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Alan Atherton
I program robots and make video games
I program robots and make video games

Alan's posts

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Real-time pose estimation, especially when the target is moving quickly, is a challenging problem. Event-based cameras make it possible to a higher degree than a lot of other techniques. Very impressive work.
I wish you all happy new year by announcing our latest work. We present EVO: a geometric approach to Event-based 6-DOF Parallel Tracking and Mapping in Real-time, which has recently been accepted at IEEE RA-L. EVO successfully leverages the outstanding properties of event cameras to track fast camera motions while recovering a semi-dense 3D map of the environment. The implementation runs in real-time on a standard CPU and outputs up to several hundred pose estimates per second. Due to the nature of event cameras, our algorithm is unaffected by motion blur and operates very well in challenging, high dynamic range conditions with strong illumination changes (check especially at minute 0:57, when we point the camera towards the sun! and at minute 1:43 of the video, when we switch the lights off and on!). To achieve this, we combine a novel, event-based tracking approach based on image-to-model alignment with our recent event-based multiview stereo algorithm (EMVS, BMVC'16) in a parallel fashion. Additionally, we show that the output of our pipeline can be used to reconstruct intensity images from the binary event stream, though our algorithm does not require such intensity information. We believe that this work makes significant progress in SLAM by unlocking the potential of event cameras. This allows us to tackle challenging scenarios that are currently inaccessible to standard cameras.

Reference: +Henri Rebecq, Timo Horstschaefer, +Guillermo Gallego, Davide Scaramuzza, "EVO: A Geometric Approach to Event-based 6-DOF Parallel Tracking and Mapping in Real-time," IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2016.

Our research page on event based vision:

Robotics and Perception Group, University of Zurich, 2016

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I love CNC. I would love to make my own CNC machine with different tools for making various things. At the moment, I don't have a lot of space to store tools, or really any time to work on it.

This little machine here blows the "not enough space" excuse away. It's the size of a standard router. The cutting bit is mounted in a motorized stabilizing assembly that fine-tunes your larger motions. Think about it like video stabilization. As you move it around, the bit makes small corrections to cut out plans that have been uploaded to the device.

My intuition is that this is not going to have the precision of a nice gantry-style CNC machine. Considering that it can work at large scale at such a low footprint and such a low cost (again, comparing it to other CNC) that's a reasonable trade-off.

Tremendously good idea, I hope it catches on.

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This looks like the beginning of the advanced immersion rigs from the book Ready Player One.
The Dexmo exoskeleton gloves for VR

Dexta Robotics is designing exoskeleton gloves that allow you to "touch the digital world". By providing "instant force feedback" they say you can feel the difference between a stone and a rubber duck. The current generation of gloves - which aren't available - require users to wear Vive controllers on their arms. Ultimately they will have all of the necessary tech designed into them to work independently of wires and other peripherals.

Source video for GIF:

Interview with Dexta:
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I think the skill I have best developed in hobbyist game development is..... installing game engines.

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This is basically my job
Not really sure why... But, uhm, I guess why not?

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The Martian, currently $2 on amazon.

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For those who care about US politics... I heard about this Bernie Sanders guy before, but I didn't know how much I should pay attention to him.  Apparently I need to pay attention to him 94%, followed by 75% Hillary Clinton.

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In my experience, this approach has been very effective. I need to remember to do it more often.

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Very fascinating. 
Interesting graphics showing the rate at which Americans change their minds on social issues.

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I loved the first Containment book, and the author is a respectable person, as far as I can tell.  If you like science fiction, I highly recommend giving his books a try.
My first novel, Containment, is no longer just Containment. It is now the first book in the "Children of Occam" series. And the second book, Equinox, launches today (not coincidentally, just before the spring equinox).
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