Seven Dales Heritage Run 2017

DLMC-Logo-sThe De Lacy Motor Club (D.L.M.C) in
Yorkshire has been running rallies, car trials and driving tests for over 50 years as noted in my previous blog post. My wife, Margaret and myself joined some other family members and entered again this year…

Seven Dales 2017 Plate
Cars Ready to Go Bentley
Drivers Briefing - Full Attention Studying the Tulip Road Book


Entrants List

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Drone

I was very pleased to be given a Hubsan FPV X4 Quadcopter (Model H107D) as a retirement gift from CISA members and other friends at the School of Informatics. This page is to gather resources to support my piloting of the drone.

Resources

Flight Videos (Click on Thumbnail for MP4)

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Second Life in Anaglyph 3D using Kirstens Viewer

Back in 2011, Kirstens Viewer for Second Life added an Anaglyph 3D view capability which could be seen with red/cyan 3D glasses. See this blog post.

Kirstens Viewer has now been updated by Kirstenlee Cinquetti to include recent Second Life capabilities such as the enhanced “bento” mesh avatar skeleton and still includes the 3D anaglyph view capability.



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Virtual World Best Practice in Education 2017

Ebbe Altberg (avatar Ebbe Linden), the CEO of Linden Labs, provided a Q&A session at the start of the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference (VWBPE) 2017 run in Second Life.


Ebbe spoke about Second Life and Sansar. He stressed that both were actively being developed, though his own focus was mainly on Sansar at present.

As a test, using the Firestorm 5.0.1 viewer, and to respond to comments from other participants, I tried the statistics bar to count Frames Per Second (FPS) on my usual Ultra settings with full shadows and I was getting between 60FPS and 100FPS with Ultra graphics, 512m view distance and all shadows on, and that rose to 140FPS with shadows off.

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Patagonia

Patagonia is somewhere I have wanted to visit for some time, and specifically to try to reach the base of a mountain in the Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina near El Chaltén. I have had an interest in rock climbing and winter mountaineering for some time and was a member of the University of Edinburgh Mountaineering Club in the 1970s, around the time that there was a controversial climb of Cerro Torre, a stunning Patagonian granite tower mountain. This was widely discussed in mountaineering magazines at the time (e.g., “Cerro Torre – a Mountain Desecrated!” in Mountain 23, Sept 1972).

We eventually had the opportunity to travel to Patagonia in February and March 2017.

Our tour, arranged through Swoop Patagonia, took us via Santiago in Chile, through it’s Los Lagos region and Chiloe island, down to Punta Arenas in the far south of South America, then via coach up the East side of the Andes to Torres del Paine National Park, over into Argentina to El Calafate and the Los Glaciares National Park, with a final bus trip up Ruta 40 to El Chaltén to trek in the foothills of Fitzroy, Poincenot and then to approach Cerro Torre. We returned to the UK from Buenos Aires in Argentina.

The Andes and Volcanoes

As we flew down the line of the Andes from Santiago to Puerto Montt we could see many volcanoes and two active ones… including Villarricia.

Chiloe and its NW Coast

We stayed in a beach house on the North Coast of Isla Chiloe near Ancud and explored the NW coast of Isla Chiloe by Land Rover doing cliff and beach walks and birdwatching with Britt Lewis of Austral Adventures.



Magellanic and Humboldt Penguins share space and overlap in their ranges on islands just off Puñihuil on Isla Chiloe – Las Pingüineras.

Los Lagos Region

On 26th February 2017, there was a “Ring of Fire” annular solar eclipse whose path passed directly over us while we were near Puerto Varas… but unfortunately at the full “Ring of Fire” phase the sky was overcast and we only managed to see a partial eclipse through heavy cloud.

We stayed at the Mitico Puerto Lodge on Lagos Tagua-Tagua and did a number of walks in the region…


At night we had beautiful clear skies with the Southern Cross constellation very bright and views of the Milky Way and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. We even had a very bright International Space Station pass to the South of us, something that surprised us until we verified the ISS current position.

Punta Arenas and Magellanic Penguins on Isla Magdalena


Torres del Paine National Park, Chile


We trekked with Explora Patagonia in the French Valley and up to the French Glacier, over to Glacier Grey and in the East side of the National Park to see Andean Condor, Guanaco, Rhea and Puma.


We discovered Pisco Sours… we had to have one with glacier ice at the Grey Glacier… and Parrilla

Los Glaciares National Park, El Calafate, Argentina

From El Calafate in Argentina, we had a trip up to the Perito Moreno Glacier to view the calving of icebergs into Lagos Argentino from the walkways and boat.


Cerro Torre, Poincenot and Fitzroy, El Chaltén, Argentina

We planned multiple days in each area on our tour as the Patagonian weather can be very wet, very windy and cloud levels very low. We planned our walks at El Chaltén with Walk Patagonia to maximise our chances of seeing the peaks and especially Cerro Torre.

Local guides indicated we had set ourselves a “High Goal” as Cerro Torre is surrounded by glaciers and situated at the head of a valley behind Fitzroy and holds clouds. But, with careful monitoring of the detailed weather forecasts on Windguru on our final day in Patagonia we woke to a rose coloured sunrise on the very tops of the granite towers – Fitzroy (3405m), Poincenot (3002m) and Cerro Torre (3128m)…

We were then fortunate and achieved our aim on a walk up to Lagos Torre and overlooking the Torre Glacier with views up to Cerro Torre itself…

Birds, Animals, Plants and Rocks

We saw many Austral birds and animals: Magellanic Woodpecker, Guanaco, Lesser Rhea, Grey Fox, Puma, Andean Condor, Commerson’s Dolphins, Black-necked Swans, Chilean Flamingo, etc. The geology and rocks included many volcanic, glacial and tectonic plate features with excellent examples of granite faces, intrusions, folding and conglomerate rocks. The southern hemisphere night skies were stunning in areas far from cities.








All images above © Copyright 2017 Austin Tate.

Guidebooks

I found these two guidebooks useful, both being good for preparatory reading and being a reasonable size to carry on the trip…

  • Patagonia (Footprint Handbook) 2015 by Ben Box with Chris Wallace & Anna Maria Espsäter.
  • A Wildlife Guide to Chile (Helm Field Guides) 2008 by Sharon Chester.
Posted in Nature, Travel | Tagged | 2 Comments

Sine.space – 2001: a Space Odyssey

Sine-Space-2001-Splash-Screen

As of September 2017, the 2001 Space Station and Orion III Shuttle can be found on the “Space Station” region in sinespace. You arrive at the International Space Station (ISS). Look adound for the teleporter to take you there quickly.

A “2001: a Space Odyssey” Sine.space scene has been created using the Unity3D VR Experience which uses 2001 movie related 3D models of the freely available 3D Warehouse Sketchup Models of the 2001 Space Station by Filip and the Orion III PanAm Shuttle made by Daniel M.

Sine-Space-2001-1
Sine-Space-2001-2 Sine-Space-2001-3

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Second Life – Gardens by the Bay

Maddy (Nibby Riddler) has constructed an artistic build in Second Life that is based on the Singapore Gardens by the Bay with it’s “Supertrees” and night lighting.

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2017-02-14-SL-Gardens-by-the-Bay-Daytime 2017-02-14-SL-Gardens-by-the-Bay-Sunset

Visit via http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA15/179/122/22

See also Inara Pey’s Blog Post about the location.

Our own visit to the Gardens by the Bay early in 2016 is depicted here as seen in real life…

IMG_5088 IMG_5103

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Sine.space – RGU Oil Rig Region – Live

The Sine.space RGU Oil Rig region using Colin Hetherington’s meshes is now accessible on the live server.. with a few enhancements to align the directional light with the water reflection and lens flare effects. See this blog post for details of the preparation of the region… http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2016/11/18/sine-space-rgu-oil-rig-region/ and this blog post for details of the import of the RGU Diver outfit also by Colin… http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2017/01/11/sine-space-creating-avatar-attachments/.

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2017-01-24-Sine-Space-RGU-Oil-Rig-BOP-2
2017-01-24-Sine-Space-RGU-Oil-Rig-2

RGU Diver

A Sine.space outfit was also created using the meshes from OpenSim made by Colin Hetherington for his RGU Diver suit for use in training simulations in virtual worlds for training oil and gas drilling rig workers (see this blog post). It is not intended for distribution beyond the demonstrations on the “Oil Rig” region on Sine.space.

RGU-Diver-Helmet-96x96 RGU-Diver-Tanks-96x96 RGU-Diver-Belt-96x96 RGU-Diver-Watch-96x96 RGU-Diver-Flippers-96x96

2017-01-23-Sine-Space-RGU-Diver-Outfit 2017-01-23-Sine-Space-RGU-Diver-4
2017-01-23-Sine-Space-RGU-Diver-3 2017-01-23-Sine-Space-RGU-Diver-1

Update 3-Feb-2017: The “Oil Rig” region is now available on the live server via
http://sine.space/locations/oil-rig

Sine.space Blog post about the Oil Rig Region… http://sinewave.space/blog/oil-rig
sine_space_oilrig_banner
sine_space_oilrig_closeup sine_space_oilrig_deck

Update 21-Aug-2017: Hard hat and ear defenders based on a 3D model by Colin Hetherington at RGU are now available in the sinespace store.

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Significant Date

Retired, from full time work anyway. Returning part-time in March 2017 to continue to curate AIAI knowledge engineering resources and web site, and to coordinate the Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) facilities prior to handover to colleagues.

2017-01-17-17-00-Significant-Date

Posted in Edinburgh | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Fairy Tree House

OpenSimulator Fairy Tree House and Accessories by Ada Wong on Whimsical Isle, LFGrid…

hop://lfgrid.com:8002/Whimsical Isle/245/93/23

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2017-01-15-LFGrid-Whimsical-Isle

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Sea City

TV21 Annual 1971 published a story about a Pilkington Glass Age Development Committee design study of a “Sea City” for a community living offshore. A model was created and cutaways and renderings of the model appeared in the press. Details can be found at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~bat/sea-city.html

Sea-City

OpenSimulator Project

A possible project to build a virtual reality recreation of the model in the OpenSimulator virtual world platform or as a Unity3D VR Experience is under consideration…

2017-01-12-OSGrid-Sea-City-Region-Created 2017-01-12-OSGrid-Sea-City-RGU-Diver

hop://login.osgrid.org/Sea City/128/128/30
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Unity Probuilder – Creating 3D Content in the Unity Editor

Unity ProBuilder is a Unity3D plug in that allows the creation and manipulation of 3D mesh content directly within the Unity Editor. There are basic (free) and Advanced (paid) versions. The advanced version allows for complete UV unwrapping, export of models to OBJ, etc.

2017-01-12-Unity-Probuilder-1

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Sine.space – Creating Avatar Attachments

As a trial, and to provide space related outfits for the Space Station/ISS experience in Sine.space, I followed the instructions on the Sine.space wiki to create avatar clothing and attachments…

helmet-428-321_png emu-428-321

I used the freely available NASA 3D models for the Space Helmet and NASA Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU).

In a new Unity Scene with the EditorPack-….unitypackage installed, the Sine.space “2015 Male” asset is placed at 0,0,0. An empty object to act as a container for the attachment is placed also at 0,0,0. The attachment itself is then brought in and positioned appropriately relative to the avatar, and then put inside the container object. Two Unity components are added to the attachment container object: Clothing Item Settings and Virtual Good. Instructions to complete those are in the Sine.space wiki page. The container object is then dropped into the Unity assets window to create a prefab. This prefab is the item that then can be selected and uploaded to the Sine.space content servers.

2017-01-11-Space-NASA-Space-Helmet-Unity-Editor 2017-01-11-Space-NASA-Space-EMU-Unity-Editor

Sine-Space-Avatar-Attachment-HelmetSine-Space-Avatar-Attachment-EMU

Sine-Space-Helmet Sine-Space-EMU

NASA EMU and Space Helmet on avatar at Space Station Region in Sine.space

2017-01-11-Sine-Space-Station-NASA-EMU-Attachment

Gender Specific Variants

At the moment Sine.space requires attachments to be gender specific, so separate male and female variants of each attachment need to be created and uploaded. In the Clothing Item Settings change the mesh model from “2015 Male” to “2015 Female” and adjust the position of the item to fit the different body shape and size, then resave the prefab and upload that.

Creating a Complete Replacement Avatar – Static Mesh and Non-Animated

It is possible to completely replace the standard Sine.space avatar and add in a mesh (static or rigged) by providing a “Costume”…

https://wiki.sine.space/index.php?title=Full_Body_Replacement_Costumes

Create an empty game object and add components for the “Clothing Item Settings” and “Virtual Good” as before, but keep the actual mesh to make the replacement avatar separate. That needs to be a prefab and dropped onto the Extended Settings -> Custom Skeleton -> Root template slot. The empty component is then made a prefab and uploaded.

2017-01-13-Sine-Space-NASA-EMU-Unity-Editor
2017-01-13-Sine-Space-NASA-EMU-Outfit 2017-01-13-Sine-Space-NASA-EMU-Viewer

Sine-Space-AnimatorOn the advice of Adam Frisby at Sine Wave, he provided a custom empty animation controller… and this needs to be added to the Clothing Item Settings, with the slots filled in as indicated in the diagram to the right…

2017-01-13-Sine-Space-NASA-EMU-at-ISS

Simpler NASA Astronaut EVA Avatar

The EMU mesh (and the Sintel mesh below) both proved to be quite complex meshes. A simpler NASA 3D model of an astronaut in an EVA suit was used instead. I used the freely available 3D Astronaut Nr 1 (Collada .dae format) by Max Grueter and Byr2008. Again set as a complete avatar replacement “Costume”.

2017-01-17-Sine-Space-NASA-EVA-Unity-Editor
2017-01-17-Sine-Space-NASA-EVA-Outfit 2017-01-17-Sine-Space-NASA-EVA-1
2017-01-17-Sine-Space-NASA-EVA-2 2017-01-17-Sine-Space-NASA-EVA-3

RGU Diver

A Sine.space outfit was also created using the meshes from OpenSim made by Colin Hetherington for his RGU Diver suit for use in training simulations in virtual worlds for training oil and gas drilling rig workers (see this blog post). It is not intended for distribution beyond the demonstrations on the “Oil Rig” region on Sine.space.

RGU-Diver-Helmet-96x96 RGU-Diver-Tanks-96x96 RGU-Diver-Belt-96x96 RGU-Diver-Watch-96x96 RGU-Diver-Flippers-96x96

2017-01-23-Sine-Space-RGU-Diver-Unity-Editor
2017-01-23-Sine-Space-RGU-Diver-Outfit 2017-01-23-Sine-Space-RGU-Diver-4
2017-01-23-Sine-Space-RGU-Diver-3 2017-01-23-Sine-Space-RGU-Diver-1

Sintel Rigged Avatar

With the experience of trying a replacement static mesh model outfit/costume as indicated above for the NASA EMU, I tried the Blender.org CC-BY-NC Sintel avatar (see http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/unity/resources/sintel/)… which is a rigged mesh avatar. On the advice again of Adam Frisby at Sine Space, its important that the rigged model prefab has the “Root Motion” unticked. Its ticked in the original avatar model. Also, as its greyed out and non-editable in the original asset, drag the one in the Assets into the Scene/Hierarchy, modify it to untick the root motion tick box, then drag it back into the Project/Assets view. Then use the new one from the project view to fill the slot skeleton template slot.
2017-01-31-Sine-Space-Sintel-Outfit 2017-01-31-Sine-Space-Sintel-2
2017-01-31-Sine-Space-Sintel-1

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Virtual World Platforms – CPU and GPU Load Comparisons

I have done some performance monitor and CPU/GPU load comparisons for established virtual worlds like Second Life (Linden Lab viewer 5.0.0) and OpenSim (Firestorm Viewer 5.0.0) and emerging virtual world platforms like High Fidelity and Sine Space.

Windows 10 Xeon E5-1650 v2 @3.50GMz (6 core, 12 processor), 32GB memory, SSD drives, Nvidia GTX 980 GPU, 1920×1200 screen. VR Mode off (no Oculus Home, Steam and Steam VR).

  • Baseline (Idle): CPU: 3% GPU Load: 0%
  • Linden Labs Viewer in Second Life (ultra graphics, 512m view distance) (5K object region): CPU: 13% GPU Load: 16%
  • Firestorm Viewer in OpenSim (ultra graphics, 512m view distance) (Mesh base region with 12K objects and 9K mesh colliders): CPU: 8% GPU Load: 11%
  • Sine Space (Unity3D based) (Mesh base region with 12K objects and 9K mesh colliders): CPU: 21% GPU Load: 40%
  • High Fidelity (Custom region with 5 large mesh objects and two NPCs): CPU: 12% GPU: 16%

Baseline (Idle): CPU: 3% GPU Load: 0%

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Linden Lab Viewer in Second Life on “Vue” region (ultra graphics, 512m view distance) (5K object region): CPU: 13% GPU Load: 16%

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Firestorm Viewer in OpenSim on OSGrid “Oil Rig” region (ultra graphics, 512m view distance) (Mesh base region with 12K objects and 9K mesh colliders): CPU: 8% GPU Load: 11%

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Sine Space on “Oil Rig” region (Unity3D based) (Mesh base region with 12K objects and 9K mesh colliders): CPU: 21% GPU Load: 40%

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High Fidelity (Custom region with 5 large mesh objects and two NPCs): CPU: 12% GPU: 16%

2017-01-09-Perform-HiFi-Eriskay

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Sansar

sansar-logo

Linden Lab announced a number of community and social network feeds on 4th January 2017 as they prepare for the public opening of the platform sometime in 2017.

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Second Life – Winter Wonderland 2016

@InaraPey has provided an overview of the 2016 Winter Wonderland themed areas in Second Life…

https://modemworld.me/2016/12/15/the-all-new-new-portal-parks-open-in-second-life/

2016-12-15-SL-Winter-Wonderland-1
2016-12-15-SL-Winter-Wonderland-2 2016-12-15-SL-Winter-Wonderland-3

Fireworks

On the hour, every hour in Winter Wonderland…

2016-12-15-SL-WW-Fireworks-1 2016-12-15-SL-WW-Fireworks-2
2016-12-15-SL-WW-Fireworks-Village

“Automated” Ice Skating

The skating though does take some (keyboard) work! For a more “automated” experience with solo, couples and trick dancing try “CALAS GALADHON’S 2016 HOLIDAY SIM, EREBOR” and just sit back and watch the dance displays at…

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/EREBOR/148/105/22

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2017-01-10-SL-Calas-Galadhon-Winter-Ice-Skating-Region

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OpenSimulator Community Conference 2016

2016-12-10-OSCC16-Screen-3
2016-12-10-OSCC16-Screen-1 2016-12-10-OSCC16-Screen-2

The OpenSimulator Community Conference 2016 (#OSCC16) took place over the weekend of December 10th to 11th 2016 on the OpenSim-based OpenSim Community Conference grid (grid URI http://cc.opensimulator.org:8002 and WiFi front end http://cc.opensimulator.org:8005/wifi).

My report on the experience of attending OSCC13 is described in this blog post, in 2014 in this blog post and some activities in the 2015 event in this blog post.

The 2016 event kicked off with a panel involving the core developers of OpenSim… with approx. 86 participants in the session, peaking at 95 avatars…

2016-12-10-OSCC16_001 2016-12-10-OSCC16_005
2016-12-10-OSCC16_002 2016-12-10-OSCC16_003

OpenSim Code Commits 2016

Nebadon Izumi produced a visualisation of the code commits into OpenSim for the last year, as he has done for previous years of activity.

OpenSim-Code-Commit-Visualization-2016

Overview of the OSCC Grid Regions

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2016-12-08-OSCC-2016-Preparation-2 2016-12-08-OSCC-2016-Preparation-3

Virtual Robotics: Creating, Collaborating and Constructivist learning in a Virtual World

A session by Carina Girvan and John “Pathfinder” Lester described an EU funded project to teach using turtle graphics visualised as 3D shapes and colours in OpenSim using the SCRATCH visual programming environment.

2016-12-11-OSCC16-Virtual-Robotics-1 2016-12-11-OSCC16-Virtual-Robotics-2
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External Application Development for OpenSim Applications such as Large Scale Urban Simulation

OSCC16 talk by OpenSim core dev Christa Lopes of University of California at Irvine (@DivaCanto) on using virtual worlds for large scale urban simulation…

2016-12-11-OSCC16-Remote-Control-1
2016-12-11-OSCC16-Remote-Control-2 2016-12-11-OSCC16-Remote-Control-3

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Winter in Second Life

As usual there are some wonderful Christmas and winter regions in Second Life… one of the “Destination Guide” locations in Winter 2016 is the Erebor region by Calaas Galadhon.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/EREBOR/155/106/22

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2016-12-09-SL-Erebor-Sleigh-1 2016-12-09-SL-Erebor-Sleigh-2

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2016-12-09-SL-Erabor-Lake-Overlook

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Sine.space Regions

As described in an earlier blog post (Sine.space – OpenVCE Region) there is a route to take content created in OpenSimulator, save that as an OpenSim Archive (OAR) file, convert it to Collada mesh via the OAR Converter tool, and load that in as content to Unity3D to merge with the Sine Space “EditorPack” unitypackage. This content can then be uploaded to Sine.space servers and made available to others in the Sine.Space community either through each user’s free region (an allowance of one 128MB download region with up to 10 concurrent avatars)) or via paid subscriptions.

Some of the initial testing done on regions used OpenSim OAR content and other Unity3D experiences created using freely available mesh models.

Sine-Space-Loading-ISS
Sine-Space-Loading-Oil-Rig Sine-Space-Loading-Castle
Sine-Space-Loading-Black-Rock Sine-Space-Loading-Space-City

The OpenVCE region is “live” in Sine.space and can be visited in any WegbGL compatible browser via http://go.sine.space/openvce or http://sine.space/locations/openvce

Other tests of Sine.space for Gerry Anderson’s Black Rock Laboratory (Supercar) and Space City (Fireball XL5) regions, RGU Oil Rig and NASA International Space Station (ISS) are in separate posts. These are not publicly accessible and are mounted on development servers for testing only.

Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) on Sine.space

openvue-mapThe Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) has now taken out a subscription for three regions each with an allowance of 512MB download size and up to 30 avatars concurrently present. The regions will likely use the Second Life/OpenSim layout brought across via OAR Converter initially, and then develop Sine.space specific content for testing of collaborative facilities in virtual worlds. In the meantime, temporary content may be in place for testing.

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NASA Eyes

See the current or historic positions of spacecraft, planets and solar system bodies with @NASA_Eyes app for Windows and Mac. Download from http://eyes.nasa.gov. Checked out the view from Cassini during the flyby of Titan on 29th November 2016…

NASA-Eyes-Cassini-at-Titan
NASA-Eyes-Saturn NASA-Eyes-Voyager-2
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There are a number of special computer simulations of mission highlights.. e.g. the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) landing sequence…
NASA-Eyes-MSL-1 NASA-Eyes-MSL-2

NASA Eyes has a “Simple Mode” which provides a thumbnail of spacecraft missions, planetary and other destinations, and recent news items…
NASA-Eyes-Simple-Mode-Missions

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Sine.space – Roller Coaster

CindyBolero has ported her “Winter Festival Aero Pines Park” content into Sine.space including a roller coaster. A bit more work is needed to sync up the views that each user sees. Apparently, sync on avatar movement is the default, but it is necessary to mark other region content such as a moving vehicle or coaster train that needs to be synced between clients.

CindyBolero-Coaster-5

Posted in Virtual World | Tagged | 1 Comment

Sine.space – Castle Region

sine-space-logoSine.space by Sine Wave Entertainment is a multi-user virtual world based on Unity3D. Another blog post gives details of the development process for a custom region using content created in OpenSim and brought across to Unity3D via the OAR Converter.

I used the Unity3D Sine Space Base prepared as noted in the blog post and installed the OpenSim OAR Converter translated Epic Castle content…

2016-11-24-Sine-Space-Castle-Unity3D-Editor

The upload size was 285.19MB and the produced downloads for the various platforms were reported as:

Successful Platforms:
   win32 (184mb), webgl (127mb), android (194mb), ios (193mb)

2016-11-24-Sine-Space-Castle-1


2016-11-24-Sine-Space-Castle-6

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Sine.space – RGU Oil Rig Region

sine-space-logoSine.space by Sine Wave Entertainment is a multi-user virtual world based on Unity3D. Another blog post gives details of the development process for a custom region using content created in OpenSim and brought across to Unity3D via the OAR Converter.

I used the Unity3D Sine Space Base prepared as noted in the blog post and installed the OpenSim OAR Converter translated RGU Oil Rig content…

2016-11-21-Sine-Space-Oil-Rig-Unity-Editor

The upload size was 110.12MB and the produced downloads for the various platforms were reported as:

Successful Platforms:
   webgl (46mb), win32 (125mb), android (124mb), ios (120mb)

2016-11-21-Sine-Space-Oil-Rig-1
2016-11-21-Sine-Space-Oil-Rig-4 2016-11-21-Sine-Space-Oil-Rig-5

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Sine.space – ISS Region

sine-space-logoSine.space by Sine Wave Entertainment is a multi-user virtual world based on Unity3D. I used the Unity3D Sine Space Base prepared as noted in the blog post and installed the International Space Station (ISS) VR Experience content including detailed 3D models of the ISS, Soyuz, etc.

2016-11-21-Sine-Space-ISS-Unity3D-Editor

The upload size was 123.49 MB and the produced downloads for the various platforms were reported as:

Successful Platforms:
   win32 (148mb), webgl (82mb), android (129mb), ios (205mb)

2016-11-21-Sine-Space-ISS-1 2016-11-21-Sine-Space-ISS-2

The initial blue haze style lighting was then adjusted. Atmospheric effects, general fog, etc., were turned off in the “Post Zone Settings”, but “Bloom Settings” was left on and set to a high value of 2.0 at the suggestion of another Sine Space developer. The ambient lighting set under Unity3D menu Window -> Lighting was left on “Gradient” but turned well down to 0.4 with the sky colour set to an Earth-like blue. This meant that most light comes from the directional light which is set in the direction of the sun, with dark crisp shadows lit a little by earthlight. The image below is after this change…

2016-11-21-Sine-Space-ISS-3

Update: 5-Jan-2017… the “Space Station” region and a free to use “NASA Astronaut EVA” outfit (under category Clothing -> Accessories -> Miscellaneous) is now available on the live Sine Space server via
http://sine.space/locations/space-station



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Sine.space – Gerry Anderson Regions

sine-space-logoSine.space by Sine Wave Entertainment is a multi-user virtual world based on Unity3D. Another blog post gives details of the development process for a custom region using content created in OpenSim and brought across to Unity3D via the OAR Converter.

I used the Unity3D Sine Space Base prepared as noted in the blog post and installed the OpenSim OAR Converter translated “Black Rock” region including detailed 3D models of Gerry Anderson’s Supercar and Black Rock Laboratory.

2016-11-17-Sine-Wave-Unity3D-Black-Rock-Editor

The upload size was 38.78MB and the produced downloads for the various platforms were reported as:

Successful Platforms:
   webgl (33mb), win32 (75mb), android (70mb), ios (76mb)

2016-11-18-Sine-Space-Black-Rock-Supercar
2016-11-18-Sine-Space-Black-Rock-Supercar-4 2016-11-18-Sine-Space-Black-Rock-Supercar-5
2016-11-18-Sine-Space-Black-Rock-Supercar-3 2016-11-18-Sine-Space-Black-Rock-Supercar-2


Space City/Fireball XL5 Region on Sine.space

I used the Unity3D Sine Space Base prepared as above and installed the Gerry Anderson Fireball XL5 Space City content converted from OpenSim via OAR Converter…

2016-11-22-Sine-Space-Space-City-Unity-Editor

The upload size was 51.59MB and the produced downloads for the various platforms were reported as:

Successful Platforms:
   webgl (38mb), win32 (81mb), android (83mb), ios (86mb)

2016-11-22-Sine-Space-Space-City-1 2016-11-22-Sine-Space-Space-City-2
2016-11-22-Sine-Space-Space-City-3 2016-11-22-Sine-Space-Space-City-4
2016-11-22-Sine-Space-Space-City-5
2016-11-22-Sine-Space-Space-City-7 2016-11-22-Sine-Space-Space-City-8
2016-11-22-Sine-Space-Space-City-6

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Sinespace – OpenVCE Region

sine-space-logoSine.space by Sine Wave Entertainment is a multi-user virtual world based on Unity3D. A previous blog post showed early experiments while the system was in test mode in 2015.

The platform is now available to all, and users can add one free “region” using an addon Unity3D “unitypackage” merged with custom content.

The OpenVCE region is “live” in Sine Space and can be visited in any WegbGL compatible browser via http://go.sine.space/openvce or http://sine.space/locations/openvce

Other tests of Sine.space for Gerry Anderson’s Black Rock Laboratory (Supercar) and Space City (Fireball XL5) regions, RGU Oil Rig, the Space Station from the movie 2001, and NASA International Space Station (ISS) are in separate posts. These are not publicly accessible and are mounted on development servers for testing only.

2016-11-17-Sine-Space-OpenVCE

Sine.space Resources

Sine.space Clients

Sine.space regions can be accessed via a WebGL capable browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, or via an installable desktop application (download via link at http://sine.space).

An avatar can be moved using the usual WASD or arrow keys, and F(ly) mode can be toggled with “F” and then the E and C keys move the avatar up and down (Page Up and Page Down as alternatives may be added soon. Update: available now).

It may be worth noting that Alt+U toggles the interface elements on and off in the viewers, if you want a clear image for snapshots.

Sine.space Creator (Live) and Curator (Preview and Test) Servers

Previews and testing is done in http://curator.sine.space and live regions are served via http://creator.sine.space. There is a limit of 128MB on the download size of a region on the live server for the free account. Larger region downloads are available via paid subscriptions on the sine.space platform. The region size is reported when a region is uploaded from Unity3D to the review “curator” server so you can see if it will be within the size allowed for free or paid accounts..

Trial using the OpenVCE Region

2016-11-15-Sine-Space-OpenVCE-Unity3D-Editor

A test of adding a region into sine.space was done using the OpenSimulator OpenVCE region converted via OARConv tool to Collada meshes suitable for import to Unity3D (see this blog post for details of that conversion).

Register a sine.space user as a space developer “creator” (http://sine.space/creator/) to get access to the relevant SDK and Unity3D package required.

Create a region API key via that account – via the API keys link at https://curator.sine.space/

You need to create a Unity3D application incorporating the sine.space Editor unitypackage available via a link accessible only to registered and logged in creators at https://sine.space/creator/resources/ (EditorPack-08p1.unitypackage as at 15-Nov-2016). Instructions for the process involved can be found in these two YouTube videos.

Create a new Unity3D base application using the following process, which you can save and reuse for any specific sine.space region creation. The process is as follows:

  1. Load in the sine.space Editor unitypackage (EditorPack-08p1.unitypackage as at 15-Nov-2016) using Assets -> Import Package -> Custom Package. This adds an extra menu item to the Unity3D editor menus – “Space”.
  2. Use Space -> “Install Editor Pack Settings” and then Scene -> “Scene Settings”. This will add a “Scene Export Settings” item to your Unity3D project. Click on that and set fields appropriately. The content type will be “Region”. Give it a name. You can “reserve” a URL for the region for when it goes “live”.
  3. Make sure you have some sort of ground plane which has collisions set so avatars do not fall through the floor. This can be removed when your region content is added if that incorporates its own ground terrain or floor.
  4. Add the sine.space provided “PlayerChar” (a blue male avatar) to allow local testing of the region in the Unity3D editor.
  5. Add a sine.space “Landmark” to act as the spawn point when avatars enter the region in sine.space. In the project hierarchy use Create -> Create Other -> Landmark. Then select that object and tick it as ‘Spawnpoint’ and select its Type as ‘Landing Zone’. Place it so that its baseline is a metre or so above the ground level. So when avatars spawn their feet are definitely above the ground plane and fall gently onto it.
  6. Remove the Main Camera as that will interfere with the “PlayerChar” avatar or live avatars when the region is used in sine.space.
  7. [OPTIONAL] In the Unity3D editor Window -> Lighting settings swap the Ambient Source from Skybox to Gradient, and raise Ambient Intensity from 1.0 to 1.75 to prevent over harsh shadows and lighting. If you want WYSIWYG between Unity3D editor and sine.space creator make sure Linear lighting is on via Edit -> Project Settings -> Player, under “Color Settings” there is an entry for Color Space – make sure it’s set to also Linear, not Gamma.
  8. Save this setup as a Unity3D scene and save the Unity3D project as a base for future region creation.

Now you can add your own region content into the project, testing it with the incorporated temporary “PlayerChar” to walk around it.

Lighting was a bit harsh when the OpenVCE region was first tested as the region content. Adam Frisby at Sine Wave Entertainment suggested to use Unity3D editor Window -> Lighting settings to swap the Ambient Source from Skybox to Gradient, and raise Ambient Intensity from 1.0 to 1.75. He also found a specific issue with a shader on the “Tweet Bubble” object, which was subsequently removed in the Unity3D project.

If you want WYSIWYG between Unity3D editor and sine.space creator make sure to switch to Linear lighting too via Edit -> Project Settings -> Player, under “Color Settings” there is an entry for Color Space – make sure it’s set to Linear, not Gamma.

Upload to sine.space Servers

You might want to make a fresh Unity3D scene into which these changes can be made, prior to upload, so your base project and content remains intact for continued revision and testing in the Unity3D editor afterwards.

  1. Remove the PlayerChar character from the Unity3D project inventory before uploading the region to sine.space servers. Note that just unticking the box which shows the PlayerChar in the project is not enough as hidden objects are still included in the final result. This is because components can activate hidden objects via scripts, etc.
  2. Add into the project hierarchy a new empty game object and name it something like “Space Post Zone”. Open it in the Inspector and add a component called “Post Zone”. This gives many options for settings that will be applied to your region and how it is rendered. In here, for example, you can turn off depth of field blur with a tickbox. These are only applied on sine space servers not locally in Unity3D editor player, and may cause errors there.
  3. Check the “Scene Export Settings” settings to ensure the content type is “Region” to check the region name, URI and other details are correct, etc. Most defaults for the various settings should work for testing purposes. You can add in the custom icons, etc if you wish, or test without these.
  4. Login via the Unity3D editor Space -> Upload Settings” to allow for the upload to take place. This will fill in your API key which you should have previously created via https://curator.sine.space/.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the “Scene Export Settings” in the Inspector and you will see the button for “Automatic Submission”. Hit this to begin the region packing and upload process.

2016-11-15-Sine-Space-OpenVCE-Upload

The OpenVCE region, unoptimised and with all the OpenSimulator region content intact was reporting a 226.24MB size.

After the processing feedback messages provided by content@sine.space are provided, the final message indicates the size of the download required for the supported delivery platforms. These are the sizes that will be needed for the live delivery sine.space platform. So the LARGEST of the sizes reported is the figure to use when calculating if you can fit in a free region (limit 128MB). For OpenVCE this was…

Successful Platforms:
   webgl (92mb), win32 (172mb), android (171mb), ios (169mb)

In the “Scene Export Settings” settings, this can be optimised, especially for texture quality. WebGL has a smaller download size as its textures are less detailed. The “Standalone” size is larger by default as it uses higher quality settings. Try adjusting these to change the download file size that will be required. E.g. I changed the max texture size to 512 from 2048 for the standalone. make sure you hit the “Apply Compression Settings” button under Tools in the “Scene Export Settings”.

You can also remove objects from the project. You must really delete them from the Unity3D project hierarchy since just unticking the box which shows the object in the project is not enough as hidden objects are still included in the final result. This is because components can activate hidden objects via scripts, etc.

A suggestion might be to create a new Unity3D scene from the full project and only delete the PlayerChar and unwanted items in that scene.

After this the upload file size was 213.68MB and the download file settings were lowered to:

Successful Platforms:
   webgl (78mb), win32 (127mb), android (64mb), ios (62mb)

Reducing Texture Size in the Downloaded Region

Sine-Space-Scene-Export-Settings-Texture-CrunchAdvice from Sine.space developers to reduce texture size in region downloads was to use the “Scene Export Settings” “Texture Compression” section. Allow Crunch and set the Crunch Level to 50 (100 is lossless, 0 is maximum compression).

Working on Multiple Development Computers

To be able to upload to the same region name and URL reservation name, you can copy the Unity3D project folder to another and make changes there. This will also work across development machines. This has the effect of copying the scene file with the scene settings component in it then it will resume automagically and allow the same region name reservation. Otherwise in a new Unity3D project folder, you need to use the ‘Resume ID’ in the Scene Export Settings, and fill in the Resume ID from either Space -> Items & Settings, or http://curator.sine.space/

Entering the OpenVCE Region on sine.space

2016-11-15-Sine-Space-OpenVCE-Loading 2016-11-15-Sine-Space-OpenVCE-Loaded

Water

Look in Standard Assets -> Environment -> Water -> Prefabs… and add WaterProDaytime set at 0,0,0 and scaled to 300,1,300 (to extend beyond a 256mx256m OpenSim region). Then also add WaterProNightime set at 0,0,0, rotated to flip it upside down to act as a surface water layer when viewed from underneath 180,0,0 and also scaled 300,1,300.

For each type of water make the Water Mode be “Simple” rather than the default “Refractive” or the other “Reflective” option, as that will look better in the various Sine.space viewers.

Scripts, Seats and Furniture

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Van Gogh at Arles on OpenSim

2016-11-03-LFGrid-Arles_011
The OpenSimulator-based Littlefield Grid (LFGrid) has a wonderful “Arles” area created by Mudpuddle Cleanslate. It can be visited by any avatar from any Hypergrid-enabled OpenSim grid (such as OSGrid) via this location…

hop://lfgrid.com:8002/Arles/177/129/22

Mudpuddle Cleanslate wrote:

… Van Gogh’s Virtual Arles, a beautifully landscaped sim showing 17 of the views that he painted during his time here. At each viewpoint I have placed an easel showing Van Gogh’s finished painting. Arles is now open for visitors although there will be additions as and when. There are a few surprises only to be discovered when you visit the Yellow House.



2016-11-03-LFGrid-Arles_018

An overhead shot of the Arles region on LFGrid is here…
2016-11-03-LFGrid-Arles-Aerial-View

Arles in Virtual Reality

The LFGrid Arles region works wonderfully in VR on Oculus Rift using the CtrlAltStudio viewer (CtrlAltStudio 1.2.6.43412).

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360° Snapshots in Second Life

linden-lab-360-snapshot
A new Second Life “Project Viewer” has been released by Linden Lab that allows for the creation of 360° snapshots in Second Life virtual world scenes.

2016-10-26-SL-360-Snapshot-Menu-1 2016-10-26-SL-360-Snapshot-Menu-2

There is also a package of HTML and JavaScript that can be installed on a web site (supporting Python) which provides a framework for viewing the images that are created (works in Microsoft Edge, Mozilla, Google Chrome and Apple Safari on iOS, but not Internet Explorer).

The 360° snapshot web viewing framework mounted on our own server at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/ looks like this…

2016-10-26-SL-360-Ahern

The current experimental project viewer saves a set of six 1024×1024 snapshots in a .zip file. Add any new 360° image .zip files you save to the “shots” directory in the web framework, and then access them via a URL of the style…

http://domainname:port/index.html?shot=shots/NAME.zip

E.g., http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/default.zip

Vue Region in Second Life

2016-10-26-SL-360-Vue

Click for 360° view… http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/vue.zip
The icon in the top left corner gives you a link to visit the destination.

I-Room on Vue Region in Second Life

2016-10-26-SL-360-I-Room-on-Vue

Click for 360° view… http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/iroom.zip
The icon in the top left corner gives you a link to visit the destination.

Fish4Knowledge (F4K) Gallery in Second Life

2016-10-26-SL-360-F4K

Click for 360° view… http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/f4k.zip
The icon in the top left corner gives you a link to visit the destination.

Menu of 360° Images

2016-10-26-SL-360-Menu

A sample file menu.html in the web viewer framework can be edited to show the collection of 360 images available. Click on icon in top left corner for full sized view. See example at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/menu.html

360-Snapshot-Viewer-ButtonsUsing other Formats – 2:1 Pixel Apect Ratio for Flickr

Once you are viewing an image using the web viewer framework that operates on the .zip files, you can download it in a 2:1 aspect ratio suitable for upload to Flickr for sharing and viewing in 360°. The download button is indicated in the image to the right. Images download using it are in 2:1 pixel aspect ration (PAR) at 4096×2048, and contains XMP metadata specifying a “ProjectionType” which should be recognized as a 360 image. This means they can be uploaded directly to Flickr for 360° viewing. Inara Pey’s blog post gives helpful details.

Some examples produced using this procedure are available in http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/pano/.

After creating an album and uploading some of the 2:1 PAR images downloaded in this way… here is an example of a number of panoramas in Flickr… this also works in Internet Explorer…

2016-10-26-Flickr-Album-360

https://www.flickr.com/photos/aiaustin/albums/72157674590685540

360° Snapshots in a Virtual Reality Headset

My-Photos-in-360-Photos

The “360 Photos” app in the Oculus Store can be used to view 360° snapshots saved in an appropriate format. One of the formats allowed is the same 2:1 ratio image format that can be output from the Linden Lab web viewer framework and that works with Flickr. Any JPEG photos with either an equi-rectangular projection (recommended 4096×2048) or a cube map (recommended 1536×1536 per cube side) will render in the application. You simply place these in the directory indicated below and they appear as “My Photos”…

C:\Users\<username>\Pictures\OculusPhotos

Vue-in-360-in-VR

Advice to Create Better 360° Snapshots

The Second Life Wiki 360° Snapshot Page has advice on setup of the viewer to create better snapshots, particularly for this early test version of the viewer with its limited facilities to “freeze” the scene to capture the multiple camera angles needed.

Glitches

As expected there are a few glitches with this initial project viewer.

  1. When the box to “Do not capture my avatar” is ticked in the 360 snapshot creator tool, avatar attachments such as hair and shoes continue to show. A sample of this is at
    http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/vue-too-high.zip
  2. If you try to take a snapshot with a viewpoint that is too high up in the sky, not surprisingly, there is an obvious “box” straight edge effect on the horizon at the junctions of the stitching of the images. A sample of this is at
    http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/vue-too-high.zip
  3. In the menu.html web page template, the icon in the top left corner of each thumbnail opens the full sized image, but the same icon in that full sized view gives you a link to the Second Life map location. Maybe two different icons would work better, especially as the “About -> Controls” help page indicates that icon is to visit the region via the map.
  4. A few viewer crashes occurred.

Other 360° Snapshot Creation Approaches

Other approaches to creating 360° snapshots in Second Life using multiple cameras have been created and are documented in this blog post.

Happy Halloween 2016

2016-10-27-360-Flickr-Halloween

http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/index.html?shot=shots/halloween.zip
and in Flickr…
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aiaustin/30531250701/in/album-72157674590685540/

Setup to Hide Ground in Aerial 360° Snapshots

SL-Setup-to-Hide-GroundWhen taking snapshots at a height above a region, even if the viewing distance is set low enough that all objects on the ground do not show, the surface patch, ground and water of the regions below you can show in a snapshot. To avoid this you can turn off the rendering of these elements… in Advanced (Ctrl+Alt+D to show) -> Render.

Supercar-360-Snapshot-Capture

360-Supercar 360-Supercar-Cockpit

Click for 360° view… http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/supercar.zip
and http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/360/?shot=shots/supercar-cockpit.zip
Works in Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Apple Safari
(but not Internet Explorer)


360 Snapshot Viewer 5.1.* (Updated June 2017)

In June 2017 revisions to the 360 Snapshot Project Viewer were released as version 5.1.*:
5.1.0.506488 on 19-Jun-2017 and 5.1.0.506743 on 29-Jun-2017. The 360 degree snapshots created by this version were of the “pano” style used by many web sites rather than the multi-image “zip” style of the previous 4.1.* versions.

The early development versions had some metadata issues which could be resolved in various ways:

  • For Flickr, the uploaded image had to have a tag of “equirectangular” added manually.
  • For Oculus 360 Photos app use the image had to have its suffix altered from the default .jpeg to .jpg.
  • Second Life JIRA BUG-100923
Posted in 3D, Second Life, Virtual World | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

IPAB Web Site

The University of Edinburgh School of Informatics Institute for Perception Action and Behaviour (IPAB), which is Edinburgh’s Robotics Institute and part of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (jointly with Heriot-Watt University) has a new web site… http://web.inf.ed.ac.uk/ipab

2016-10-14-IPAB-Home-Page
2016-10-14-IPAB-Research-Groups
2016-10-14-IPAB-People-1 2016-10-14-IPAB-People-2

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Asgardia – The Space Nation

Asgardia (http://asgardia.space/) is a project to explore a space-based community by creating an “Asgardia Citzenship” of those interested. It will start with privately financed spacecraft and go on from there.

asgardia-space-home-page
asgardia-space-citizens-2016-10-12-5581 asgardia-space-citizens-2016-10-12-Joined

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