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The Universal Planar Manipulator
Science Posted by Hemos on Thursday October 05, @07:42AM
from the redecoration-made-easy dept.
macsox writes: "Wired News has an article about surfaces that, using vibrations, can move objects around at the owner's whim -- for example, using a mouse as a remote desktop arranger. Also envisioned: rooms that redecorate themselves. The scientist's page is here."

The Vanishing Desktop | Nanosatellite Satellite Inspection  >

 

 
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    Is that an earthquake?! (Score:2)
    by zlite (chris at comminus dot com) on Thursday October 05, @07:51AM EDT (#2)
    (User #199781 Info)
    No, honey. It's just the table setting itself.
    Re:Is that an earthquake?! (Score:1)
    by adjensen on Thursday October 05, @10:00AM EDT (#49)
    (User #58676 Info) http://www.aatrix.com/users/adjensen/adjhomepage.html
    Or conversely, when someone comes into my office and asks if an earthquake hit, I can finally say "yes"!
    uhhh...yeah! (Score:2, Funny)
    by fuzzcat (fuzzcat@no_spam.yahoo.com) on Thursday October 05, @07:52AM EDT (#3)
    (User #182696 Info) http://www.afn.org/~afn51445

    If the porn industry ever caught on to this...oh man!


    "The further I get from the things that I care about, the less I care about how much further away I get." -Robert Smith,
    Moderator Note... (Score:1)
    by On Lawn (onlawn@usa.SpsheilD.net) on Thursday October 05, @09:04AM EDT (#39)
    (User #1073 Info)
    these posts are getting older than the "lets make a beowolf cluster out of these" posts.
    I may not be the first or the best post, but I do give the GrammarNazi lots to do...
    I really need this... (Score:1)
    by iamblades (GOD@GOD.GOD) on Thursday October 05, @07:56AM EDT (#5)
    (User #238964 Info) http://homepages.go.com/~we_are_smega
    ...as I have no time to clean my house. This would be even better than having a house cleaning robot, with an even better wow factor. Of course, I could be wrong, if you get hit by dishes trying to set themselves or something. Could you imagine the chicks when you show them your self cleaning house?
    "Let's burn!" - IAAFB (I Am A FireBat)
    Re:I really need this... (Score:1)
    by Glytch (superglytch@you.know.what.to.do.yahoo.com) on Thursday October 05, @09:02AM EDT (#37)
    (User #4881 Info) http://members.tripod.com/~glytch/
    I dunno, some of us Linux lovers *are* cute guys...
    --- The dumber people think you are, the more surprised they'll be when you kill them.
    Most likely use (Score:1)
    by dnnrly (dnnrly@hotmail.com) on Thursday October 05, @07:56AM EDT (#6)
    (User #120163 Info)
    I can't see this being used in your average home very soon. Most likely that some big company will use the technology to built huge production lines at a fraction of the cost of conventionaal ones!

    dnnrly
    Get paid to answer questions - Mindpixel

    Noise & other questions... (Score:2)
    by Yardley on Thursday October 05, @07:57AM EDT (#7)
    (User #135408 Info) http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/09/13/touretzky/index.html
    Since it is using sub-woofer like vibration, will there be a lot of accompanying noise? How heavy of objects can it move? How much damage will the vibrations inflict upon objects which are moved?

    --
    Why DeCSS is legal (pdf)
    I wondered too (Score:1)
    by grnarrow on Thursday October 05, @08:31AM EDT (#27)
    (User #159267 Info) http://www.bottomquark.com/
    Noise was my first concern too. If an object like a table is vibrating strongly enough move a plate around, surely the vibrations must be making sound waves too. At least a low hum. That would get awfully annoying.

    Mindpixel - help the Digital Mind Modeling Project.

    Re:I wondered too (Score:1)
    by UncleBill (billy@-takethisbitout-redvan.net) on Thursday October 05, @09:21AM EDT (#42)
    (User #147105 Info) http://www.cowfish.org.uk/
    the article says:
    The vibrations are low amplitude, Reznik said, and feel like a sound wave.

    that looks like it will create a low hum, but it will be very quiet (thats what low amplitude sounds means to the layman isn;t it?)

    even if its not audible to people, animals might get mighty pissed at it...


    == Perl generally does the right thing, unless you want it to do something else ==

    Re:Noise & other questions... (Score:2, Insightful)
    by gmm (gmm@sSpPaAzMmOaFiFl.com) on Thursday October 05, @08:44AM EDT (#31)
    (User #218993 Info)
    It depends on the frequency. If it is below 20Hz you won't hear it.



    --------------------------------------------
    "Karma Police, arrest this whore"
    Re:Noise & other questions... (Score:1)
    by Troed on Thursday October 05, @08:51AM EDT (#33)
    (User #102527 Info)
    Isn't it frequencies in the range of 6-8Hz that can kill you? (Heart rythm problems)

    USA & Israel are the big bullies in the middle east. Stop listening to your biased internal news reporting!

    Re:Noise & other questions... (Score:1)
    by gmm (gmm@sSpPaAzMmOaFiFl.com) on Thursday October 05, @08:58AM EDT (#34)
    (User #218993 Info)
    Could be, I don't know, but you wouldn't be able to hear them ;-)

    --------------------------------------------
    "Karma Police, arrest this whore"
    Re:Noise & other questions... (Score:1)
    by swinge (swinge_2000@yahoo.com) on Thursday October 05, @01:51PM EDT (#80)
    (User #176850 Info)
    It depends on the frequency. If it is below 20Hz you won't hear it.

    It's a little more complicated than that. It depends also on the amplitude (and I don't mean in the obvious way), and resonant frequencies of the objects placed on the table. If the amplitude is high enough to cause the object on the table to "bounce", you are going to get a low frequency square wave, i.e. one with many higher frequency harmonics. And, the low frequency wave will add energy to any resonant object you place on it and you will get some transient sympathetic oscillations, though I must say I can't remember the details of this.

    Re:Noise & other questions... (Score:1)
    by RainMan496 on Friday October 06, @04:04PM EDT (#96)
    (User #239840 Info)
    I don't know exactly how this works, but some government agencies in the US and abroad have their militaries looking into emitting "cancelling" audio waves that would eliminate that obnoxious helicopter "wop wop wopping".
    "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put!" -Sir Winston Churchill
    gamers take note (Score:5, Funny)
    by Karmageddon on Thursday October 05, @07:57AM EDT (#8)
    (User #186836 Info)
    and what if we put on the table 22 little plastic men, 11 each from two opposing football squads... oh yeah.
    Re:gamers take note (Score:1)
    by Smack (slashdot@smackfu.com) on Thursday October 05, @03:55PM EDT (#85)
    (User #977 Info) http://www.smackfu.com/
    OK, obviously an awesome comment...

    But wouldn't that be a great demo as well? If the little plastic players ACTUALLY RAN PLAYS? People would throw money at you
    I used to have one! (Score:1)
    by FreeJack1 (www.sowhatdoyouthinkof.eh) on Thursday October 05, @07:59AM EDT (#9)
    (User #203705 Info)
    Yeah! It's one of those football games where you set up all your players "defensively", then, when everything is ready for the play, you switch on the game and all the little players vibrate around in a chaotic manner that looks vaguely like a real football maneuver!
    Sorry, this is nothing new, just a different type of application.
    --

    Vote Homer Simpson for President!
    America finally would get an intelligent president!

    Re:I used to have one! (Score:1)
    by revin on Thursday October 05, @08:06AM EDT (#14)
    (User #191651 Info)
    not true , read the article: The technology is so precise that it can move individual objects in any direction while leaving other objects exactly as they were. If it's programmaticaly driven, you can play a game for real , instead of on a monitor. Back to classic gaming around the table.
    Re:I used to have one! (Score:1)
    by bowb on Thursday October 05, @10:44AM EDT (#57)
    (User #209411 Info)
    Could get a litttle dull, since the objects move ``across the surface at an almost imperceptible snail's pace''.
    Vibrating Magic Remover (Score:3, Funny)
    by resistant (resistant@hotmail.maps.com) on Thursday October 05, @07:59AM EDT (#10)
    (User #221968 Info) http://www.lp.org/

    Dan Reznik, a Brazilian computer science Ph.D. candidate at the University of California at Berkeley, has developed a table with a shaking top that moves objects as if by magic - the only finger lifted is the one on the mouse controlling what objects are moved where.

    Combine this effect with the pressure-sensitive polymer from a few days ago and some control electronics, and you'd have a floor able to react automatically to the presence of a life insurance salesman by wisking him effortlessly back out the door.


    "When you care, when you see, life is not bare; it is where to be." - The Jocose Mage
    Re:Vibrating Magic Remover (Score:1)
    by iamblades (GOD@GOD.GOD) on Thursday October 05, @08:24AM EDT (#24)
    (User #238964 Info) http://homepages.go.com/~we_are_smega
    What about the Jehovah's Witness protection system. Protect them from getting their ass kicked by moving them politely (or impolitely) out of the way. Not to be confused with the previously mentioned life insurance man removal service (TM).
    "Let's burn!" - IAAFB (I Am A FireBat)
    Re:Vibrating Magic Remover (Score:1)
    by Vryl (pedro@nospam.vrl.com.au) on Thursday October 05, @01:23PM EDT (#79)
    (User #31994 Info)
    not to put too fine a point on it ...

    PATENT IT!

    Re:Vibrating Magic Remover (Score:1)
    by MupwI (echoechoat@dotcom.com) on Thursday October 05, @09:01AM EDT (#36)
    (User #152455 Info)
    I believe such a system is already in operation in the Jamiroquai house...
    -- Bah weep grah nah weep nini bong
    Noise and creative applications (Score:2, Interesting)
    by martyb (martyb@ultraint.com (train to trane)) on Thursday October 05, @08:07AM EDT (#15)
    (User #196687 Info)

    I've looked over the site, but don't recall seeing any mention of just how LOUD this thing would be. If I understand correctly, he's got 4 LARGE voice coils that are rapidly firing in order to get the objects on the surface to move.

    This reminds me of the old vibrating surface football game my folks got me when I was a kid. It was pretty noisy then. Hey! Imagine putting appropriate markings on this new surface. With a little creative programming (and, say, bluetooth), we could set up football scrimmages where we nerds would always WIN!

    Re:Noise and creative applications (Score:1)
    by iamblades (GOD@GOD.GOD) on Thursday October 05, @08:19AM EDT (#22)
    (User #238964 Info) http://homepages.go.com/~we_are_smega
    I would imagine they could use subsonic sound, but still it doesn't say if it will damage thing, i.e. breaking glass is first on my mind. No, sound doesnt have to be high pitched to break glass, just a certain freqeuncy. But its a neat idea...
    "Let's burn!" - IAAFB (I Am A FireBat)
    Re:Noise and creative applications (Score:1)
    by jallen02 (:-( .) on Thursday October 05, @11:43AM EDT (#70)
    (User #124384 Info) http://gdev.net/~jallen
    yep tahts a common misconception about breaking glass and I bet very few people (read less than .00001percent ;p) can break glass.

    You have to be able to yell at a certain frequency, and maintain it to get the glass vibrating to the point where it breaks.. NOT easy.

    jeremy
    Insert Quarter here --->[   ]<---
    My girlfriend had one of these ... (Score:1)
    by Troed on Thursday October 05, @08:13AM EDT (#19)
    (User #102527 Info)
    ... it could move her emotions from cold to hot in a matter of seconds.

    USA & Israel are the big bullies in the middle east. Stop listening to your biased internal news reporting!

    Have You Looked At The Video? (Score:1)
    by Elias Israel on Thursday October 05, @08:15AM EDT (#20)
    (User #182882 Info) http://www.hireability.com/

    I looked at the supplied video on the site, and the scale looks, err, funny to me.

    Do we know for sure that this thing is real?

    Or, said another way, why do the "coins" in the three-coin, figure-eight demo jog around so much when nothing else in the frame seems to move?

    Elias Israel

    Re:Have You Looked At The Video? (Score:1)
    by UncleBill (billy@-takethisbitout-redvan.net) on Thursday October 05, @10:28AM EDT (#53)
    (User #147105 Info) http://www.cowfish.org.uk/
    the more complicated videos, the figure 8 and chip sorter, are very jumpy, but the simpler ones, the three coins rotating in the same direcion and the linear movement ones, are a lot more stable, and the videos look better.

    i think it could be just a case of experimental equipment not being able to handle the more complicated examples all that well.

    i hope it isn't a fake, I can't wait to be carried around my house by a floor that gives me a foot massage at the same time

    == Perl generally does the right thing, unless you want it to do something else ==

    Oh, great (Score:1)
    by gclef on Thursday October 05, @08:33AM EDT (#28)
    (User #96311 Info)
    I can just see it now, someone designs a nifty interface to this "self-arranging room", and then forgets to put a break command in it....the upshot: you have to argue with the room to get things put in place

    No, room, I don't care that the Feng Shui of the room is better that way, I want the TV over *there*!

    Reminds me of the Neutron Bomb Version Two (Score:1)
    by handorf (handorf@penguinARGHNOSPAMPLEASEGODpowered.com) on Thursday October 05, @08:37AM EDT (#29)
    (User #29768 Info) http://handorf.penguinpowered.com/~benvh
    That not only kills people and leaves buildings and structures standing, it tidies up the place a bit.
    -- IANAEG - I am not an elder god.
    I "see".... (Score:2)
    by moonboy (armstrongN9O9SPAM@yahoo.com) on Thursday October 05, @08:49AM EDT (#32)
    (User #2512 Info)
    I "see" bad things ahead for the blind. The mother of all cruel practical jokes. :-P
    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
    My favorite quote from the article (Score:2, Funny)
    by Nonesuch ((my login name)@msg.net) on Thursday October 05, @09:00AM EDT (#35)
    (User #90847 Info) http://www.msg.net/~nonesuch/
    "You could have this anal-retentive table," Rezniksaid. "If anyone moves the salt shaker, the table would move it back to its position. It would always be perfectly set."
    Coming soon to a Sharper Image near you, the all-new Felix Unger model kitchen table.

    I do not deploy Linux. Ever.
    Useless news department... (Score:2)
    by BrK (brian@) on Thursday October 05, @09:02AM EDT (#38)
    (User #39585 Info) http://127.0.0.1/
    I dunno, this almost seems like an "obvious patent" type of thing. How many times have you watched something dance around on top of the washing machine, or watch your pager glide across the desktop when set to vibrate mode? While it's sorta neat that this guy is controlling the movements, it's hardly (IMO) all that much of a breakthrough.
    The whole thing seems really dumbed-down when they suggest a room that can re-arrange itself. Do people rearrange their rooms SO MUCH, that they would go through the expense of imbedding a bunch of motors in special honeycomb floor?
    root is not a crime.
    Re:Useless news department... (Score:2, Interesting)
    by clare-ents (spam@clare-ents.com) on Thursday October 05, @10:41AM EDT (#55)
    (User #153285 Info) http://www.ex-parrot.com/peter
    This is clearly patentable.

    Whilst the following patent would be obvious

    "Use sound to move objects around"

    the following would not

    "Using n tranducers located in y shape driven as a phased array with delays calculated by allows motion of objects on it's surface in these patterns. This can be generalised by use of "

    He's not patenting the idea of moving things with sounds. It's the implementation of doing so.

    Is this obvious to another expert in the field - I suspect the answer is no - it has taken lots of work to figure out how to do this.

    It's obvious that I could patent a 'cure for cancer' using 'drugs' but I doubt the idea I've just stated now would grant me rights over all possible cures for cancer in the future.


    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. (Einstein)
    Re:Useless news department... (Score:1)
    by BrK (brian@) on Thursday October 05, @11:09AM EDT (#63)
    (User #39585 Info) http://127.0.0.1/
    Okay... good comment...

    Perhaps "inevitable" would be better than "obvious". It seems that it is/was inevitable that someone would design a way to do this very thing. The solution itself was not an "obivous" design, per se. Then again, maybe it just depends on your own perception. I read this and said "big deal", even after reading all the technical data. He basically hangs a camera over a surface, and then uses a computer to monitor the surface and vibrate/rotate the surface to cause the objects to move as desired.
    root is not a crime.
    Re:Useless news department... (Score:2)
    by BrK (brian@) on Thursday October 05, @11:04AM EDT (#62)
    (User #39585 Info) http://127.0.0.1/
    ry reading the scientist page.... the method used is by no means obvious.

    I _did_ read the page. Like I said, he figured out how to harness something that we've all seen. I'm sure he didn't design this on a cocktail napkin, but the general concept is nothing new, IMO.

    Basically he noticed that when you vibrate a surface, stuff tends to slide around. By controlling the surface and the vibrations, he can make objects move at will.
    root is not a crime.
    win/win for the ladies! (Score:1, Funny)
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05, @09:12AM EDT (#40)
    Now instead of spending their whole day cleaning the house, they can spend the whole day lying on the floor!
    Hold on - "Rotation"? (Score:1)
    by itsbruce (itsbruce@netscape.net.REMOVE) on Thursday October 05, @09:13AM EDT (#41)
    (User #229840 Info)
    Initially, everything is shuffled a fraction of an inch in a particular direction, while at the same time the whole table is rotated around the object being moved.
    So to move my furniture it's going to have to rotate the whole of the floor? Before I read that line my comment was going to be "Great, let's resurface all the roads with this stuff and say goodbye to the internal combustion engine."
    Re:Hold on - "Rotation"? (Score:1)
    by Looeee on Friday October 06, @08:59AM EDT (#95)
    (User #232578 Info)
    http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~dreznik/UPM2000/experiments.htm This gives some video demos of the UPM in action - someone else pointed out that these demos are probably speeded up, but at any rate it shows that there isn't perceptible vibration of the "floor" either from looking overhead or from the side. I imagine mention that the table only rotates imperceptably. That threw me too when I first read it. The idea of a room whipping around like a frisbee made me do a double take. It requires RealPlayer 8. -Looooeeeee gets drunk and complains that the room is spinning
    Windows rebooter (Score:1)
    by morningstar8 on Thursday October 05, @09:26AM EDT (#43)
    (User #234758 Info)
    Hey, maybe this technology could be used to reboot a remote Windows box! Now that would be useful.
    Re:Windows rebooter (Score:1)
    by TulioSerpio on Thursday October 05, @09:32AM EDT (#45)
    (User #125657 Info)
    think I can play futbol from my house!
    Ye gads... (Score:1)
    by American AC in Paris ("mot"@"wolpwons"."gro") on Thursday October 05, @09:32AM EDT (#44)
    (User #230456 Info) http://www.snowplow.org/
    The potential for improving existing technologies with this is mind-boggling...

    American AC In Paris -- Moderation Totals:Funny=3, Overrated=1, Total=4.

    Make sure this doesn't fall into the wrong hands.. (Score:3, Funny)
    by AFCArchvile (talk_is_cheap@lies.are.expensive.com) on Thursday October 05, @09:48AM EDT (#46)
    (User #221494 Info)
    ..or we'll all be running around in the streets, being chased by furniture, screaming, "HELP!! CHAIR!! HELP!! CHAIR!!"

    Software designers are so infatuated with the fact that they can, that they don't stop to think if they should.
    Re:Make sure this doesn't fall into the wrong hand (Score:1)
    by cheekymonkey_68 (andrew_mcd@lineonedotnet) on Thursday October 05, @09:56AM EDT (#48)
    (User #156096 Info)
    Beware the Spanish Inquisition Monty Pythons 'Comfy Chair' will be able to become reality Turn on your reality distortion field now and get ready to say 'Oh no not the comfy chair'
    "Computer are the tools of the Devil. He is real. He lives inside C programs.
    The last thing I would need... (Score:2, Funny)
    by Dannon (BlueBeast@nospamming.crosswinds.net) on Thursday October 05, @10:23AM EDT (#52)
    (User #142147 Info)
    ...would be someone at my school hacking into my floor of my apartment as a prank.

    To roommate: "Can I borrow your computer? Someone blocked my door with my bed again...."

    ---
    Hold the mold, Klunk.
    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.
    A little move I've been working on. (Score:1)
    by Neon Spiral Injector on Thursday October 05, @09:49AM EDT (#47)
    (User #21234 Info) http://www.clubneon.com/
    Didn't Homer do this in the episode where the power plant employees were racing to a cabin? There was a bowl on the table. He vibrated the table until the bowl moved off and into his hand.
    Could you pass the... (Score:1)
    by Geeky Frignit on Thursday October 05, @10:40AM EDT (#54)
    (User #232507 Info)
    Could you pass the peas, nevermind, I'll just retreive them with my mouse. The ultimate dining experience with a mouse at every seat.

    And how do we get geeks to set the table? Build an interface with a Quake engine where you have to deliver certain items to certain parts of the map. Unknowingly, your wife has gotten you to set the table while blasting many things into itty bitty pieces. Life would be good!!!
    just think about the applications for this! (Score:2, Interesting)
    by brad3378 on Thursday October 05, @10:42AM EDT (#56)
    (User #155304 Info)

    How about a computer chess game that moves it's own pieces?

    Or Just think what UPS/USPS/FedEx could do with this in a warehouse full of packages?

    Mix this technology with that pressure sensitive sensing material, and maybe optical recognition, and it would be able to do damn near anything!
    Re:just think about the applications for this! (Score:1)
    by havardi (r00t@c4.com) on Thursday October 05, @12:04PM EDT (#74)
    (User #122062 Info) http://dogphoton.dynodns.net/
    except damn near everything.

    a fascinating place to go on the net, sometime.
    Box handling (Score:2)
    by Animats (slashdot-replies@downside.com) on Thursday October 05, @01:17PM EDT (#76)
    (User #122034 Info) http://www.animats.com/
    Or Just think what UPS/USPS/FedEx could do with this in a warehouse full of packages?

    UPS funded some work on a similar concept some years ago. The roller conveyor that resulted had a large number of little casters, all individually steerable. Large conveyor systems have switches to divert objects to various tracks, but this works well only when there's empty space around each box or all boxes are the same size. The idea was to have something that could take in a stream of mixed boxes on a conveyor and separate them. I don't think it got beyond the research stage.

    This vibrating idea sounds like it might have potential for applications like that. The substrate could be a flexible solid instead of a mass of wheels, which would prevent jams and simplify cleaning. It might also have applications in airport baggage-handling systems.

    I Dunno.... (Score:1, Funny)
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05, @10:56AM EDT (#60)
    If I was ever in a bar where a shot of whiskey slowly crawled down the counter to where I was sitting, I'd probably join AA on the spot.
    bah (Score:1)
    by warrped (efeeb@hotmail.com) on Thursday October 05, @11:00AM EDT (#61)
    (User #202864 Info)
    Right. A ten thousand dollar table that'll save you the horrible labor of setting the table yourself. Personally, I think some people vastly overvalue the worth of their free time...
    Do we want to heat up the planet even more? (Score:1)
    by Lew Perin on Thursday October 05, @11:13AM EDT (#64)
    (User #30124 Info) http://www.panix.com/~perin/
    While IANAP (physicist) there's something here that bothers me a lot. We computeniks often tend to assume the physical world has the nice friction freedom of the virtual machine that executes our C++, Perl or whatever. But this idea moves things around in the physical world where each move will require power from, well, pick a winner, and will throw off a certain amount of waste heat. In this context is it really smart to fling everything in the room repeatedly back and forth in order to relocate one object?
    Sorry, I forgot there are ads on the Web; I use Lynx.
    Neural Net Vibration Control (Score:3, Interesting)
    by Baldrson (jabowery@netcom.com) on Thursday October 05, @11:25AM EDT (#67)
    (User #78598 Info) http://www.geocities.com/jim_bowery
    Actually there is an entire field of neural network vibration control that started out as adaptive vibration cancellation. In a 1989 demonstration for the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, SAIC had a demonstration where they placed 1, then 2 then 3 accellerometers at various arbitrary places on a 3D grid structure being stimulated by some vibrators similar to those spoken of in the article here. Then the outputs of those accellerometers were fed as "pain" signals to a recurrent neural network that controlled some other vibrators. When the neural network was turned on, the vibrators under its control would vary frequency, phase and amplitude until vibration was cancelled out at precisely the 3 locations at which the accellerometers were placed. You could then pick the accellerometers up and put them back down somewhere else and the neural network would adapt within a few seconds, cancelling out its painful inputs.
    Re:Neural Net Vibration Control (Score:1)
    by CharlesDonHall (cdhall-NOSPAM-THANKS@erols.com) on Thursday October 05, @02:03PM EDT (#81)
    (User #214468 Info)
    Then the outputs of those accellerometers were fed as "pain" signals to a recurrent neural network that controlled some other vibrators.

    I don't think that's ethically defensible.

    Would it be possible to reconfigure the neural net so that it would expect a constant input level, which we could define as "pleasure"? And then the accelerometers could be set up so that they couldn't reduce the input down to anything less than zero.

    You'd get the same results, and the neural net would never have to experience anything worse than a vague dissatisfaction.

    Thanks in advance!


    Charles Don Hall, Licensed Philosopher

    Tabletop Football (Score:1)
    by ssafarik on Thursday October 05, @11:46AM EDT (#71)
    (User #63841 Info)
    Or how about a toy football game where the players run around in a little stadium? Wow, that's modern!
    Speed differences (Score:1)
    by pboulang (boulangr@sea.com) on Thursday October 05, @12:36PM EDT (#75)
    (User #16954 Info) http://www.nextleft.com/
    Notice in the shuffling poker chip video that the speed has been upped by a factor of 2 or 3. This is apparent when looking at the top left corner and seeing someone walk past at the very end. So, what would it take to speed up this process? More amplitude?

    This comment is guaranteed*

    *not guaranteed

    Do I have to put a quarter in? (Score:1)
    by human bean (jblagg@STUPIDITYak.net) on Thursday October 05, @02:11PM EDT (#82)
    (User #222811 Info)
    And does it last more than five minutes?

    Please remove all stupidity before e-mailing"

    Redecorate? (Score:2)
    by Trickster Coyote (trickster@purpleSPAMLESSturtle.com) on Thursday October 05, @02:46PM EDT (#83)
    (User #34740 Info) http://www.uroulette.com/
    Actually what I need is a room that will clean itself. Maybe it can be set up to vibrate all the stuff I want to keep into the closet and vibrate the rest into the trash.

    Trickster Coyote
    Reality is only an illusion.
    Robot Platform? (Score:2)
    by cr0sh (andrewa@phoenixgarage.NOSPAM.org) on Thursday October 05, @03:22PM EDT (#84)
    (User #43134 Info) http://www.phoenixgarage.org/
    I am wondering - could a few permanent "feet" be attached to the top of the thing, flip it upside down, then you might have this vibrating robot platform-like thing, able to move in any direction (at least on a smooth surface). Imagine - an ultra-cheap holonomic drive (provided you used, say, pager motors, and such to build it).

    I guess I am wondering if it would be possible to build such a platform this way, with say three vibrating motors, set @ 120 degrees apart...?

    I support the EFF - do you?
    Cr0sh the F0ckers!
    Re:Robot Platform? (Score:2, Interesting)
    by SlashGeek (SlashGeek REMOVE ALL @ CAPS .hotmail.com) on Thursday October 05, @06:33PM EDT (#87)
    (User #192010 Info) http://www.slashgeek.cjb.net/
    ....(provided you used, say, pager motors, and such to build it). I guess I am wondering if it would be possible to build such a platform this way, with say three vibrating motors, set @ 120 degrees apart...?

    Well, since you were wondering... The robot platform sound like a really good idea, but I think you are slightly misunderstanding how vibratory motion works. Let me explain this a little. A vibrating motor in say, a pager as you mentioned, uses an eccentric weight spun by a rotory motor to cause a condition of imballence, or wabble, and thus vibration. Vibratory motion equipement uses mostly linear motors and don't exactly "vibrate" but change directions at high speeds, causing the effect of vibration. It relies on basic laws of inertia, like the tablecloth trick. If you place an object on a table, and yank the tablecloth out real fast, the objects inertia will prevent it from moving. Vibratory motion works on the same principal, but think of it like this, the tablecloth is pulled slowly say one inch, and the object moves. Then it is pulled the other way one inch very fast, and the object stays. Then it repeats, over and over. A system like this would probably use at least 2 such motors opposed 90 degrees for direction control, although 3 at 120 would work as well, perhaps be even more accurate, but you would be required to run at least 2 of them at all times, so it might not be as efficient. So it's not exactly a vibration as much as it is a shuffle. You did get me thinking though, and a simple wabble type device would work great for manually moving a heavy object.


    Why is it called "common sense" when nobody seems to have any?

    Re:Robot Platform? (Score:2)
    by cr0sh (andrewa@phoenixgarage.NOSPAM.org) on Thursday October 05, @08:32PM EDT (#89)
    (User #43134 Info) http://www.phoenixgarage.org/
    Well, I just remember a device (described for the DIY'er to build) that was (is?) in the old (from the 50's or 60's) Popular Mechanic's Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia set. It was a toy that vibrated, and scooted along in one direction. I actually have a toy "mouse" (for your pet cat) that does this when you pull the ring/string thing out it's butt (I am serious here - that is where they positioned it - I guess it is it's tail). The little bugger scoots along the ground, presumably your cat will chase it, and pounce (don't have a cat to try this with, but hey - if they like lasers, they should like this!)...

    Anyhow, I was thinking three of these things - if they were all turned on (all three, space at 120 degrees apart on a circular platform), the platform wouldn't go anywhere, but by varying the speed, you could get diferent motion vectors (sorta like a vibrating holonomic device) - or at least that is the theory...

    I support the EFF - do you?
    Cr0sh the F0ckers!
    Re:Robot Platform? (Score:1)
    by SlashGeek (SlashGeek REMOVE ALL @ CAPS .hotmail.com) on Thursday October 05, @08:44PM EDT (#92)
    (User #192010 Info) http://www.slashgeek.cjb.net/
    Right, I understood where you were going with the 3 motors at 120 degree spacings. But with 2 linear motors ocilating, you would only require one at a a time for motion in a straight line, with the other one only needed for trajectory correction. But then again, linear motors might require more power to run, I hadnt considered that before. Or mabey not, but it's something to think about. As a former machinist and amateur ME, I love gizmos like these... sounds like it might be a fun project to play with, and thank you for sharing your ideas.

    Oh, and as for the mouse you mentioned, mabey I'll make one out of a CueCat =)


    Why is it called "common sense" when nobody seems to have any?

    Re:Robot Platform? (Score:2)
    by cr0sh (andrewa@phoenixgarage.NOSPAM.org) on Friday October 06, @04:47PM EDT (#97)
    (User #43134 Info) http://www.phoenixgarage.org/
    I started thinking about what I wrote earlier, and realized that using a motor with an ecentric (to produce the vibration), means that the motor is actually (if left loose, say) vibrating in a "circular" pattern (wobbling in a circle). For my idea to work, you would have to be able to impart the force in a single direction - so I wondered how it was being done in the model I saw. I began to think about it...

    IIRC - the model used a motor, with the shaft extending through the center of a circular thin can (like a chewing tobbacco tin). Attached to the end of the shaft was a "vane" - a thin piece of metal - that extended to the side of the can, but didn't touch it. Inside the can was a loose bearing, then the lid was put on. The tin/motor combo was mounted on it's side.

    Now, when the motor spun the vane, it would push the bearing - throwing the weight forward (and maybe even up and around the side), but at the top, the bearing would fall to the bottom - to continue the cycle as the vane came back around.

    Now, this could be totally wrong (unfortunately I don't have that particular encyclopedia - I only saw it at the library as a kid). The thing that shoots the whole in my memory of the device is that toy mouse I described - it don't rattle, which it should if if had a loose bearing in it. I might open the thing up tonight, and see how it works...

    I support the EFF - do you?
    Cr0sh the F0ckers!
    Re:Robot Platform? (Score:1)
    by zero_offset (zerooffset [at] yahoo.com) on Friday October 06, @06:46AM EDT (#94)
    (User #200586 Info) http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/cgi-bin/timer.pl
    Anyhow, I was thinking three of these things - if they were all turned on (all three, space at 120 degrees apart on a circular platform), the platform wouldn't go anywhere, but by varying the speed, you could get diferent motion vectors

    Pager motors are one of the perferred devices for imparting motion in BEAM robotics. Look here or here, for starters -- there are tons of BEAM sites out there...

    --First, we kill all the host programmers...

    Not perfect (Score:1)
    by SlashGeek (SlashGeek REMOVE ALL @ CAPS .hotmail.com) on Thursday October 05, @05:12PM EDT (#86)
    (User #192010 Info) http://www.slashgeek.cjb.net/
    I have worked a lot with vibratory manufacturing equipment in the past, such as the bowl feeders and inline feeders that he mentioned in his webpage. These are fairly reliable, simple devices. But they do come with their limitations, and drawbacks. Because they depend mostly on predetermined friction, anything that serves to change this factor becomes nightmarish in troubleshooting. For example, bowl feeders are generally finished with a rough texture, often provided from a sandblasting operation. As this finish erodes, so does the performance of the device. In turn, the "intensity" of the vibrations must be increased to compensate. Even as the number of parts in a bowl changes during use it can cause in imbalance. In a computer controlled system, this would require some type of feedback device to report movement relative to power. Paramaters would have to be in place as well, for each part to be moved. Also, with existing vibratory technoligy, parts are very often similar, and vibratory devices are used to put them in order and a specific position within the bowl feeder, such as puttin a certian end up or facing forward, then transfered into an inline feeder for acceptance by a fixed pick and place device, for what ever operations need to be carried out on the part. There are exceptions to these conditions, I'm sure, but these are the most common uses. Parts or objects that are all different and are going to be sorted by a "universal" vibratory device would become very tricky to manipulate. The surface area, mass, density, and coefficient of friction would all come into play in the operation.

    As wonderful as such a device would be, there are certian problems inherent to vibratory movement in a mechanical device that are unavoidable. Wear, operating temperature, part size, mass, etc all must be compensated for one way or another. The only place I see such devices remotely practical is in a manufacturing environment where regular tasks are carried out, and such variables can be compensated for by an operator. The only way this could be functional for semi-random objects, although not exactly practical, is through a vision system. However, in order to identify, (and therefor track) an object is to preprogram its shape into the system.

    Still, I hope that they get this thing to work. If it can be made to work cheaply and efficiently enough, it would hold great advantages to assembly and manufacturing operations. Perhaps, as mentioned, someday it could clean our desks for us after we go home or perform some other similarly cool task. Also, some people had questions about the noise from such a device. Most vibratory equipment is extremely quiet, since range of motion is controlled electriclly and not by mechanical stops, although rubber stops are sometimes used. Rubber mounts eliminate the remaining noise. A low humm is often all that is heard from this equipment. Good luck to the people working on this, but it's going to be a long road ahead.


    Why is it called "common sense" when nobody seems to have any?

    Sounds simular to... (Score:2)
    by SydBarrett (sydb@glue.umd.edu) on Thursday October 05, @07:53PM EDT (#88)
    (User #65592 Info) http://www.wam.umd.edu/~sydb/yarpage.html
    Something I saw in OMNI magazine many years ago that let you move heavy furniture around a room. It didn't use sound. The floor was made from some kind of flexable plastic, and there were a rather complex series of mechanics under it. They would raise and lower in sequence, so the effect was like a lump popping up that pushed something aside a little, and then another lump pops up, etc. I'm guessing that you would need rather smooth objects, or furniture that had wheels on the bottom for this method to work.


    Yes, I'm one of the Founders of Yarism. http://www.wam.umd.edu/~sydb/yarpage.html
    I can picture it now... (Score:1)
    by Vuarnet (vuarnet_at_imtoosexy.com) on Friday October 06, @04:02AM EDT (#93)
    (User #207505 Info)
    Script kiddies "owning" your dinner table!
    Ashes and diamonds, foe and friend, we were all equal in the end. Two suns in the sunset, Pink Floyd.
    Re:well (Score:1)
    by jallen02 (:-( .) on Thursday October 05, @11:36AM EDT (#69)
    (User #124384 Info) http://gdev.net/~jallen
    Anita this looks like your first first post.

    Once you go to the darkside you can never come back.

    hehe, avoid the urge to post to an empty article something totally useless just to get the first post.. hehehe its dangerous ground to walk on, the temptation will overtake you if your new to /. :-P

    Jeremy
    Insert Quarter here --->[   ]<---
      Genius, n.: A chemist who discovers a laundry additive that rhymes with "bright."
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