duminică, decembrie 16, 2012

miercuri, decembrie 12, 2012

joi, decembrie 06, 2012

Acoustic levitation of water droplets

These water droplets are not falling; they’re actually stuck in place. What we’re seeing is the effects of an acoustic levitator. The device was initially developed by NASA to simulate microgravity. Now it’s being used by the pharmaceutical industry do develop better drugs.
The two parts of the apparatus seen in the image above are both speakers. They put out a sound at about 22 kHz, which is beyond the human range of hearing. When precisely aligned they interfere with each other and create a standing wave. The droplets are trapped in the nodes of that wave.
Sursa: http://hackaday.com/2012/12/06/acoustic-levitation-of-water-droplets/

Self-Contained Robotic Farms Offer Glimpse of Lunar Food Factories

At this strawberry farm in the Netherlands, crops are grown on table-top raised beds, which makes it easier to pick the fruits and eases weed and pest control. A leaf and sap analysis determines the nutrients' compounds, which then enter the irrigation water. To accelerate the growth of the plants, growers add CO2 from a nearby Shell refinery.
For two years now, Najade has been visiting farming sites around Europe, where technology is allowing people to grow and produce food in highly engineered ways. Greenhouse tomatoes in Germany can now stay warm in the cooler months with waste heat from nuclear power stations. There’s also a farm where cress, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce are grown with LED lights and in areas that have no direct air exchange from the outside. Many traditional farm operations at the sites are automated and self-sustaining.
“I got fascinated and overwhelmed by how humans continuously push the boundaries to control and to overpower nature, how day and night, summer and winter, geographical locations slowly become irrelevant for farming,” says Najade, who is originally from Germany but is now based in London. “It is said agriculture has changed in the last 40 years more than in 400 years.”
For us at Raw File, the combination of plants and engineering in her photos evoke autonomous ecosystems that could potentially grow food in space, but Najade is on the fence about the prospect.
“Growing food on the moon?” she says. “It’s totally possible, but I don’t know if I’ll witness that. Hopefully not. I don’t want to be completely negative but that is so far away from nature that it does feel wrong. But then you might also tell me that they are also using energy that is wasted and then maybe I would say it’s not so bad.”
People have strong opinions about these developments, even when they’re only used here on Earth. Some cheer technologies that use recycled waste products or that cut down on how far a tomato has to travel to get to a supermarket in winter, in light of the fact that most food in America travels an average of 1,500 miles before it reaches your plate. Others might be disturbed to see natural cycles pushed aside in favor of convenience, especially when “one is not able to fully understand or foresee the consequences of these new trends,” says Najade. She doesn’t want to take a side.
“I feel very torn about the topic,” she says.
When it comes to her own eating habits she says she’s more aware of where things come from but she hasn’t renounced things like out-of-season fruit. “I still love strawberries,” she says.
The Strawberries series is ongoing and Najade has also added a new chapter called Misfits that does take a clearer stand on food politics. In that project she photographs fruits and vegetables that didn’t make it into the supermarkets because of slight deformities. Royal Gala Apples, she says, need to have a “round shape characteristic of the variety,” and blemishes cannot exceed five percent of the fruit or they end up in the juicer instead of on the shelves. Campari tomatoes cannot have superficial defects that exceed 2 mm or they end up in the trash.

Link: http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2012/12/new-agricultural-developments-might-foretell-future-of-space-travel/

sâmbătă, decembrie 01, 2012

Deblurring software by Vladimir Yuzhikov

Restoration of distorted images is one of the most interesting and important problems of image processing - from the theoretical, as well as from the practical point of view. There are especial cases: blurring due to incorrect focus and blurring due to movement - and these very defects (which each of you knows very well, and which are very difficult to repair) were selected as the subject of this article. As for other image defects (noise, incorrect exposure, distortion), the humanity has learned how to correct them, any good photo editor has that tools.
The best feature of this application is the recovery of text from blurred images. The software is also free!

 Link: http://yuzhikov.com/articles/BlurredImagesRestoration1.htm