Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
3D Technology
October 21st, 2014
7:12
 

This art project, which will ‘vanish’ at the end of October 2014, was created using eco-friendly materials and GPS technology in a fascinating way.  The National Mall in Washington, DC is the site of the commissioned artwork, created by artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada.  The giant portrait is visible from the ground, from atop the Washington Monument, and from outer space!

A little explanation by the artist… “I use vector files, which are images based on points that have algorithms to keep the curves in position. Then we use high-accuracy GPS technology to place stakes in the ground, and string to delineate the curves. The etching design also makes it work — the farther away you are, the more it comes together as shadowing. So when we get the final images from the satellite from space, it will actually look photographic.

Read more about his vision & the work itself in these two articles:

Out of Many, One

 

This Six-Acre Portrait on D.C.’s National Mall Can Be Seen From Space

Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada demonstrates how a ‘rover,’ or high-precision GPS marker, was used to create his six-acre sand and soil ‘facescape’ on the National Mall in Washington, Oct. 1, 2014. Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada demonstrates how a ‘rover,’ or high-precision GPS marker, was used to create his six-acre sand and soil ‘facescape’ on the National Mall in Washington, Oct. 1, 2014. (Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images)

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October 17th, 2014
8:54
 

Building your dream home with your own two hands and a bunch of your friends just became a little easier…  That is, if your family will fit comfortably in about 700 square feet of house!
 

Check out this amazing structure assembled in public view, on the grounds of the London Building Centre, in England-

Downloadable, 3D-printed house built with staples, screws and a hammer

WikiHouse

 

Take a look at the company’s website (including their blog):  WikiHouse

Challenges remain on the structural integrity in the face of weather issues – strong winds… lashing rains… violent, ‘no fun’ kinds of storms.  Maybe there’s an opportunity for you to bring your mind to the puzzle and create a more sustainable model?  Great opportunity to put your “inner architect”, as well as your techie self, into a potentially great future!

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3D Printing is going off-roading – or, more accurately, off-Earth-ing! Thanks to some really intense work done by Made In Space for NASA, the

First Zero-G 3D Printer Is On Its Way To The Space Station

Credit:  Made In Space

Credit: Made In Space

While there are many unique challenges inherent in this endeavor, the aim is to provide a means for parts replication, food production, and other ‘manufactured’ items on-site in space to lessen the weight of the provisions which astronauts have been carrying from necessity in previous space missions.

Here are some other articles from various sources about the topic:

Space.com       NASA       Nature.com

Can you offer your skills to address some of the hurdles that must be overcome to make this a viable reality for space travel?  And maybe take a trip among the stars yourself??

 

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October 3rd, 2014
2:54
 

Or at the very least, inspire change for the better in some capacity?  While you should aim to ‘make your mark’ on a global scale, sometimes starting small makes sense – take into consideration financial constraints and that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.  But, don’t stop dreaming on a large scale!  Every idea that comes to fruition began with a dream…

Here’s an event being held in October in the U.S. that is worth investigating (click the pic for full details). 

 

BBC World Changing Ideas

 Speakers are to include:

  • Professor Mary “Missy” Cummings, Director of Humans and Autonomy Laboratory, Duke University
  • Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
  • Julius Genachowski, Former Chairman, FCC
  • Alexis Ohanian, Partner, Y Combinator and Co-founder, reddit
  • Alfred Spector, Vice President of Research, Google

 

NOTE: I’m aware it’s a pricey event for a Grad Student.  If you aren’t able to attend, you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter!

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September 30th, 2014
17:56
 

January 2015 seems like it’s a long way away, doesn’t it?

It feels like there are weeks and weeks to go before we have to pack up our flying gear and head down to Belize to start aerially surveying the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. But before we know it, it will be January. It’ll be time to escape frigid western Massachusetts and kick our research into gear – and for that, we’ve already begun preparations.

Though surveys of the soft coral have been performed in the past, we’re hoping to obtain high-resolution imagery using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the training required to safely fly a UAV is far less than that for complete pilot licensure. Also decreased are the costs associated with equipment and fuel requirements for a UAV in comparison to a full-size, manned vehicle. Finally, the quality – and quantity – of imagery obtainable with a personally controlled, low-flying aerial device is vastly increased due to the lower altitudes and number of passes that can be made by the vehicle.

The potential applications for low-altitude aerial imaging technology in geological and biological survey work are numerous, this particular job being just one example where an eye-in-the-sky really does provide a much-needed overview of the habitat just off the coast of Belize.

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