attractive for new research endeavors. In this new effort, the researchers chose to focus on the island of Sumba, which lies directly south of Flores.As part of their expeditions (conducted in 2011 and 2014), the researchers report that they found the fossilized remains of several interesting and unique extinct creatures. The list includes small creatures that resembled elephants (Stegodon), two species of giant rats, some large varanid reptiles and even evidence that the Komodo dragon once lived on the island. They note that some of the species were dated to a time as recent as just 12,000 years ago. It is still not known, of course, why the creatures disappeared from the island, though the team suggests it might have been due to the arrival of humans.Evidence of the Komodo dragon on the island, the group points outs, offers the first evidence of their existence on an island other than Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Padar. And that suggests they likely lived on some of the other unexplored island in the area, as well. The group’s findings also indicate that the archipelago overall likely holds evidence of a wide range of undiscovered extinct creatures and possibly the remains of other human relatives. They suggest much more research needs to be done. Explore further Komodo dragon attacks tourist in Indonesialast_img read more

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Consumer Disputes Redressal Filing disposal of cases on rise

first_imgKolkata: The filing and disposal of cases at the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission have gone up nearly nine times in the last ten years which is a clear indication of people’s faith in the consumer forum. The number of cases filed and disposal of cases have witnessed a noticeable rise since the year 2012 after Mamata Banerjee government assumed charge of the state in 2011.”We have taken up massive awareness campaign both through audio and visual mediums and also in the form of banners and hoardings informing consumers about their rights and this has contributed in people approaching the state Commission for justice if they are fleeced by any means. Presently, we have three benches of the Commission at our head office on Mirza Ghalib Street. We are coming up with two more state Commissions, one in Siliguri and another in Asansol. People who will be based near these two Commissions do not need to come to Kolkata,” Consumer Affairs minister Sadhan Pande said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe State Commission in Siliguri will be inaugurated in the month of May after the panchayat polls. The number of cases filed and disposed in the 23 district forums across the state has also seen a steady rise. As per statistics, the number of cases filed in the year 2008 was 502 with the disposal being 594 (previous year’s pending cases included). In the year 2017, the number of cases filed have been 4,026 with 3,370 cases disposed. In 2011, cases filed were 969 with disposal 821 while in 2012 filing went up to 1,827 and disposal was 1,170. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIn 2011, the number of cases filed and disposed at the district forums were 3,283 and 3,105 respectively. It has doubled to 7,726 and 7,190 respectively in 2017.It may be mentioned that under the existing Consumer Act 1986, a person seeking justice from the district forum can get compensation upto Rs 20 lakh and upto Rs 1 crore in case of the State Commission. If the compensation is more than Rs 1 crore, the victim will have to approach the National Commission. “Some months back, I had written to the Centre to raise the jurisdiction of the consumer courts in term of ordering compensation. As per my viewpoint, compensation for district forums will be upto Rs 1 crore while the state commission can do the same upto Rs 1 crore. The standing committee at the centre has approved my viewpoint and is dilly dallying in bringing the amended act. But we hope that things will work out in the next Parliament session,” Pande said.The minister was critical of the centre’s allocation on consumer affairs which is not more than Rs 200 crore for the entire country. “We have an allocation of Rs 60 crore in this which shows our government’s commitment in dealing with consumer matters,” he maintained.last_img read more

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Urban Recreation Forestry mulls planting programme from Babughat to Brigade Parade ground

first_imgKolkata: The Urban Recreation Forestry (URF) division will soon embark on a tree planting programme as part of a major beautification project in the city from Babughat to Brigade Parade Ground.A senior official in the URF division that comes under the aegis of the state Forest department said the entire project has been conceived by Kolkata Police, who has taken up a GreeningCalcutta Scheme. Under this scheme, the law enforcers’ theme is “2018 trees in year 2018.” Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsA meeting has already been held with the URF division and all the nitty gritties has been discussed in detail. “We are waiting for a formal proposal from the Kolkata Police along with a map of the exact area of plantation.The work will start soon, as monsoon is the best time for such plantation programme. It will add to the beauty and aesthetic value of Kolkata,” said a senior official ofURF division.The plantation will focus on trees with medium height that will form a dense canopy as they grow up. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe variety of trees that will be used include Bakul, Jarul, Phurush, Putranjibo etc. These trees, according to URF officials, have minimum chances of getting uprooted.”We are deliberately avoiding those trees that grow very big as they are susceptible to fall down during a storm.Putranjibo is a variety that is now being used by the state Forest department as it can be trimmed and given an umbrella shape thatlooks very nice.According to URF division officials, the trees will be procured from the own nurseries of the state government located at various places including Banabitan in Salt Lake, Dum Dum Road,Jodhpur Park etc.”We also procure from private nurseries as per requirement,” the official added.It may be mentioned that URF division is responsible for the maintenance of as many as 60 parks in the state of which 34 are located in South Bengal and 26 in North Bengal.It has also taken up landscaping and beautification of certain areas in the city that includes Second Hooghly Bridge, Salt Lake stadium to name a fewlast_img read more

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Youth held for creaking fake FB profile of woman

first_imgKolkata: A youth was arrested by Bidhannagar Cyber Crime police station for creating a fake Facebook profile of a woman and circulating obscene messages from there. Md. Razil (20), a resident of Topsia, was picked up from his home in the wee hours on Thursday.The complainant, a resident of Deshbandhu Nagar in Baguiati, had lodged a complaint in September last year that a fake Facebook and WhatsApp account have been created using her name and pictures and messages were being circulated in social media without her knowledge and consent.She alleged that obnoxious messages were being shared by using her pictures and offering people sex service all over India in exchange of money through e-wallets like Paytm. The accused was also providing account number for payment and other details.last_img

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Mamata is the perfect answer to Indias need for a PM with

first_imgKolkata: India needs a Prime Minister who has a humane face and Mamata Banerjee is the most suitable candidate for the post who will stand by the side of farmers, labourers and poor people, said Aroop Biswas, state Youth Services and Sports minister, who is also in charge of the Public Works Department (PWD).Biswas was speaking at a rally organised by the district Trinamool Congress leaders in Hooghly. It was organised as a preparation rally for Trinamool Congress’ grand show at Esplanade on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day on July 21. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA large number of supporters participated in the rally, which started at Khadina More area of Chinsurah and ended at Gharar More. District Trinamool Congress president and minister Tapan Dasgupta and another state minister Ashima Patra took part in the rally alongside Biswas. Senior leaders have said that around 4 lakh people from the district would join the Martyrs’ day programme on Saturday. Trinamool Congress has set a target of winning all the 42 seats in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in the state. The party feels it will also be able to win all the Parliament seats in the election, scheduled to take place next year. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”The whole country wants to see a Prime Minister who has a humanitarian face and Mamata Banerjee is the best candidate for the job. She thinks about the poor people, farmers and labourers,” Biswas maintained. He also raised questions on the organisational capabilities of the BJP, after a portion of a pandal collapsed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in West Midnapore. Biswas satirically said that those who are unable to hold a rally of 10,000 people and whose stage collapses, must contest with one Trinamool Congress councillor at a time. Every Trinamool Congress leader has the individual capacity to hold rallies with 10,000 people, the minister stated.last_img read more

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HIDCO to open Facebook page for Misti Hub to contain details on

first_imgKolkata: Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) will open a Facebook page for Misti Hub on Saturday.Celebrated folk singer Sourav Mani will perform at the hub. HIDCO has chalked out a unique plan to give budding folk artists a platform at the hub to woo young people, many of whom have lost taste for famous Bengali sweets. Often young people are found thronging ice -cream parlours but they seldom visit the sweet shops selling traditional Bengali sweets. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Facebook page will carry reviews of those who have visited the hub. People will be able to know about the cultural programmes and the different varieties of sweets that are found at the hub.The Misti hub, one of kind in Bengal, houses some of the best branded sweet shops in the city under one roof. Situated near gate number 3 of Eco Park, the hub houses 10 branded sweet shops each having more than 25 years of experience in the business.Well known sweetmeat sellers like KC Das, Gupta Brothers, Bancharam, Balaram and Radharaman Mullcik, Methai, Sweet Bengal, New Nabakrishna Guin, Hindusthan Sweets and Ganguram have their outlets at the hub. The shops are open from 12 noon to 9 pm. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe hub has already become very popular among the Kolkatans. On Saturday and Sunday, the shops are making brisk business. The visitors can park their vehicles at the parking lot and for the first half-an-hour, it is free. To cope with the situation, visitors were also allowed to park their vehicles on the service road.The hub is situated off the Biswa Bangla Sarani and airport-bound passengers going from the city can buy famous Kolkata sweets for their family and friends. Every shop has some item or the other.Bengali sweets have tremendous potential both in the country and abroad. Proper branding of Bengali sweets can hit the international market.last_img read more

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Go Khadi this international Yoga Day

first_imgActing on the advice of Ministry of Ayush, KVIC has developed Yoga kits of Khadi, designed by National Institute Design (NID). The kit includes clothes for men and women, Khadi mat and Khadi napkin.  The stitching is done by people in the affected area of Jammu & Kashmir. The kit also consists of tri-colour Khadi garland.Speaking about the move, KVIC chairman, VK Saxena informed that  on the occasion of International Yoga Day, KVIC will offer special 30 per cent discount on these yoga kits. After discount the male yoga kit will cost Rs 1500 and the female yoga kit will cost Rs 1350. For this purpose, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has already ordered KVIC to supply 1000 kits which includes 600 kits for men and 400 kits for women. These kits will be available on sale from June 11 onwards at Khadi India Sales Outlets of New Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Bhopal, Ernakulam and Kolkatta. Khadi being hand spun and hand woven will be very suitable for yoga uniform. Saxena informed that this is for the first time KVIC is entering into such activities which will generate extra employment for the Khadi Artisans. Apart from generating employment to poor people who spin and weave Khadi, it is also eco-friendly.last_img read more

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Take care of frizzy hair in simple steps

first_imgHumidity is a major contributing factor during the monsoon season and that can lead to frizzy hair for most. Arm yourself with a serum and hair masque to keep frizziness at bay, say experts. Hairstylists Laksh Singh and Aasif Ahmed have rolled out simple steps: To ensure hair is frizz-free and manageable, avoid straightening your hair often. Wash your hair from roots to tips with a good shampoo followed by a conditioner and apply a serum to the moist hair, especially if your hair is frizzy. Use a hair masque which helps cutting frizz and gives your hair a good shine. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfUnless you sport a pixie or a bob cut, you will have nothing to complain about the rainy season. But if you have anywhere from middle-length to long hair, you will dread monsoon. You can neither avoid humidity nor the frizz that tags along. If your hair is entangled in such woes, then it is time to give your strands a stylish yet practical twist this season. Easy hairstyles like side braided pony tail, a top knot, sleek back low pony, fishtails, ponytails and plaited buns work well. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveOil your hair with warm coconut oil followed by shampoo and conditioner. Hair masques help and a good quality serum ensures no frizz. Avoid putting too much spray as it aggravates the problem. Don’t keep oil overnight. A wide tooth comb to de-tangle hair is recommended. Wash hair three times a week. Diet plays a very important role in hair care as it helps in protecting the hair and also strengthening the hair follicles. Do not eat oily and spicy food. Avoid leaving long hair open as it looks messy and frizzy. A regular hair trim is a must to keep the hair healthy in monsoon. Too much of experimenting with hair colour should be avoided.last_img read more

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