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This Drone Uses Motion Tracking to Draw What You Draw

While developers of drone technology (and tech in general) seem to be focused on automation and smart functions these days, two students at MIT have developed a tethered drone that happens to be something of an artist. The machine uses a marker and motion tracking technology to follow the motion of the user's hands, drawing on a vertical surface whatever you draw on a horizontal one with a stylus.

According to FastCoDesign, Sang-won Leigh and Harshit Agrawal developed the "Flying Pantograph" as a part of MIT's Fluid Interfaces Group, a research collective that focuses on streamlining human-computer interactions. The drone is inspired by tools from the 17th century that were used to copy and resize a drawing onto another piece of paper. Leigh and Agrawal refer to it as an "expression agent" for the human controller. "Not only mechanically extending a human artist," they wrote in the Fluid Interfaces Group blog post, "the drone plays a crucial part of the expression as its own motion dynamics and software intelligence add new visual language to the art." As demonstrated in the video (above), moving the stylus quickly means that the drone's mimicry is interrupted as it tries to keep up, which in turn alters the image.

Future updates to the design could equal longer distances between the user and the drone, with or without a tether. FastCoDesign suggests that the tech could even be used for collaborative murals or to give those with certain disabilities the means to write on tall vertical surfaces. Check out the video above to see the drone in action, and head to the MIT Fluid Interfaces Group website to read more about the project.

Banner image via Vimeo

[h/t Nerdist / FastCoDesign]

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Afternoon Map
The Richest Person of All Time From Each State


Looking for inspiration in your quest to become a billionaire? This map from cost information website HowMuch.net, spotted by Digg, highlights the richest person in history who hails from each of the 50 states.

More billionaires live in the U.S. than in any other country, but not every state has produced a member of the Three Comma Club (seven states can only lay claim to millionaires). The map spans U.S. history, with numbers adjusted for inflation. One key finding: The group is overwhelmingly male, with only three women represented.

The richest American by far was John D. Rockefeller, repping New York with $257.25 billion to his name. Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates clock in at the third and fifth richest, respectively. While today they both make their homes in the exclusive waterfront city of Medina, Washington, this map is all about birthplace. Since Gates, who is worth $90.54 billion, was born in Seattle, he wins top billing in the Evergreen State, while Albuquerque-born Bezos's $116.57 billion fortune puts New Mexico on the map.

The richest woman is South Carolina's Anita Zucker ($3.83 billion), the CEO of InterTech Group, a private, family-owned chemicals manufacturer based in Charleston. Clocking in at number 50 is the late, great socialite Brooke Astor—who, though a legend of the New York City social scene, was a native of New Hampshire—with $150 million.

[h/t Digg]

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Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
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There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

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