CLOSE

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]

arrow
video
26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

Original image
iStock
arrow
video
Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
Original image
iStock

Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios