Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Robotic Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

A powerful robotic lunar scout, NASA's first in more than a decade, arrived at the moon early Tuesday on a mission to seek out potential landing sites and hidden water ice for future astronauts.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) fired its thrusters at 5:47 a.m. EDT (0947 GMT) in a 40-minute maneuver to begin orbiting the moon. It is NASA's first unmanned moon shot since 1998.

"We are in lunar orbit," said LRO project scientist Richard Vondrak at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "We're not going past the moon. We're there to stay."

About the size of a Mini Cooper car, the $504 million LRO probe launched toward the moon on June 18 and spent four days in transit - about a day longer than astronauts on the Apollo missions in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The robotic probe is expected to spent at least one year mapping the moon for future manned missions, as well as several more years conducting science surveys.

"LRO has returned NASA to the moon," a flight controller said as NASA's LRO mission control center erupted in applause. The probe's lunar arrival comes just under one month ahead of the 40th anniversary of NASA's first moon landing by Apollo 11 astronauts on July 20, 1969.

The spacecraft carries seven instruments to map the moon in unprecedented detail, seek out water ice hidden in the permanent shadows of craters at the lunar south pole, and measure the temperature and radiation hazards future astronauts may face. The names of 1.6 million people are also riding aboard LRO as part of a public outreach program.

LRO is currently circling the moon in an extremely elliptical orbit that brings the nearly 2-ton probe within about 124 miles (200 km) of the lunar surface at its closest and reaches out to 1,863 miles (3,000 km).

"It went like clockwork," said Craig Tooley, NASA's LRO project manager. "In the end, it went exactly as planned."

Over the next few days, more thruster firings should fine-tine the spacecraft's flight path until it reaches its planned observation orbit of between 31 and 135 miles (50 to 218 km). Two of LRO's seven instruments, a pair of radiation sensors, scanned the space environment between the Earth and the moon, with the remaining five instruments to be activated in the next few weeks.

The first images from the powerful camera aboard LRO should be beamed back to Earth in the next few weeks, mission managers said.

"This whole new moon we're ready to see is out there waiting, and this mission is going to go get it," said Jim Garvin, NASA's chief scientist at Goddard.

A second unmanned spacecraft, the $79 million Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), also launched with LRO and is expected to slingshot past the moon later today at about 8:20 a.m. EDT (1220 GMT). The spacecraft and an attached empty Centaur rocket stage will fly by the moon and shift into a polar orbit that will ultimately end in an Oct. 9 crash into a shadowed crater at the moon's south pole to probe for hidden water ice.

NASA plans to release live video from LCROSS as it flies past the moon at a distance of about 5,592 miles (9,000 km), mission managers have said.

See more at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,528410,00.html

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Powerful Features of HTML 5 - Google I/O 2009

This is very interesting overview of how much powerful HTML 5 is going to be.
Google, Mozilla, Opera and Safari are working together to bring more power to the web.

Here is an over view of video, but i will highly recommend that you should watch the full video.

1) Canvas
In HMTL 5 how easy it will be to control the graphics of browser simply with Java script.
There will be Full 3D objects support.

2) Videos
In HTML 5 there is a new tag called video in order to simply play a video. You just need to specify the URL of video browser takes care of the rest. Plus many more features.

3)Geo Location
In HTML 5 browsers will be able to track you location not only by IP. But also using Wifi connection or Cell phone ID & mobile network .

3) Offline Availability of Web Data (App Cache Database)
HTML 5 has built in support of application cache in case you are disconnected or go offline you will be still able to interact with you apps.

4)Background Process
Most powerful thing in HTML 5 is that you can create background process, so that user experience is smooth.

5)Google Web Tool Kit
Google web tool kit is easy way to go ahead with HTML 5 as along with other more features it automatically take care of web browser and render the Java Script accordingly.

6)Google Web Elements
I think its very good idea that applying AddSens, Youtube Video Embed technique to all other services of googles like google news etc.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Google Wave

Check out the developer preview at Google I/O

Google Wave is a new tool for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year. Watch the demo video below, sign up for updates and learn more about how to develop with Google Wave.

The Future of Combat.

How the next generation war is going to be? Not sure, see following video.

Intelligent machines deployed on battlefields around the world - from mobile grenade launchers to rocket-firing drones - can already identify and lock onto targets without human help.

There are more than 4,000 U.S. military robots on the ground in Iraq, as well as unmanned aircraft that have clocked hundreds of thousands of flight hours.

The first three armed combat robots fitted with large-caliber machine guns deployed to Iraq last summer, manufactured by U.S. arms maker Foster-Miller, proved so successful that 80 more are on order, Sharkey said.

But up to now, a human hand has always been required to push the button or pull the trigger.

If we are not careful, he said, that could change.

Military leaders "are quite clear that they want autonomous robots as soon as possible, because they are more cost-effective and give a risk-free war," he said.

Several countries, led by the U.S., have already invested heavily in robot warriors developed for use on the battlefield.

South Korea and Israel both deploy armed robot border guards, while China, India, Russia and Britain have all increased the use of military robots.

Washington plans to spend $4 billion by 2010 on unmanned technology systems, with total spending expected rise to $24 billion, according to the Pentagon's Unmanned Systems Roadmap 2007-2032, released in December.

James Canton, an expert on technology innovation and CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, predicts that deployment within a decade of detachments that will include 150 soldiers and 2,000 robots.

The use of such devices by terrorists should be a serious concern, Sharkey said.

Captured robots would not be difficult to reverse-engineer, and could easily replace suicide bombers as the weapon of choice.

"I don't know why that has not happened already," he said.

But even more worrisome, he said, is the subtle progression from the semiautonomous military robots deployed today to fully independent killing machines.

"I have worked in artificial intelligence for decades, and the idea of a robot making decisions about human termination terrifies me," Sharkey said.

Ronald Arkin of Georgia Institute of Technology, who has worked closely with the U.S. military on robotics, agrees that the shift toward autonomy will be gradual.

But he is not convinced that robots don't have a place on the front line.

"Robotics systems may have the potential to outperform humans from a perspective of the laws of war and the rules of engagement," he told a conference on technology in warfare at Stanford University last month.

The sensors of intelligent machines, he argued, may ultimately be better equipped to understand an environment and to process information.

"And there are no emotions that can cloud judgment, such as anger," he added.

Nor is there any inherent right to self-defense.

For now, however, there remain several barriers to the creation and deployment of Terminator-like killing machines.

Some are technical. Teaching a computer-driven machine - even an intelligent one - how to distinguish between civilians and combatants, or how to gauge a proportional response as mandated by the Geneva Conventions, is simply beyond the reach of artificial intelligence today.

But even if technical barriers are overcome, the prospect of armies increasingly dependent on remote-controlled or autonomous robots raises a host of ethical issues that have barely been addressed.

Arkin points out that the U.S. Defense Department's $230 billion Future Combat Systems program - the largest military contract in U.S. history - provides for three classes of aerial and three land-based robotics systems.

"But nowhere is there any consideration of the ethical implications of the weaponization of these systems," he said.

For Sharkey, the best solution may be an outright ban on autonomous weapons systems.

"We have to say where we want to draw the line and what we want to do - and then get an international agreement," he said.

Article from http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3393730

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Draganflyer X6

The Draganflyer X6 is a remotely operated, unmanned, miniature helicopter designed to carry wireless video cameras and still cameras. Operate the Draganflyer X6 helicopter with the easy to use handheld controller while viewing what the helicopter sees through video glasses. The Draganflyer X6 helicopter uses a unique 6-rotor design refined from an original concept that has been under development since early 2006. Draganflyer X6 Tech Specs


The Draganflyer X6 helicopter accepts multiple interchangeable video camera and still camera modules.

Choose the camera that is best for you:

What can it do for you?

Use the high definition motion video provided by the Draganflyer X6 helicopter for security, reconnaissance, inspection, damage assessment, research, real estate promotion, or advertising. It can be used for

Easy to Fly

The Draganflyer X6 helicopter uses 11 sensors and thousands of lines of code to self-stabilize during flight. This means the Draganflyer X6 is easier to fly than any other helicopter in its class. The Draganflyer X6 on-board software is the result of extensive testing and development since early 2006. Draganflyer X6 Flight Stability


The Draganflyer X

6 provides many of the same benefits of larger surveillance aircraft at a fraction of the cost. Obtain aerial photography without the cost of having to rent a plane each time! Request a Quote

UAV Tactical Use

The Draganflyer X6 helicopter is a revolutionary reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); it can be transported in a 5.5" diameter tube slung over the users back while always being ready to launch immediately. Fly it over hills to get a safe view of what is on the other side. Draganflyer X6 Military Applications

See more details at ... http://www.draganfly.com/uav-helicopter/draganflyer-x6

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

www.bing.com top features!

Microsoft has just launched new search engine www.bing.com .
It has become very popular due to many reasons and given Google a hardtime to rethink. Following are few top features.

  • Searchers can choose the best scope for their search query
  • Bing can provide best match and useful links and information
  • Quick Preview of the any website
  • Bing can provide Instant Answers
  • Bing will Auto-Suggest the search queries
  • Bing contains Explore Pane which includes a table of contents of the various Web Groups generated by your search query.

  • Viewing Images and Video in Bing is so easy without pagination
  • Images can be filtered by size, aspect ratio, color, style and face etc
  • Video can be filtered by duration, aspect ratio, resolution or source etc
  • We can search over 16 million videos across the popular video website like MSN, AOL, MTV, ESPN, YouTube, MySpace, Daily Motion, Metacafe and Hulu etc.
  • Bing provides access to your Session History in the Explorer Pane within a single browser session for up to 48 hours
  • We can compare the rankings of favorite celebrity is hot or not using xRank feature
  • Bing Shopping is currently lists products for more than 540 online retailers like Lenovo, HP Home & Home Office Store, Buy.com, Zappos.com Inc etc
  • User-friendly Quick Tabs search results with one click
  • Bing can provide related searches including videos in the search results page.
  • Related Searches are displayed in the left-hand navigation
  • Rich Listing Results which display favorite restaurant location, phone number, one-click directions and menu.
  • Sentiment Extraction feature will summarizes user and expert reviews around the web.
  • Travel information is at your fingertips Ex. Hotel Accommodations, Flight timings etc
  • Bing will provide Instant Answers
  • User can refine the search using Search Refinement functionality
  • Hotel Rate Key feature for color-coded rating system
  • Bing easily provides information about medical, symptoms, diagnosis and medical procedures from nine trusted medical resources like Mayo Clinic, the American Cancer Society and MedlinePlus
  • Bing simplifies tasks and provides great insight
  • So finally main focus of the bing is Health, Local , Shopping , Travel
  • Bing can be accessed through Mobile at http://m.bing.com/
See more details at http://www.toputop.com/blog/microsoft-bing-features/

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mubi's Rover With Live Video Streaming...

A Rover project with Live streaming from on board camera and controlled from Tahoe-II board. Commands can be sent from Tahoe-II board (hosting a .net application) to I-BOX Microcontroller using XBEE and same medium is used for I-BOX to stream video from onboard camera to Tahoe-II built-in LCD module.

Rover will be equiped with onboard...

1. Infrared distnace sensor
2. Two surfacce color detector
3. Touch sensor
4. VGA Camera
5. X-BEE Module
6. Light detector

Host applicaiton to control and monitor the mission is developed using...

1. VS.Net 2008
2. .Net Microframework 3.0
Tahoe-II is connected via USB to deploy application on to the board. Board has touch screen which make application very intteractive. Latter it can communicate wirlessly with controlle using X-Bee.

I hope this technology will be mature enough in next couple of years. Then we will be able to take part in Google's Lunar Lander Challenge :).

AD-150 high-speed VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle

The AD-150 is a high-speed VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle that is being developed by American Dynamics Flight Systems as a future competitor for the United States Marine Corps' Tier III VUAS program as well as other current and future United States VTOL UAV programs.

The AD-150 program began in response to continued interest in maritime capable VTOL UAVs by the United States Department of Defense.
The AD-150 utilizes two wing-tip mounted High Torque Aerial Lift (HTAL) lift and propulsion systems to provide the thrust needed to sustain and transition between hover and forward flight. The two HTAL systems are driven by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PW200 Turboshaft engine.
The vehicle's propulsion configuration is similar to the Doak VZ-4 in that the 2 propulsion systems are able to tilt from vertical to horizontal mode in order to achieve high-speed forward flight. Unlike the Doak VZ-4, however, the propulsion systems in the AD-150 are also able to pivot longitudinally.

A full-scale model of the AD-150 was displayed for the first time at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems North America exhibition in Washington D.C. on August 7, 2007.

General characteristics
Crew: None
Length: 14 ft 6 in (4.42 m)
Wingspan: 17 ft 6 in (5.34 m)
Height: 4 ft 9 in (1.49 m)
Gross weight: 2,250 lb (1,020 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW200, 750 hp (560 kW)
Maximum speed: 345 mph (556 km/h)
Endurance: 4 hours
Service ceiling: 20,000 ft (6,100 m)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

BuckyBalls Magnetic Building Spheres

BuckyBalls Magnetic Building Spheres are really that cool. You can build basic shapes, complex sculptures, magnetic jewelry, or even outfit your refrigerator in bold and unique ways. Just look at all the shapes and forms you can make with these bad boys - it's amazing! BuckyBalls Magnetic Building Spheres are just what you need to help you brave the boredom of the office. And really, when else will you get to play with your BuckyBalls at work and not get in trouble?

BuckyBalls In Action

BuckyBalls Magnetic Building Spheres

Super powerful, rare earth, magnetic balls - for you to play with.
Make sculptures, puzzles, patterns, shapes, jewelry . . . the joy is endless.
Each set contains 216 BuckyBalls.
Ages: Not for kids or adults under 12 years of age.
Dimensions: each Buckyball is approx. 0.125" in diameter.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Full Body Motion Control for the Xbox

At the E3 Expo, Microsoft unveiled something called “Project Natal” which is a whole new way to interact with your Xbox 360. Like Nintendo’s Wii, Natal lets you control a game using motion, but unlike the Wii – very unlike it, in fact – you don’t hold any sort of controllers or sensors in order to do so.
Instead, the bar that sits above or below your TV has a camera, sensors, and a microphone within its casing. In other words, it can see you and your movements. It even does facial and voice recognition and lets you swipe through screens by moving your hands (how “Minority Report” is that!)
Although Project Natal has no official name, pricing, or release date yet, development kits are being sent out to partners now.

See full artical at ... http://on10.net/blogs/sarahintampa/Project-Natal-Revealed-Full-Body-Motion-Control-for-the-Xbox/