RSS Feeds


mod_vvisit_counterThis week116

Designed by:
SiteGround web hosting Joomla Templates
A Photography Project by Benny J Johnson

Benny J Johnson, a young photographer who studies press and editorial photography in Falmouth, came to visit our lab and took some great pictures of the iCub humanoid robot.

Benny arrived last Thursday afternoon and brought lots of professional equipment with him, which he bought after winning a grant in a student competition. His plan was to take pictures of the iCub holding an apple to show the connection between nature and technology. 

After Ben got the image he was looking for, we started my multiple time scales recurrent neural network system and let the iCub manipulate a cube.

icub appleicub cube

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 February 2011 15:24
Egyptian Friend of Mine Expresses His View on The Current Situation
One of my friends from Egypt has responded to the video below that I initially posted on Facebook, which led to a dialogue where I asked him to send me an email where he expresses his thoughts on the current situation.
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video
Here is his message as I got it:
"I was born and only see this president and I have heard a lot about him and use him heroic in the war of 73 and also Toshka project and many of the projects. But with the increase in population took the reins from his hand, and this government for poor planning and lack of eagerness by this increase and the situation is deteriorating and have we asked a lot and we are behind him and hoping Rahnah in reform as he promises.

But enough is enough we want change, and we paid to the government's actions, started their journey on January 25 peaceful demonstrations. And the effects of people's anger more is the absence of the President these days, p it is the interior minister for the release of prisoners and firing rubber bullets and tear gas.

It was subsequently withdrawn the Central Security Egyptian street, he became a mess and moved people to the People's Committees for the protection of property and to ensure the streets to protect and here, the essence of the Egyptian people in crisis and when you expose it and the people knew very well that these actions by the Ministry of membranes increased anger more. And began to show on television, President Mubarak to his speech, which divided people into two part exhibition and part of a pro. Which talked about the change and has already begun in the implementation and submission to our demands, but asked for this speech when the hearts of the Egyptian people decided not to nominate himself for another term.

It seemed the people in the division and began to show external interventions to incite anger and panic in the Egyptian street, was arrested on several Alaschas funded from foreign countries such as Israel and others.

From the face of the opinion:

We have patience 30 years and here we began our demands are met and I knew the government and the whole world that the Egyptian people knows her rights then we will not allow wasting of these rights. So you must be patient and until the next presidential election because the President stepped down these days will spread criminality, theft and aspiration to become enemies."
The video below was sent together with the email:
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video
And this video is one that I found particularly inspiring:
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video
Last Updated on Friday, 04 February 2011 11:52
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

On Jan. 15th, 2011, "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward" was released theatrically to sold out crowds in 60 countries; 31 languages; 295 cities and 341 Venues. It has been noted as the largest non-profit independent film release in history.

This is a non-commercial work and is available online for free viewing and no restrictions apply to uploading/download/posting/linking - as long as no money is exchanged.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 January 2011 22:27
Great BBC Documentaries

I have recently watched few BBC documentaries that I really enjoyed so I thought I would share them with you. This will link you to a series of (currently) three documentaries about the brain that are extremely informative and well presented. Together, these three documentaries talk about anything from mind control, hallucinogens, emotions, language, brain regions and their functions to early experimental psychology and its unethical experiments. I think you will like it too.

Another great documentary that is worth watching is called Science Under Attack, which not only covers the controversy of global warming and genetically modified food but also highlights the need for science to be better communicated to public.

If you are not from UK you might need to use Expat Shield, which will connect you through UK proxy servers and assign you UK IP address.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 21:52
Quantum Entanglement Through Time Teleportation

Albert Einstein could never accept the implications of quantum theory and particularly the fact that our reality is non-local where particles can interact over any distance instantaneously. This is known as quantum entanglement labeled by Einstent as "spukhafte Fernwirkung" or "spooky action at a distance".

Einstein was convinced that there was something fundamentally wrong with the quantum theory as entanglement violates the principle of locality where an object is influenced directly only by its immediate surroundings. Einstein together with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen formulated a though experiment that resulted in the famous EPR paradox where two systems are allowed to interact and are then separated. Now assume that we make a measurement of the first system and find out its momentum or position, which according to entanglement would provide us with information about the second system. Then we measure the second system, which again would reveal information that we did not measure in the first system. There is a lot more to this but basically this would violate the Heisenberg's uncertainty principle where certain pairs of physical properties, such as position and momentum, cannot be simultaneously known to arbitrarily high precision. The more precisely one property is measured, the less precisely the other can be measured. The EPR paradox was used for long time as the main argument against the idea of quantum entanglement.

In 1964 our view of reality has changed when John Stewart Bell pointed out to flaws of the EPR paradox and experimentally showed that quantum entanglement is in fact real attribute of the quantum system. Many other experiments since then confirmed non-locality and thus discarded the principle of local realism. Quantum theory has made countless prediction about our reality to incredible precision. Nobody seems to understand it as it is going against our deepest notions about reality, which is definitely more complex and beautiful than we can generally appreciate using our few senses. The principle of non-locality stands at the core of the quantum theory. In Erwin Schrödinger's words:

"Entanglement is not one, but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics, the one that enforces its entire departure from classical lines of thought."

If you have never heard about quantum entanglement before I hope this short introduction has sparked your interest in so-called "quantum weirdness" of reality. There is much more interesting stuff in quantum mechanics that is mind twisting and really worth looking into. Check my previous article about the state of the computer technology where you will read about simple quantum computers being already built. 

I came across a very interesting article today, which predicts that quantum entanglement is not only happening in the spatial dimension but also through time teleportation between different spatial regions. Below is the abstract from the article.

timelike entanglement
"Recently, it has been shown that the massless quantum vacuum state contains entanglement between timelike separated regions of spacetime, in addition to the entanglement between the spacelike separated regions usually considered. Here, we show that timelike entanglement can be extracted from the Minkowski vacuum and converted into ordinary entanglement between two inertial, two-state detectors at the same spatial location - one coupled to the field in the past and the other coupled to the field in the future. The procedure used here demonstrates a clear time correlation as a requirement for extraction, e.g. if the past detector was active at a quarter to 12:00, then the future detector must wait to become active at precisely a quarter past 12:00 in order to achieve entanglement."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 January 2011 16:54
New GPU Server Setup

One of the server hard-drives stopped working. Instead of just fixing the problem I also decided to rearrange four out of six GPU servers to make them more accessible as two of them were hidden below a table. Also their operating system was upgraded to Ubuntu 10.10, which has been running reliably so far.

My only issue with Ubuntu is its updating system. For some reason, whenever I do updates something gets overwritten on the system and then I need to find out what it is and change it back. This time it was not different and some of the NVidia graphics card settings were modified, which was preventing the gnome desktop manager from starting.

 new server setup

Last Updated on Monday, 17 January 2011 17:32
Fruit Flies' Neural Networks Solve Distributed Computing Problem Better Than Humans
The burgeoning neural networks of fruit fly pupae solve a distributed computing problem, arranging sensory bristles in a very efficient, effective manner. Scientists who monitored the bristles‘ growth say they can mimic the flies’ method to build more effective communications networks. It’s not the first time we’ve seen an insect solve a problem that plagues computer scientists - bees can do it, too - but the fruit fly discovery does one better, leading to an algorithm that can be used to develop more efficient computer and wireless networks.

Fruit Fly Neural Network Nerve cells that self-select to become sensory organ precursors (SOPs) are identified by arrows in this microscope image. The cells send chemical signals to neighboring cells, blocking them from becoming SOPs and causing them to fluoresce red. via Carnegie Mellon University.

Distributed computing involves several processors working in concert to solve a problem. Some are chosen as leaders, collecting data from the other processors and passing it along. Organizing these networks into efficient processor-leader groups is one of the biggest challenges in computing — but millions of cells in a fly’s nervous system do it automatically, organizing themselves so that a small number of cells serve as leaders. It is much better than anything humans have come up with, scientists say: “It is such a simple and intuitive solution, I can’t believe we did not think of this 25 years ago,” according to co-author Noga Alon, a mathematician and computer scientist at Tel Aviv University and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Fruit fly bristles, which are used for feeling and hearing, develop as nerve cells self-select to become leaders. The cells send chemical signals to their neighboring cells, ensuring that those cells cannot become leaders, too. Using fluorescence microscopy, the researchers watched an entire network form in about three hours.

They developed an algorithm based on the cells’ self-selection approach, and say it’s particularly effective for adaptive networks where the number and position of each node is not certain, according to Carnegie Mellon University. That could include environmental monitoring sensors, robot swarms and more.

The research is published today in the journal Science.                                                                  

Source:  POPSCI (written by Rebecca Boyle)

Last Updated on Sunday, 16 January 2011 22:23
Plastic State of Mind Parody
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video
Crescent Moon
Last Updated on Sunday, 09 January 2011 13:00
Aquila 1.25 alpha released

I have just released a new version of Aquila that features new Vision module running on parallel GPU devices. The Vision module was developed through the integration of OpenGL, OpenCV and CUDA. YARP image streams from the iCub robot or its simulator as well as the video streams from up to two cameras connected to a host machine are processed on either CPU or GPU side and mapped into 2D textures using OpenGL natively. Native use of OpenGL and offloading image processing computation to GPU side boosts the performance significantly.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video 

iCub submodule 

Camera submodule

The two images above show the two different submodules of the Vision module. The top one shows the iCub vision interface connected to the iCub simulator and applying different image processing filters. The iCub interface can connect to both the iCub robot as well as its simulator. The bottom image shows the additional Camera interfacw, which supports up to two cameras that are connected to a host machine. Both submodules provide similar functionalities such as saving individual images from the stream, recording videos, minimising and maximising individual viewports, applying different filters and changing their settings, rendering offscreen original stream or modified, etc.

Please see the latest Aquila manual for detailed information about every module as well as installation instructions. New developers that would like to participate in Aquila project can join via our SourceForge page.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 January 2011 18:35
More Articles...
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 10 of 23