Vision Insider Blog

UAV roundup 6/19: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Jun 19, 2015 In this edition of the UAV roundup, learn more about some authorizations the FAA granted to the six UAS test sites, a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on drones, a UAV operator using his vehicle twice to save people, drones at the U.S. open, and the latest Section 333 ex...

UAV roundup 5/22: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

May 22, 2015

Much is going in the world of unmanned aerial vehicles, or, UAVs. This includes the FAA’s new Pathfinder program, which involves the use of UAVs beyond an operator’s line of sight, as well as the AUVSI reaction to the rule, and some of the latest UAV headlines and applications.

Fake alien identified with image processing algorithm

May 21, 2015

Learn about how an image processing algorithm was used help to prove that an image of alien from the Roswell Crash of 1947 was actually a mummified two-year-old boy.

Wanted: Your input on industry survey

May 11, 2015 Help us help you.The Vision Systems Design team is currently in the process of developing an industry survey that aims to identify some of the main hurdles that systems integrators and engineers may encounter when it comes to the design, implementation, and maintenance of imaging systems. What ty...

Sony finally comments on CCD image sensor discontinuation news

May 1, 2015

Months back, news began to surface suggesting that Sony would discontinue its line of CCD image sensors. So, with Sony finally commenting on the matter, what is the official word?

UAV roundup 4/24: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Apr 24, 2015

Read all about the latest developments in the world of UAVs, including a new, expedited approval process from the FAA, and the latest on Amazon's plans for a UAV-based delivery service.

Surveillance cameras play increased role for Boston Marathon security

Apr 20, 2015

Learn more about the additional security measures that are being taken for the Boston Maraton, including the installation of approximately 100 HD surveillance cameras along the route of the race.

Robot sous-chef makes crab bisque, automates the kitchen

Apr 14, 2015

Read about London-based Moley Robotics' robotic “sous-chef,” which was on display at this year’s Hannover Messe trade fair, where it was seen making crab bisque, according to BBC News.

 

Slideshow: 2015 Innovators Awards honoree reception

Mar 30, 2015 To celebrate our first annual Innovators Awards program, Vision Systems Design held a reception at the AIA’s Automate trade show and conference in Chicago, IL, USA on March 25, 2015, where many representatives from companies at the show were on hand to accept their awards from Andrew Wilson, Edit...

UAV roundup 3/27: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Mar 27, 2015

Since the last “UAV roundup” we did in February, 27 new companies have been granted a Section 333 exemption to operate UAVs, for a range of different applications, including real estate, agriculture, inspection, and motion picture and television.

 

Vision System Design announces 2015 Innovators Awards honorees

Mar 25, 2015 Developed to celebrate the disparate and innovative technologies, products, and systems found in the machine vision and image processing industry, the 2015 Innovators Awards were reviewed by an expert panel of ten third-party judges who were asked to rate the numerous entries that we received bas...

UAV roundup 2/27: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Feb 27, 2015 February saw no shortage of news when it came to UAVs in the United States. In fact, it was quite the eventful month, headlined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finally proposing a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small UAVs in today’s aviation system, ...

UAV roundup 2/9: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Feb 9, 2015

With so many headlines related to UAVs coming out as late, I’ve decided to do another version of the "UAV Roundup."

UAV roundup 1/30: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Jan 30, 2015

Instead of blogging about each and every one of these items separately, I thought I would compile them into one big “roundup,” providing some of the latest headlines in the world of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Seeing through the Blizzard of 2015

Jan 27, 2015 As I sit here writing this article from the comfort of my own home; I am doing so not out of convenience, but out of necessity. For those of you who do not live in the northeast portion of the United States, in case you haven’t heard, we are in the midst of what many meteorologists predicted to b...

Live updates from the 2015 A3 Business Forum

Jan 22, 2015 Once again, we will be providing live updates from the A3 Business Forum, which brings together top executives from the machine vision, robotics, and motion control industries including manufacturers, system integrators, component suppliers, end users, research groups, universities, and consultin...

FAA grants additional exemptions for commercial UAVs

Jan 9, 2015

Last summer, the FAA granted permission for BP and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer AeroVironment to fly the first commercial UAV to fly over land for the purposes of aerial surveys over Alaska’s North Slope.
 

UAV lands on water, captures underwater footage

Jan 2, 2015

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called the HexH2o is capable of landing on a body of water and capturing underwater footage.
 

Student builds a camera inside a Lego

Dec 4, 2014 Much of what we cover on Vision Systems Design is rather technical, or at least serious in nature. From time to time on the blog, I like to take a look at off-beat, fun, or interesting bits of news, such as sharks eating cameras attached to robots, or the innovative use of a digital cinema camera...

FAA granted authority to fine UAV operators

Nov 19, 2014 This past March, I wrote about the case of Raphael Pirker, a 29-year-old who used an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to film a commercial at the University of Virginia. In this case, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) filed a case against Pirker for flying a drone commercially.  

VISION 2014 thoughts and takeaways

Nov 10, 2014 To articulately summarize my entire VISION experience would require an extensive amount of writing and reflection. Throughout the course of the next few weeks, I do, in fact, intend to provide summaries of the interviews I had with the 20-some-odd international vision companies on the show floor....

Crime fighting with Google Glass

Oct 7, 2014

Earlier this summer, we reported that The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS were adapting its SHORE real-time face detection and analysis software for the Google Glass.
 

Innovative music video made with a Kinect and modified digital cinema camera

Sep 29, 2014

San Francisco-based ambient music artist Tycho released a music video for the song "See" from the 2014 album “Awake" that makes clever use of a Microsoft Kinect and a modified RED Epic camera.
 

FAA approves commercial use of UAVs for filmmaking

Sep 26, 2014

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued just its second approval of commercial UAV flights, with six permits being given to film and television production companies for the purpose of aerial video capture.
 

Nova Scotia RCMP UAV

Canadian police use UAV to find family lost in forest

Sep 10, 2014 Two months ago in July, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia unveiled a new fleet of vision-enabled UAVs for purposes that include crash scene investigation, search and rescue, and emergency response. A few months later, one of these UAVs successfully located two adults and their 17-m...

Vision Systems Design: The Swimsuit Issue

By Andy Wilson
Many popular magazines such as Sports Illustrated rely on publishing yearly issues dedicated to celebrating the predominantly female human form in swimsuits, a cunning wheeze that boosts circulation and sales.

For years I have been wondering how a magazine such as Vision Systems Design might possibly be able to justify covering such a subject to the same effect. And recently I discovered the answer to my prayers.

The solution, naturally enough, lies in writing numerous stories about particle image velocimetry , a technique that uses a laser to illuminate millions of reflective particles in water. When images of the same are then captured by high-speed cameras , they allow researchers to observe how the particles move around objects found in the water -- including, of course, folks wearing swimsuits.

Through the use of such equipment, researchers hope to be able to develop more high-tech swimsuits that would give athletes a competitive advantage by reducing the drag of the water around their bodies as they swim.

Now there's been quite a lot of research work performed in this area, predominantly at Leeds University (Leeds, UK), where a Speedo-sponsored team led by Professor Jeff Peakall has been engaged conducting tests to examine how efficiently different fabrics move through the water.

Most recently, the university team was commissioned by the swimwear company to assist in the development of its new FASTSKIN3 Racing System swimsuit and spent 18 months testing levels of "fabric drag."

In a statement to the press this month, Peakall said, "We're really excited because I think we've found out that some of the materials are appreciably faster than anything we've seen before, and I'm absolutely confident that this is going to be of great benefit to competitive swimmers."

Not everyone is so optimistic. Take George Lauder, the Henry Bryant Bigelow Professor of Ichthyology at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, USA), for example. He argues that the notion that simply donning a different swimsuit -- like a Speedo FASTSKIN II suit, with a surface purportedly designed to mimic shark skin to gain an edge on the competition -- is almost completely misplaced.

Experiments conducted in Lauder's lab, and described in The Journal of Experimental Biology , reveal that, while sharks' sandpaper-like skin does allow the animals to swim faster and more efficiently, the surface of the high-tech swimsuits has no effect when it comes to reducing drag as swimmers move through the water.

Indeed, Lauder claims to have conclusively shown that the surface properties themselves, which the manufacturer has in the past claimed to be biomimetic, don't do anything for propulsion.

That's not to say that the suits as a whole do nothing to improve performance. Lauder also reasons that there are all sorts of effects at work that aren't due to the surface effects of the swimsuit.

"Swimmers who wear these suits are squeezed into them extremely tightly, so they are very streamlined. They're so tight that they could actually change the circulation (of the swimmer), and increase the venous return to the body, and they are tailored to make it easier to maintain proper posture even when tired. I'm convinced they work, but it's not because of the surface," he says.

All that remains to be seen now is whether my swimsuit column has done anything to improve the circulation of Vision Systems Design and boost its companion web site page views.

References:
1. Flumes and lasers test elite sportswear
2. Skin deep