Among the courses at this year’s SIGGRAPH (an annual technical conference and showcase of the latest in computer graphics research) was an introduction to 3D scanning that covers all the bases: mathematical foundations, two different build-your-own hardware approaches, and how to process and render the resulting datasets. The presenters have assembled all the course materials on a top-notch web site featuring slide shows, complete source code, and an extensive round-up with links to both commercial and homebrew 3D scanning gear. The simplest of these methods requires nothing more than a webcam, halogen light source, and a stick!
SIGGRAPH and 3D scanning have been highlightedmanytimes on Hack a Day, but we’re swelling with pride now seeing an academic venue give a favorable nod to the DIY hacking community (on their links page). Okay, so Hack a Day isn’t called out by name, but just wait’ll next year!
So, last week, I had the pleasure of being stabbed, scanned, physically simulated, and synthetically defocused. Clearly, I must have been at SIGGRAPH 2008, the world’s biggest computer graphics conference. While it usually conflicts with Black Hat, this year I actually got to stop by, though a bit of a cold kept me from enjoying as much of it as I’d have liked. Still, I did get to walk the exhibition floor, and the papers (and videos) are all online, so I do get to write this (blissfully DNS and security unrelated) report.
While attending LA SIGGRAPH Maker Night, we got to talk to [Brett Doar] about his Bronco Table. The table is meant to make life more difficult by bucking off anything that’s set on top of it. Right now, it uses a tiny piezo mic to listen for the impact and then drives three leg motors in a random pattern. He envisions later generations either running away or following you intently when something is set on them.
The main problem with the current design is that you have to hit the table hard enough to make a noise the mic can pick up. The ideal solution would be able to detect anything, no matter what the material or how forcefully it was set down. How would you detect objects being placed on the surface (table doesn’t have to be wood)?
We coaxed our friends at Mahalo Daily into coming along with us to LA SIGGRAPH’s Maker Night. There were a handful of interesting projects there. [Univac] was showing a circuit bent Teletubby and his CellularRecombomat. [Brett Doar] brought his Bronco Table. Tired of engineers building items that made life easier, he decided to make something that made life more difficult. The table uses a piezo to detect the sound of something being set on top. It then starts twitching and bucking to shake the item free. The motors look like they’re salvaged window motors. Finally, we talked to [Mark Frauenfelder] from BoingBoing/Make about how he got into the DIY culture.
The Last HOPE July 18-20 New York, NY – Our first HOPE and the last one ever.. since the hotel is being torn down.
Black Hat US August 2-7 Las Vegas, NV – If anything gets released this year, it’ll be here.
DefCon August 8-10 Las Vegas, NV – The first con we ever went to. It’s not the best con, but it’s always interesting.
SIGGRAPH August 11-15 Los Angeles, CA – SIGGRAPH is where you need to be if you want to see cutting edge graphics and interaction projects. It’s a favorite of ours and a nice break from computer security.
Anything we’re missing?
UPDATE:Maker Faire May 3-4 San Mateo, CA – Can’t believe we forgot it. Thanks [pt]!