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December 2015

Seasons Greetings and May the Force be with You!

What happens when Christmas, a new Star Wars movie and an easy to use animation system like Project Draco all happen at the same time?

If you would like to try your hand at some fun animations, check out the technical preview of Project Draco available for iPad users. 


Typing on Smart Glasses

A while back we talked about how we were able to help people type up to 30 wpm on their smart watch. Now we've updated the research to apply to an even smaller typing surface on the side of a pair of smart glasses.

Autodesk Research Smart Glasses

The challenge in adapting this from a smart watch is twofold:

  1. You can't see the surface you're typing on - most smart glasses use voice commands
  2. The surface you're typing on is long and narrow - the diagonal swipes used on a smart watch don't work as well

Adapting the SwipeBoard technology to the smart glasses with a heads up display gets around the first problem. The second problem is addressed by dividing the long strip into three, using a piece of tape for tactile feedback on the zones and eliminating the diagonal gestures with vertical gestures in each zone.

Autodesk Research Smart Glasses SwipeGlass

This is the first known work in this area and there are lots of possibilities for future study. Have a look at the video below for more details. 

 


Using Generative Design for Art Projects

John Briscella from Aminimal Studio was part of the Artist in Residence program at Autodesk's Pier 9 in San Francisco. During his residency he worked with the Dreamcatcher team to apply generative design to the creation of an olympic recurve bow.

Autodesk Research Dreamcatcher Bow

John asked some interesting questions in exploring this project:

Can design be automated? What does that mean for the role of designer?

And then he found an answers to his question in the designer letting go and letting the software do what it does best. Going on to say:

It's going to be an amazing dialog between humans and machines - figuring out the best possible solution for a design

 

John started of with sketching his project and and goals for the design.

 Autodesk Research Dreamcatcher Bow

He scanned his arm and hand with reality capture to define one of the goals so that there would be a custom fit. Other parts defined below include a space for the arrow and the upper and lower limbs and the bolt holes to mount them.

Autodesk Research Dreamcatcher Bow

 

With this set, Dreamcatcher can begin the simulation. At each step, the bow is tested for strength.

Final the digital part is sent to the CNC milling machine. John says:

This is like watching the evolution of bone structures or plant structures

 CNC 3D milling of the Optimal Bow Tekina in Aluminum

The completed part gets removed from the machine. 

Autodesk Dreamcatcher Bow

You can learn more about how John did this on Instructables and through the video below.

 

 


Easy animation Project Draco is open for feedback on iPad

We've talked about Project Draco a bunch, including showing it at SIGGRAPH and how it could be used for storyboarding. Now we are happy to announce that we now have a technical preview available for iPad users. If you're interested, please sign up to the Autodesk Labs project

If you haven't seen Project Draco before or need some inspiration, take a look at some of the creations below! In a nutshell, Draco allows artists to easily add animation to their illustrations and photos with an easy-to-use, sketch-based paradigm.

  

  

  

 


Humans and Robots Collaborating at Autodesk University

Visitors to Autodesk University 2015 are invited to work with a robot through wearables and internet of things technologies to help build a 12' high architectural pavilion using bamboo.

Autodesk Research HiveThe hive will be created from 224 tensegrity units. Each tensegrity unity is composed of three bamboo rods held together with string that is wound by robotic arms. The magical part is that the bamboo rods are not touching each other. Each tensegrity unit is unique due to the bamboo rods having differences in length and diameter. They are connected together with special LED units that help the builders place the pieces and will create a light show. 

Autodesk Research Hive Bamboo Tensegrity Unit

The hive is coordinated and tracked by a system called the foreman engine. In it one can see the project status and contributions by all workers. 

Autodesk Research Hive Foreman System

You can see the full details in the movie below and follow the AU Hive on twitter