Disney Research Zurich in partnership with ETH has debuted its newest robot, the VertiGo. With a control and drive mechanism comparable to the typical radio controlled car, one thing VertiGo can do is seamlessly transition from driving on the ground to driving on walls and back again. Although the robot makes use of a central carbon fibre baseplate in order to minimize its weight, a number of specialized parts are 3D printed.
As evidenced by the screenshot from its introduction video — in which it is in mid-Nemo drawing form after completing Mickey Mouse — Disney Research’s BeachBot knows how to have fun when it comes to creating two-dimensional art on a difficult surface such as the beach.
It’s a tad beyond the expected release date of August, but Disney Research has now released its 10 1/2 minute long short, Lucid Dreams of Gabriel, which you can find embedded below. Because the film is shot at a frame rate of 120 fps, Disney Research advises watching it only at HD (720, 1080) resolution to get the full effect.
Although the fourth dimension is time, it hasn’t stopped amusement parks from hijacking the term as a way of saying they’ve plussed traditional 3D movies by adding a new ‘dimension’ of effects. Usually these effects involve dropping things on the audience such as cold water to simulate breaking glass (followed by warm water to simulate the blood from all the sliced skin), fog, bubbles and — most of all — haptic feedback right from the very seat the audience member is sitting in. Whether it’s mice running past your feet or bugs crawling under your butt, tactile feedback is big in the amusement park experience, especially when virtually anyone can bring the 3D experience home.
Disney Research Zurich, along with the University of Zaragoza, have now shared the results of their ‘Stylized Hair Capture’ project. The aim of the project is to improve upon the already popular trend of custom 3D printed figures which have traditionally been limited to facial scans being plastered onto an existing model, neglecting any other personal attribute. The ‘Stylized Hair Capture’ project sets out to improve on the fad with the intent of capturing the individual as they appear that day, right down to their individual hair style and color. The demo video — embedded below — even goes as far as to show that any object with hair- or fur-like texture, such as a stuffed animal, can be scanned in digitally and faithfully recreated as a result.
During the ACM Conference on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) event taking place August 10-14, 2014, Disney Research Zurich will present its Spin-It project, designed to optimize the moment of inertia for spinnable objects. In short, it’s a proven method for making balancing toys such as yo-yos and spinning tops.
If you were to ask a dozen people to close their eyes and imagine the traditional spinning top or yo-yo, chances are they’d all visualize the same shape of the object. This is because the objects’ shapes are already designed to perform their desired task — that is to say that the mass is equally distributed across the object, so it’s perfectly balanced. But what if you wanted to spin or yo-yo an object that wasn’t perfectly symmetrical and balanced? What if, for example, you wanted to spin a top shaped like an elephant?
Disney Research is expanding into the film business with its first short film titled Lucid Dreams of Gabriel which will be released in August. A teaser trailer for the film was released today, showcasing some of the special effects and filming techniques Disney Research employed using what it is calling ‘The Flow-Of-Time,’ consisting of ‘local frame rate variation, local pixel timing and a variety of artistic shutter functions.’
Disney Research along with Scott Hudson of Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute have demonstrated how it’s possible to print soft, interactive objects using new 3D printers. No longer restricted using rigid materials such as plastics, new 3D printers can digitally print objects made of softer materials, such as wool and wool blend yarn.
Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University today published its findings on how its team was able to produce and harvest electrical energy through by rubbing and even tapping specially formulated paper and a method so simple, even a child can reproduce it — as demonstrated by the sample video.
The only special requirement for the electrical generator is a thin, flexible sheet of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon. That sheet is then placed between two conductive layers, such as sheets of metallized polyester, that serve as electrodes.
Disney Research today unveiled AIREAL, a low-cost, highly scalable solution that aims to fill an increasing void in gaming by bring tactile feedback to motion-responsive controllers, such as the Microsoft Kinect.
While traditional gaming controllers often use vibration to provide haptic feedback to gamers, those using controllers that respond to physical movement haven’t been afforded that luxury until now.
The AIREAL uses a (mostly) 3D printed vortex generator that uses speakers whose diaphragms are activated, pushing air out of the device. By alternating patterns and lengths, the tactile feedback can vary depending on the player’s situation and expectations. Furthermore, the AIREAL system is scalable, allowing an array of them to be used in situations to provide feedback in true three dimensional space.