July 02, 2010
Zaragoza Spain the Hub for Latest in Robotics This WeekThe 2010 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference is taking place this week at the University of Zaragoza Spain. Research and development leader Willow Garage is there showing off PR2, which TMC News refers to as the most advanced personal robot in the world, PR2 is demonstrating how it can help people with their domestic chores, including folding a pile of clothes, sorting them and storing them.
PR2 is not alone. The presentations at this highly regarded conference are submitted months in advance by researchers working on algorithmic or mathematical foundations of robotics, robotics applications, and analysis of robotic systems. The final program which attendees are participating in this week, highlights the best work of its kind in every category.
300 robotics researchers from 25 countries show up and include companies like Google and Microsoft as well as universities and institutions like NASA. Displayed and demoed this week are robots outfitted with sensors that allow them to see, hear, touch and move, which will make the daily life of humans easier, help people with reduced mobility or perform dangerous tasks.
Another robot - Nao, a 58-centimeter (22-inch) tall creation of French firm Aldebaran Robotics, demonstrated that it could dance like in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, get up from the ground and even tell stories. And, among other demos, Spanish-based Robotnik showed off a highly sophisticated and mobile robot with the ability to deactivate explosives.
June 24, 2010
Pearltrees Raises $1.6 MillionPearltrees, a social web curation tool based in Paris-France, announced that it has raised $1.6 million in funding from European entrepreneurs and business angel investors, to accelerate international development.
Since the launch of the Pearltrees beta version in December 2009 at LeWeb in Paris, the social curation tool has developed a strong community. In order to accelerate the international development of Pearltrees, especially in the US, shareholders of the French start-up raised additional funding, totaling $4.6 million to-date.
Since last December, the growing community has pearled and organized nearly two million web pages. Moving far beyond simple bookmarking, Pearltrees users can select each other's pearltrees as a way to follow the topics they care about. Everyone can now browse pearltrees created by passionate users on various subjects, including food, politics, media, arts, travel, music and countless others.
Pearltrees Version 1.0 will be released later this year. Also refer to VentureBeat on the funding announcement.
June 20, 2010
Bookmarking Obsolete: New Needs & ApproachesMike Elgan's Computerworld post entitled Why Bookmarking is Obsolete brings up several useful and forward thinking points.
He writes about the web's growth since 1991 and says, "even after all these years, the way we find, navigate and save content on the Web works pretty much like it always did. Here's a page with text. Some of the words are hyperlinked, so when you click on them, you open another page. If you want to save something, there's a wide variety of tools that help you do so, but most people use the bookmarking feature built into their browsers, or social bookmarking sites."
The way we discover, find, curate and then access that content for reference later on is changing and needs to change if search and organization of content important to us is going to be truly useful. Enter human curation at its best. Elgan writes about social curation tool Pearltrees, a French-based start-up I consult to.
He explains its differentiation. "If you're a casual Web surfer looking for general content, Google, Bing Yahoo or Wikipedia are probably your best options for finding content. If you care mostly about what your friends think, then Facebook or Twitter or any number of the new social content-sharing tools might satisfy you. But for deep, savvy content, Pearltrees might be the best resource out there. It offers an easy way to find a large number of people who are very passionate about a variety of subjects and who have collected the kind of online content that true aficionados are seeking."
Photo credit: Media Futurist
June 16, 2010
Pearling the Best Food in San FranciscoI've always been a bit of a natural curator in that I love to collect things, save things, organize things, and later access those things for customization and sharing. Curation on the web is always more useful and relevant when it is "human creation" by people you trust. Wouldn't you rather go to a restaurant recommendation from someone you know and trust rather than through a random Yelp rating from someone who may or may not share your taste?
There's the organization aspect: I never got into delicious for example (it's just not for me), nor was I able to get my head around OneNote although I tried and my left brain tech buddy swears by it. I still use alphabetical lists by category and for the most part it works fairly well.
Then there's the human curation of that data into a format that makes sense for you and which may also be useful for others who think like you. Enter Pearltrees, a French company I've been consulting to, which is all about human curation of the web. Every time I play with Pearltrees or see newbies playing with it, I discover new ways the tool can be useful.
For example, during a food bloggers luncheon yesterday, I couldn't put my finger on the name of a San Francisco restaurant and googling what I thought it was or its category or location didn't seem to help. I tried my lists and sadly, it didn't seem to be there either.
And so off I went to Pearl. I had already created a Food Pearltree as well as a San Francisco one, so I decided to do a mashup and then add subcategories in a way that made sense to me. Here's the result of one new Pearltree I created called San Francisco restaurants:
Within the above categories I created, I can get as detailed and granular as I want. For example, take a look at my San Francisco sushi restaurants Pearltree in more details. Over time, I'll add to this Pearltree and perhaps borrow other people's ideas and suggestions for sushi I might like to try.
Rather than share an entire Pearltree of content inside my blog, I could choose to just share one pearl alone. For example, below is a pearl of some of my favorite Italian restaurants in San Francisco.
I'm looking forward to seeing new ways people will use Pearltrees to share things like recipes, recommended hikes, the best boutiques in a particular city, food and wining pairings, and perhaps a Pearltree of restaurants to avoid in Berlin so I can be better prepared before my next trip to Europe. Quality human curation is becoming increasingly important and it's exciting to be part of this Web 3.0 innovation that is moving things further along.
Basketball Players' Moms in Ballpark All Star Moms Contest (using Social Media)This is pretty interesting. Basketball player Chris Paul retweets about his mom's involvement in the Ballpark All Stars Moms Contest using social media to share a few words. Here's a Fotobabble (talking photo) of Robin Paul, his mother sharing a little history about her children growing up and what she cooked.
June 08, 2010
Pearling the Best of D8: All Things Digital ConferenceOne of great things about Pearltrees is the ability to develop a compelling story or series of stories through the pearls you create around an event. There was so much noise and media and blog buzz following the D Conference (D: All Things Digital) last week, that having a series of links just wasn't as useful as gathering all of them into a Pearltree so I could view them later at ease, not to mention in a more visually interesting way.
Below is a Pearltree I created on D8 Blog coverage. And, of course I could have created whatever categories I wanted and displayed them in any way I chose.
Below is a Pearltree I created on D8 Media buzz.
Lastly, I created a Pearltree of the video coverage from the interviews with the D8 speakers.
June 04, 2010
Bob Rosenschein: Israel the Startup NationAnswers.com's Bob Rosenschein talks to this year's Israel Conference audience. He talks about his 25+ years in Israel, starting his Company, and the uniqueness of Israel as a start-up nation, a country full of innovators and leaders. He also shows us the latest from Answers.com, which includes mobile support and the ability to tweet your questions directly from Twitter.
May 28, 2010
Wall Street Journal (Digits) - It's Graduation Season for Robots tooLauren Goode reports on the Willow Garage PR2 graduation ceremony and celebration this past week in Menlo Park, CA.
KGO News on Robots GraduationABC's KGO Channel 7 News covered the news of Willow Garage's robot graduation and party this week.
May 27, 2010
First Robots Graduation in HistoryWillow Garage hosted the first robots graduation in history last night in their Menlo Park offices on Willow Road, the same road where Google was birthed.
CEO Steve Cousins and founder Scott Hassan gave an emotional speech about how Willow Garage got started, the vision behind it and everything that led up to this historical moment.
Hundreds of people gathered together for the celebration: friends, fans, employees, a couple of local mayors, press, bloggers and universities. Among the university attendees were the 11 recipients of the PR2 beta program, who flew in from around the world to get trained on their robots this week and to celebrate the honor.
Together with the visionaries at Willow Garage and the Directors of the Personal Robotics Program Keenan Wryobek and Eric Berger, the recipients will work hard in the coming two years to accelerate the growth of robotics research and development and yes, change the world.
Below, Keenan and Eric thanked the open source community, the recipients, other Willow Garagers and of course, the PR2 robots. As the winners were announced, the PR2s decided it was time for them to celebrate too, with a little flag waving and dance for the crowd. I think they were starting to realize that they now have fans.
Later on, the PR2s danced with the attendees and zipped around the floor to show off their abilities. And why not, last night was about celebration and giving thanks to a community who accomplished this great achievement. As Scott so rightfully put it at the beginning of the event - "we can't do it alone, we don't want to do it alone." With more effort, resources, passion and talent behind robotics, advancement can happen that much faster.
A few shots of the event, the speeches, the party and the dancing below. A thumbs up to ROS and the efforts of the Willow Garage team and recipients who are going to work together to make magical things happen in the next two years.
Eric Berger demonstrates PR2 in front of a group of bloggers and press
Eric Berger, Scott Hassan, Steve Cousins and Keenan Wyrobek
The Singularity Hub guys Keith Kleiner and Aaron Saenz
Googlers and friends showed up to celebrate
Yes, that's John Markoff in the Texai robot
The PR2 robot graduation ceremony, the first in history
Steve Cousins and Scott Hassan
Photo credit: Steve Brehaut
PR2 claps as his audience claps for him
Photo credit: Steve Brehaut
Jonathan Knowles, Renee Blodgett
Photo credit: Steve Brehaut
Photo credit: Steve Brehaut
Kamal Shah and Janet Rae Dupree
The deserving 11 recipients are:
• Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
• Georgia Institute of Technology
• Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
• MIT CSAIL
• Stanford University
• Technische Universität München
• University of California, Berkeley
• University of Pennsylvania, GRASP Laboratory
• University of Southern California
• University of Tokyo, JSK Robotics Laboratory
May 27, 2010 in America The Free, Client Announcements, Client Media Kudos, On Innovation, On Robotics, On Science, On Technology, On the Future, Social Gigs & Parties, Videos | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack