Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tech: OMG. I want ONE... My next Robot!

I can't believe it. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created a real product I desperately want. The device above attaches snugly to almost any standard digital camera.

The robot is called GigaPan, named “giga” for the billion or more pixels it can marshal for a typical panorama.

It creates the huge, high-resolution vista by extending its robotic finger and repeatedly clicking the camera shutter, taking tens, hundreds or even thousands of overlapping images, each at a slightly different angle, that are then stitched together by software to create one gigapixel shot.

Preparing to shoot the pictures is straightforward. The photographer attaches the mount to an ordinary tripod, attaches the camera and decides on the breadth of the scene. Then the robot goes to work, dividing the total vista into segments and clicking away.

One main advantage of the system, he said, is that users can use a telephoto lens rather than a wide-angle one, providing more detail and depth to the image.

“That means that when you zoom in to look at the images, you are viewing them just as you would if you were looking through a pair of binoculars” with powerful magnification, he said. “You can take panoramas from video, but you won’t have a still image that you can stop and look at in this high detail.”

One favorite image— of Hanauma Bay on the coast of Oahu in Hawaii — has 1,750 total frames, 25 rows by 70 columns.

Most popular images here: The exposures and number of frames were calculated automatically by the computer inside the GigaPan.

It took about an hour and a half for the robot to shoot the scene in a fairly silent process, with only “a low hum, and the steady click of the camera,” he said.

The photographer too, was busy, too, during the shoot. The robotic device attracted a lot of attention from bystanders as it captured the scene, and he ended up protecting it from them, lest they overturned it.

OK, you wanted a Political discussion: Here goes.

The background I believe that:
* It's going to be as BAD as the last one.
* According to Robert Reich (former Sec'y of Labor under Clinton): The only number that he EVER saw, defining the
depression was that the unemployment rate hovered around 25%.
* We need a new deal.
* After 58 years of NO Health Care Reform (since 1950!) it will FINALLY be coming soon...
* We've managed to WASTE a FULL generation (from Zero to thirty) with decaying social, educational, and interpersonal skills.
* Our nation is no longer DOING (producing) anything.
SO, from these few premises, I have extrapolated a great deal of items to FIX our society...

We need to make sure that a number of issues are resolved ALL at once.
If we don't do them ALL at once, its like juggling three RUNNING chain saws, but dropping one!

Here's what I came up with:

We need to do the FOLLOWING to FIX our Society:
* Create A Living Wage
* Create a National Single payer Healthcare
* Create a National 3-4 year draft (or alternate service)
* Create a Federally paid Day Care starting at six months
* Implement Tax Reform on the ULTRA Rich
* Lobbying (Political Reform)
* Education
* Infrastructure (road /bridge/Systems repairs)
* Lack of Training/futures
* Truth and Reconcilliation Commission
* A new "Manhattan" project, focusing on Energy INDEPENDENCE

See my other blog: for more details.

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