Tag Archives: art

Paralyzed Artist Writes and Paints Again with Help from Open Source Community

When L.A. street artist Tony “Tempt One” Quan was diagnosed with ALS, the disease left him virtually paralyzed. It looked like he would never paint or write again.

What happened next, though, would be practically unbelievable if it were to take place within a work of art. The documentary that tells this story, however, has captivated the minds of all who’ve seen it.

Now, the story of how open-source technology has given Quan a second chance to create is also getting a second chance of sorts before being released more widely.

This film NEEDS to be seen by people.”

— The most common viewer comment after seeing the film

The documentary, Getting Up: The TEMPT ONE Story, which was the recipient of the 2012 Audience Award  at the Slamdance Film Festival, needs some technical upgrading before it is more widely released. The goal behind the project: “Our purpose is to inspire people to see that when a singular individual teams up with a like-minded community, the once impossible becomes possible.”

How is technology changing your life for the better?

To get involved and learn more about this inspiring story, check out http://kck.st/KKYsG3

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.


NASA, Art Students Working Together on Moon Robot UI

English: NASA's K10 robot "Black" un...
NASA’s K10 robot “Black” is shown undergoing testing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next summer, astronauts on the space station will attempt to operate a NASA K10 robot located on Earth. To carry out this engineering test, NASA is working with Industrial Design students at the Academy of Art University to create the robot’s user interface (UI).

At the beginning of the semester, we challenged the students to propose new user interface concepts and we are extremely pleased with what they produced. This collaboration has been a tremendous success as we’ve begun to explore the design space in new ways thanks to the creative thinking of Academy of Art University students.”

Terry Fong, director of the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA Ames

The design students regularly interacted with NASA engineers from NASA’s Ames Research Center during the last semester. In future space missions, the students’ work could help astronauts remotely control robots on the moon or other planets.

How is technology changing your life for the better?

Learn more at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/5/prweb9533783.htm

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

Tackling E-waste

The problem of how to mitigate and clean up e-waste is top of mind for many researchers and policy-makers. A new infographic helps to put the problem into perspective, as do reports of some recent discussions about e-waste governance in the EU and the announcement of e-waste related research efforts in the US.

Amsterdam Canal View
EU delegates met in beautiful Amsterdam last week to discuss e-waste initiatives.

In Amsterdam last week, participants at an international e-waste conference concluded that a higher e-waste collection objective that is to be met by 2021 was “unfeasible.” A United Nations University (UNU) announcement stated that, “The forthcoming EU collection objective for discarded electrical equipment and energy saving lamps (e-waste) is only achievable if governments are prepared to introduce additional measures.”

According to the UNU, part of the challenge of meeting the EU quota for e-waste collection is that the waste will be outside the mandated collectors’ reach due to legal or illicit exportation. In addition, much of the waste is simply thrown into the trash by consumers.

In related news, researchers at the University of Florida are searching for ways to help keep e-waste from overtaking landfills. Their focus? A material they expect may have a growing impact on the manufacture of electronic goods: carbon nanotubes.

“Depending on how the nanotubes are used, they can be toxic – exhibiting properties similar to asbestos in laboratory mice. It’s an emerging technology. We want to get ahead of it and make sure that the progress is sustainable — in terms of the environment and human health.”

— Jean-Claude Bonzongo, associate professor of environmental engineering, College of Engineering, University of Florida

And from the world of arts and culture, CNN reported recently about how six artists from around the world are transforming e-waste into works of art and why they feel their efforts matter.

Dig into the details:






© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

Robots Redux

February 16, 2012, was an historic day for human–robot relations with the first handshake between a human and robot in space. It was also a good day for rounding up the latest news from the world of robotics.

The following are some robot-related news highlights from the last two weeks:

Human and Humanoid Robot Shake Hands in Space

“The first human-humanoid handshake in space. For the record, it was a firm handshake. Quite an impressive robot.”

—Daniel Burbank, commander, International Space Station

Researchers find social robots require astute tuning to improve acceptability by the human mind

“How we interact with embodied machines is different than how we interact with a computer, cell phone or other intelligent devices. We need to understand those differences so we can leverage what is important.”

—Professor Maja Matarić, director, University of Southern California Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems

A robot sketches portraits

“We attach great importance to the artistic look of the drawings that results, but on the other hand, we have also equipped the robot with an automatic system that enables it to carry out all of the steps itself. With this installation, we have created an interface between art, science and technology.”

—Martina Richter, Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation

In new mass-production technique, robotic insects spring to life

“Our new techniques allow us to use any material including polymers, metals, ceramics, and composites. The ability to incorporate any type and number of material layers, along with integrated electronics, means that we can generate full systems in any three-dimensional shape. We’ve also demonstrated that we can create self-assembling devices by including pre-stressed materials.”

—Rob Wood, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Harvard

Local high school robotics teams take da Vinci for a spin

“I thought it would be more difficult, but the depth perception … after a couple seconds of doing it, it’s easy to grasp.”

—Isaiah Rodriguez, a junior at Smithtown East who took the da Vinci Surgical System for a “test drive”

New system allows robots to continuously map their environment

“There are also a lot of military applications, like mapping a bunker or cave network to enable a quick exit or re-entry when needed. Or a HazMat team could enter a biological or chemical weapons site and quickly map it on foot, while marking any hazardous spots or objects for handling by a remediation team coming later. These teams wear so much equipment that time is of the essence, making efficient mapping and navigation critical.”

—Seth Teller, head of the Robotics, Vision and Sensor Networks group, MIT

Drones, in-home robots, and military machines pose several questions

“Of course robots can deceive, play, kill, and work for us—they’re designed in our image. And the reflection they cast back triggers some soul-searching, forcing us to take a hard look at what we’re doing and where we’re going.”

—Patrick Lin, Ph.D in Slate

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

Money for Change: Online Showcase Seeks Young Visionaries

More than just pennies for your thoughts…

Think you may know what’s at the root of the world’s ills? Have a bright idea that could create meaningful change? Here’s your opportunity to get a little attention and maybe even some big backing.

The Visionary Project Fair, an online multimedia showcase, is set to launch in February. By re-purposing the time-honored practice of the school “science fair” and updating it for worldwide participation via the internet, the fair is giving individual students and classrooms the chance to “present innovative ideas for positive change across a wide range of social and environmental issues.”

Participants can share educational, artistic, or activist-based projects to compete for sponsorships, grants, and other resources.

“We wanted to create an accessible environment where individuals and students could submit their positive ideas and projects, while encouraging them to explore the root causes of the issues they are addressing. By initiating dialogue among a supportive group of peers, and sharing projects that consider the core issues common to many social and environmental topics, our goal is to inspire achievable and sustainable solutions on a global scale.”

— Carina Koury-Jones, project director, educator, and member, Up the River Endeavors

Learn more at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/1/prweb9134060.htm

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© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

Robot Study Draws on Kids’ Visions of the Future

During 2011, an international research consultancy asked nearly 350 “kid innovators” – children from around the world between the ages of 8 and 12 – to imagine how their lives would be different if robots were always around. The Robots @ School study has shown that unlike most adults, kids are inclined to consider technology as essentially human.              

“While children imagine robots that are virtually human in many regards, it’s their slight machine-ness that ultimately makes robots such effective partners for learning and creative exploration. Robots support and encourage, but don’t judge. They don’t run into scheduling conflicts, and they certainly don’t ostracize kids for wrong answers or unconventional thinking. Because they’re just mechanical enough, robots enable kids to grow and explore without regard for social stigmas that so often stifle learning and creativity.”

*This drawing is a participant submission from Latitude’s multi-phase innovation study, “Robots @ School.”

— Ian Schulte, director of technology and business development, Latitude

The study was designed and run by Latitude, and published in collaboration with LEGO® Learning Institute and Project Synthesis, an Australia-based ideas consultancy. The study collaborators hope that educators and technologists will use their findings to:

  • Explore new modes of learning and possibilities for creativity
  • Better address common hurdles children encounter in the learning process
  • Inspire self-direction and creative risk-taking
  • Enhance kids’ experiences with technology more broadly

Some more of the kids’ drawings can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/37527143@N03/sets/72157628799529293

Learn more at http://www.prweb.com/releases/robots/kids/prweb9109758.htm

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.