Today is my mother Stephanie's birthday. She turned 98.
Virtual reality is the hot cool technology for recreational
computing, gaming and media consumption. A cool gift for serious VR gaming is the
Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset - Windows
or if you want a self-contained unit that does not need a PC, there is the
Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset – 128GB - Windows - Oculus Quest - 128GB Edition.
The Quest combined the portability of a smart phone with many state-of-the-art features in VR headset design.
The 2019 IROS conference was in Macau this November (the International Conference on Robots and Systems). As robotics continues to grow in relevance and impact, so too does the size of the conferences and the quality of the work being presented.
A highlight of the meeting for me personally was a workshop on data sampling, titled “Informed Scientific Sampling in Large-scale Outdoor Environments”. It was organized by Johanna Hansen, Sandeep Manjanna, Oscar Pizarro, Victor Zykov, and myself. The workshop featured a range of interesting and provocative talks. Stefan Williams gave a great overview of his portfolio of work in marine data collection and robotics. I
The talk by Ágata Alveirinho Dias Called “Diving into the unknown: robotics as tools to study the deep-sea” was refreshing, since it addressed challenges from the geology community.
Macao itself is a truly strange place. The tourist-oriented parts are like Las Vegas on steroids. There is a multi-colour Eiffel Tower, an indoor recreation of Venice including gondola rides, and more casino gambling that I could bear.
Self-driving buses or driving along one selected route in Montreal as part of a pilot project to evaluate the technology. The route is a special one mostly on the grounds of the Olympic park. The busses and associated tech are developed by EasyMile. This follows the adoption of an Electric Autonomous (ELA) vehicle pilot project along a kilometre-long stretch of 50 Street in Beaumont, Alberta.
These are interesting developments, but much more rarified and restricted scenarios that the larger scale self-driving car tests taking place in the US by big companies like Wymo.
I'm visiting Seoul again. It's unusual for the combination of very limited use of English by people on the street, yet a very easy and pleasant experience for a visitor. Of course, this ease is contingent on the availability of a data plan, a good map application, and a willingness to explore on foot as needed.