Sticking to an exercise routine takes dedication, and many fitness junkies swear that a running companion can be a huge help. That’s why researchers have developed “Joggobot,” a quad-rotor helicopter drone designed to motivate joggers by flying in front of them.
The aerial robot uses its camera to spot a colorful pattern on a T-shirt worn by the jogger, and flies at a safe distance ahead. The runner can control Joggobot using a smartphone: In “companion mode,” the drone simply maintains the jogger’s pace; in “coach mode,” it pushes its human trainee a little faster.
Don’t worry, there’s a video
Maybe it should chase you instead?
(via Descriptive Camera)
A digital camera sends photos to Mechanical Turk service to generate a textual description and print the result on a thermal printer. Thus a camera that prints out a textual description of what you photographed.
I like the idea of QR codes, encoding URLs and placing them on real world objects, but the QR codes themselves are kind of ugly. To make them less obvious I thought I could spray QR codes on to an object with an infrared reflective paint and shine infrared light on the QR codes, since most cameras, for instance the camera in my G1 phone, pick up infrared that our eyes do not.
In looking for this paint I've found that it comes up a lot in relation to the military for things like paint markers that are visible at night with proper equipment, and paint that absorbs IR light to make vehicles less obvious to night vision goggles. Even though the first reflects infrared light and the second absorbs it websites end up refering to both as infrared paint which made it difficult to search.
Additionally I found links to some other geeky infrared projects:
Another use for my new phone is as a replacement for my grocery card, those little plastic cards with a bar code on them that the grocery store gives you to track your purchasing habits. I've previously gone to great lengths to increase space in my pockets by removing infrequently used keys and reducing my wallet to the essentials. So I was glad to get rid of the QFC card and replace it with a photo of its bar code on my phone. Since the important part of the QFC card is the bar code which is just an image of black lines, if your phone has a camera and a screen with a reasonable resolution you can take a photo of the bar code and later display it to a reader. I've so far been able to try it once and successfully at a normal checkout line, but the reaction from the checkout lady was enough that I may in the future just keep a card in my car. She was very excited, asked me what kind of phone I had, called over another checkout person and generally made a large fuss. Also the checkout people generally don't mind giving me a new card if I don't have one with me.
I finally replaced my old regular cell-phone which was literally being held together by a rubber band with a fancy new G1, my first Internet accessible phone.
I had to call the T-Mobile support line to get data added to my plan and the person helping me was disconcertingly friendly. She asked about my weekend plans and so I felt compelled to ask her the same. Her plans involved replacing her video card so she could get back to World of Warcraft and do I enjoy computer gaming? I couldn't tell if she was genuine or if she was signing me up for magazines.
I was with Sarah in her new car, trying out the phone's GPS functionality via Google Maps while she drove. I switched to Street View and happened to find my car. It was a weird feeling, kind of like those Google conspiracy videos.
The phone runs Google's open source OS and I really enjoy the application API. Its all in Java and URIs and mime-types are sort of basics. Rather than invoking the builtin item picker control directly you invoke an 'intent' specifying the URI of your list of items, a mime-type describing the type of items in the list, and an action 'PICK' and whatever is registered as the picker on the system pops up and lets the user pick from that list. The same goes if you want to 'EDIT' an image, or 'VIEW' an mp3.
I wanted to replace the Google search box gadget that appears on the home screen with my own search box widget that uses OpenSearch descriptors but apparently in the current API you can't make home screen gadgets without changing parts of the OS. My other desired application is something to replace this GPS photo tracker device by recording my location to a file and an additional program on my computer to apply those locations to photos.
Electronic devices shouldn't fail, they should just sit wherever I place them and work forever. A while back my home web server started failing so I moved over to a real web hosting service. And this was the home web server I built from pieces Eric gave me after my previous one died during the big power failure the year before. The power socket on my old laptop has come undone from the motherboard so that it can no longer be powered. Just a week or two ago my Xbox 360 stopped displaying video. The CPU fan on my media center died. I also want to put my camera and GPS in this list, but the camera died due to accidentally turning on in my pocket and the GPS was stolen so those aren't the devices just arbitrarily failing.