The Cube, the Fast and the Clever

I have been looking at a lot of robot advances and various clever kits. Some inspired by nature, some just plain brute force servo controlled kits.
This however is something that is uncannily amazing. It is a Rubik’s Cube solver robot. Solving a cube is relatively straight forward as a maths puzzle. This however has to visually examine the cube and then solve it and manipulate the answer

The Cubestormer II is, as you can see, using LEGO (four MINDSTORMS NXT kits) a Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone is running the app to analyse and trigger off the solving. i.e. easily accessible technology combined in a very clever way.

Physical to Digital with LEGO – Life of George

There is a definite theme of physical toy and game interaction emerging. An interesting one that appeared recently is LEGO Life of George. This comes with a build platform for LEGO bricks and a app that is used to identify your creations through the camera, which in turn unlocks new things in the app.
The video is pretty self explanatory πŸ™‚

There is of course a website and a facebook page to like
I like the 8 bit nature of the LEGO. It reminds me of those days in the 80’s with graph paper working out sprites for the C64. The 8 bit style is certainly en vogue with Minecraft taking a similar block approach to graphics and many apps such as Tiny Tower and Game Dev Story using pixel art in the same way. It is also very Little Computer People (if you remember that πŸ™‚ )
I like that George is a software engineer. A fellow g33k but with lots of interests outside his cubicle.
The tone of the site is also self deferential as the lead paragraph indicates “I am George …and this is the game of my life. It uses an awesome LEGO Brick capture technology that turns your iPhone/iPod into a revolutionizing new experience, giving you hours of building fun with endless possibilities (marketing told me to put that in).”
This will of course be the start of a greater interaction between the physical and the virtual world. Whilst this is pattern matching and creating relations to visual tags it will not be long before we can scan in something we have built with LEGO in 3D and drop it into a virtual environment.
The lines are blurring, and that is good πŸ™‚

Sleeping on the job

The current episode of The Cool Stuff Collective ran on Monday (repeats on Friday Sat and Sunday on CITV). The show is really getting into its stride. I was a bit unsure of my Lego Universe piece as we did several takes, yet with awesome editing it came across pretty well I think. All the other slots in the show rocked. I love the bananas dropping on Sy’s head when monkey pulls the rope gag.
Lego Universe G33k style
This was also the one where Elvis, Monkey and I had to be sleeping on the job after Sy’s intro about the team never resting. To say it was hot under that duvet is an understatement and for Monkey it was like the surface of the sun. Still we suffer for our art πŸ™‚
Elvis, me and Monkey
It was very cool to be able to introduce Lego Universe as it really is a great MMO from what I have seen in the beta. The predlets loved it too so you can’t say more than that really can you! I am looking forward to programming my blocks in my own space very soon.
If I ever need to really write a CV ever again i am wondering how I place this whole experience. However in the book of the journey from the backroom to this odd entrepreneurial place with all the twist and turns that occured via virtual worlds I think it fits nicely in context?