A fancy visualization of planes intersecting – Part 1

planes intersecting

Well, it might not be the fanciest thing in the world but it surely looks good when you try to visualize your data. You know me, I always graph whatever I do, otherwise I don’t get many ideas. I have to see what is going on, and perhaps are many people like me.

This time I’m gonna share a very simple and nice way to visualize the solution of a linear equation system with 3 unknowns and 3 equations. Continue reading

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How to use polyval

One of the easiest and most useful tools in Matlab is polyval, a very nice function that evaluates a polynomial function given its parameters and the range to evaluate… huh? All right, all right, we wanna be clear here, right?

polyval_matlab

Suppose we are given a polynomial function, let’s say:

f(x) = 3x^3 + 4x + 2

and we would like to represent it in Matlab like that. Well, we cannot just write it like that. Remember Matlab is a numerical computation programm, which means, that it won’t compute any symbol. So forget it if you wanna computate something writting letters. Matlabs wants only numbers. You might put names to the variables, but still, Matlab computes only with numbers.

Now, what to do? There’s where our great friend polyval comes to the rescue! Continue reading

The best Octave tutorial

Yes, as the title says, the best Octave tutorial out there is the one made by Professor Andrew Ng from Stanford. He started his world-famous Coursera almost two years ago. Now is one of the most successful companies in the world, why? Because it really gives what it promises and more: makes you understand Science.

Well, well go deep on it by yourself. These videos down are one of the first videos that Profr. Ng made for the course “Machine Learning”. I took it a year ago in its original website ml-class.org and it amazed me. I understood everything and didn’t have to smash my head to do so.

One of the chapters of his class was about handling Octave, the best free substitute for Matlab. Are you eager to master these computing tools? Dive into Octave next to Professor Ng. I promise you will be also amazed by the clear and concise way he teaches. This, my dear people, is the best Octave tutorial ever:

Part 1:
Continue reading

Visual Navigation for Flying Robots

Free lectures! Free courses on-line! Free! Free!

Got your attention? I’m like spam.

So far, so good. It has been a year since I decided to get fully involved in this field of Computer Vision, and hasn’t been easy, but I gotta say it is full of surprises. My University has been strongly doing some research about it, and a proof of that is that the 3D Computer Vision course given in Coursera is actually done by a Professor in my university (tho in German). So, I think we’re moving quite strong.

quadrocopter

My curiosity took me to the Computer Vision chair of the Informatics Department at the TUM and I think this semester they completely got me, as I’m planning to get the 3 lectures given there: Visual Navigation for Flying Robots, Multiple View Geometry and Machine Learning for Robotics and Computer Vision. Robotics, Machine Learning and Computer Vision! Makes my mouth water. Huh! Beautiful. Continue reading

VHS mode in Youtube

Not sure if a late Easter egg, a passing joke or a permanent feature (would be fun), but Google gives us again the opportunity to play around with the common things on the internet.

This time comes all through Youtube. A new feature was added to the player of Youtube: the “Tape Mode”. You click it and your image will seem like an old VHS-cassette-like video. Quite nostalgic, I would say. I just discovered it watching some Ellen videos (I admit it, goddamit, that woman’s jokes are funny for me), and discovered this one with Steve Carell (better if you watch it in Youtube‘s website):

The legend says that they do it because of the 57th Anniversary of the commercial realease of the first VHS cassette. Well, quite a random number for me, but anyways. Not all videos have this feature. Apparently you just have to randomly find them too. Buuuu!!

Oh yeah, click “Pause” and it will keep the old effect of the cassette. These hipsters are everywhere with the electronic vintage effects. First their instagram, now this. I don’t think is gonna last, but I’d activate it for fun only.

Find a nice video and give it a try!

Festo and its biological inspiration

Many companies around the world are fascinated with natural selection, because there is no wider range of inspiration for technology than the nature itself. Machines, robots and software are being designed with a strong background in biological elements. It is not coincidence that terms like mouse, virus or bug are common in the thecnological field.

Festo is a german company whose main goal is to design and build actuators for the automation industry. They are one of the biggest in this field. However, the german engineering is challenging through Festo again, and the innovation lovers in the company created the Festo Bionic Lab, where they have a complete freedom to experiment with their creativity. What have they done? A field entirely made of biological immitation. Their creations may  deceive your eyes at first sight, but oh boy! They have nailed it. Let’s check their main robots (my favorites), just for you to have an idea what I’m talking about…

The Airacuda was the first project, released in 2006, and the big challenge was to create a system that could really be an underwater robot, behaving and moving as a real fish. It still seems quite “robotic” with no emphasis in its out-looks, but the engineering behind such an underwater systems has been a true innovation copying the fish.

Continue reading

Treasure Hunt in Google Maps

And the guys in Google seem to have lots of free time. Following the concept they created last year with an 8-bit Google Maps, this year they come with a new idea for April’s fool: an old style Treasure Hunt. I don’t know for how long it’s gonna be available but this trick looks very odd (tho funny).

When you open Google Maps for the first time you can see on the upper right options of visualization, an option that states ” Treasure”. Click it. That’s it, you can see now your map as an old middle aged map. They say you can find some hidden treasure chests, but I think it’d be very hard and time-consuming.

Munich vintage

But what happens when you wanna have a closer look? Well, unfortunately it zooms in until a definite distance, as they didn’t rendered all buildings and streets, just the main ones. However, if you choose the “Street view”, you will have a surprise having an old telescope-like look.

Munich landscape vintage

Aaaaand, that’s this year’s Easter Egg from Google Maps. Maybe not so special but, quite creative and entertaining. Have a look at your city. How much stuff is in it? Did you see the most interesting things?