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Submission + - MS Surface Used to Break the Space/Time Continuum (

zerOnIne writes: Being unsatisfied with merely controlling swarms of virtual robots or even a 120-lb robot in a maze, Dr. Micire of UMass Lowell's Robotics Lab and his colleagues have set up their intuitive DREAM controller to act as an emulated joystick to be used with traditional games, including Portal and MS Flight Simulator. In this way, a system that was not built with the multitouch system in mind can still make use of it as an input device.

Comment Re:RTS games? (Score 1) 106

Well, that and I just don't really care much about robots. The UML Robotics Lab where Mark works does some great stuff, I'm just not that interested in the robotics part.

BTW, the robots here simulate range sensors and video cameras and do not use an environment description to move around. There's a physics engine driving all the movement, too.

Submission + - Robot Swarm Control on the MS Surface (

zerOnIne writes: Dr. Mark Micire of UMass Lowell has built an intriguing new user interface on the Microsoft Surface, a multitouch-capable table computer. The interface is being used to control swarms of robots for disaster response, search, and rescue. One of the most interesting things about it is the intuitive tabletop joystick widget. Using a very fast hand-detection-and-identification algorithm, they can paint a touch joystick (dubbed the DREAM controller) directly underneath the hand. This joystick conforms to the size of the user's hand and tracks with hand movements, making sure that the control is always directly under the hand where the user expects it, even without haptic feedback. I've had a chance to go hands-on with this system, and I think it's truly remarkable.

Alpine Legend Revolutionizes Music Game Genre 45

Microsoft has announced the upcoming release of Alpine Legend for the Xbox 360. Building upon the established titles of the music game genre, Alpine Legend takes you to the Swiss mountaintops, where you and your friends play up to three Alpenhorns at a time while a fourth yodels along. When you're done playing, you can disassemble the 8-foot horns for easy storage. "Jam with alpine legends like Franz 'The Manz' Lang and Johann Hornbostel. Shake the mountain tops with 100 classic Alphorn tracks including, 'Whose spit is in my horn?' and 'More goat bell (It needs).'"

Submission + - Smash Bros. Brawl to come with Level Editor (

Khuffie writes: "In perhaps one of the coolest revelations about Super Smash Bros. Brawl so far, you will be able to create custom levels. Levels can be stored on SD card as well as shared with others via Wi-Fi. Levels can also be submitted to Nintendo, who will choose one level daily to send out to all Smash Bros. owners! The current plan is to have this level disappear after the one day."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Sam Adams vs Sam Adams 2

peacefinder writes: "Sam Adams recently announced he's running for Mayor of Portland, Oregon. A few of his fans registered a couple of websites on his behalf. The brewer of Samuel Adams beer noticed these new domains, and sent the registrants a Cease-and-Desist Letter claiming trademark infringement. Local bloggers are calling for a boycott of the beer, while another claims that — if there exists real confusion — Boston Brewing may be violating Oregon election law by continuing to sell its beer here. Can the Portland Beer Party be far behind?"

Submission + - Scam Website selling Engine Software

Surfer writes: "I found this while surfing around the net. I think it should be made known everywhere so people don't get scammed / ripped off.


"It has come to our attention that Loud Ant may be operating under a different name and may have sold assets that were part of the Agreement, without the knowledge or consent of Limitless Horizons. It has also come to our attention that Loud Ant continues to post materials associated with the Abyssal Engine on, despite the fact that they do not have the legal right to do so and fraudulently misrepresents the technologies functionality in an attempt to secure sales. Please be advised that neither Limitless Horizons nor any of its partners have any affiliation with and purchase of any software through the aforementioned web site is done so at your own risk.""

Submission + - Nintendo announces some Megatons 2

DeanCubed writes: "Nintendo has just made some major announcements this morning!

First of all, Sonic the Hedgehog is now in Smash Bros. In addition, they have unveiled the WiiWare service which allows Wii owners to purchase and download original games from various developers. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles and an online multiplayer Dr. Mario headline the launch of the service.

Two new Channels have also been announced — one to compare and vote on Mii creations, and a demo/minigame download channel for the DS. Next, motorbikes have been added to Mario Kart.

Mario Baseball for Wii was announced.

The latest firmware update has enabled full USB keyboard support for the Wii, and Logitech has announced a Wii keyboard. Finally, one of the huge upcoming blockbusters in Japan, Monster Hunter 3 from Capcom, has been changed from PS3 exclusive to now appearing on Wii.

Check or for all the stories."

Submission + - Sonic the Hedgehog in Smash Bros. Brawl

zerOnIne writes: "The title pretty much says it all, but the announcement was made today that SEGA's lightning-fast blue rodent will be joining Nintendo's cast of fighters in the next iteration of Smash Bros. Sonic was far and away the most-requested character to join the Smash Bros. series since its inception on the N64, and it would seem that the developers listened."

Submission + - 3-D virtual maps for the blind

Roland Piquepaille writes: "According to 'Scientific American' in 'Virtual Maps for the Blind,' Greek researchers have developed a system to convert videos into touchable maps for the blind. These 3-D haptic maps 'use force fields to represent walls and roads so the visually impaired can better understand the layout of buildings and cities.' The researchers also built a system which converts 2-D paper maps into 3-D street maps. The systems have already been tested on a small number of users. Now, the two systems need to be integrated into a portable device before being widely distributed. Read more for additional details and a picture of the hardware prototype behind this new mapping system."

"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."