Tweenbot – Will you guide a robot?


Tweenbots is an interesting (not to mention adorable) project testing the kindness of the general (New York) population towards a robot:

In New York City, we are very occupied with getting from one place to another. I wondered: could a human-like object traverse sidewalks and streets along with us, and in so doing, create a narrative about our relationship to space and our willingness to interact with what we find in it? More importantly, how could our actions be seen within a larger context of human connection that emerges from the complexity of the city itself?

All it does is to roll in a straight line at constant speed. It, however, has a flag on top showing the desired destination. Thus, when released from one location, all it can do is to depend on kindred strangers to turn it towards the correct direction.



Tada – the diagram shows Tweenbot’s successful navigation at the Washington Square Park, taking 42 minutes and 29 people’s assistance to get from one corner to the other.

I’d say that the robot is too adorable to give a real test on the people’s kindness level though – make it look wholly unremarkable, and maybe we’d have a different results.

Check out the Tweenbots site – videos of Tweenbot’s view and more robots in the line-up.

Wozniak Dances

“Overall it was a disaster.”

“Watching a teletubby going mad on a gay pride parade.”

That’s what two of the judges concluded at the end of Steve Wozniak’s (arguably the world’s chief geek) dance on Dancing with the Stars. I must say I disagree:

It’s refreshing to see Woz still having so much fun, entertaining himself and the audience – really just being who he is.

Ze Frank Voice Drawing

If you have a microphone you may want to try this site out – instead of using the typical interface tools like mouse or keyboard, this Flash application requires you to use the microphone. A low volume tone will make the line curve counterclockwise, a medium will let it run straight and a high volume will turn the line to the right.

For example:



(no, that’s not my drawing – it’s an example on the site)

[via Today and Tomorrow]

iPhone Camera ‘Effect’

Something I didn’t know about iPhone’s camera (and probably most camera-phones in general?):

In typical cameras, the sensor captures the scenery all at once and the image is exposed (whether on film or digitally).  But the CMOS sensors on iPhones doesn’t do that – instead it scans from left to right. So if you use it to take something that is moving rapidly (such as the propeller below), you get a warped result:


(not Photoshopped).

[via globalnerdy]

Auditorium – the Music Game



Have a go at Auditorium – like many web-based Flash games it is based on a simple concept and features slickly-executed graphics. The concept that sets it apart from other Flash games is the focus on the audio sensory: you are supposed to solve puzzles by guiding streams of particles to the goals – in the process making music.

Quite interesting!

Magic Wand

Mmm… cool toy! Cool science behind – check; Easy to use – check; Effects that make others go WOAH – check!

“Todays magic is tomorrow’s science”… as we always say here at ThinkGeek. Now you can get a bit of magic for yourself with this amazing Fly Stick Van de Graaff Levitation Wand.

This battery powered wand features a mini Van de Graaff generator inside. Push a button on the handle and the static charge built up in the wand causes the included 3D mylar shapes to levitate at your command. You can also do some cool tricks causing the shapes to jump back and forth from your hand to the wand. Not quite Harry Potter… but hey, we do our best for you.

Get it at ThinkGeek or at Amazon.

How good is your eyeball?


Hot on the topic of sketching – ‘eyeballing’ is one of the essential traits needed to product good sketches. It’s the ability to accurately place where a point or a line should be by imaginarily-visualizing them: finding a midpoint; the bisecting angle; drawing parallel lines, etc. Without good ‘eyeballs’ it is horribly difficult to get an accurate sketch out.

So, test yourself right here with a series of exercises to determine how good your visualization skills really are (the lower the better).

I got a 3.82 (quite a few bad judgments on my second round :( – don’t lose concentration!):