CloudGraphs: Part 2 – The CloudGraphs Architecture

The first of the CloudGraphs series introduced the problem statement: Let’s represent this nifty localization data in a cloudy graph database so that it can be distributed across a cloud system. This article follows up with the preliminary architecture, attempting to answer the ‘how’ and ‘why’. Why each technology in the first post’s stack? Well, let’s start with the informal ‘back-of-napkin’ architecture diagram below.

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Clouds and Giggles: Introduction to the CloudGraphs Project

In the interest of a bit of learning and initiating some public projects on SemiSorted, we’re taking on a cloud-based project! Dehann Fourie in the MIT CSAIL lab is working on a really impressive open-source pose estimation framework, and the idea is to learn cloud technologies by growing it into a distributed cloud solution. This whole project is a learning curve in Neo4j, MongoDB, CloudFoundry, and JuliaLang, and the articles will be written in the same way the project was executed: with haphazard enthusiasm and a bit (~lot) of hackery.

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A Quick Peek into Njord!

As I was writing the Maranifesto article, I took a quick look at the history of Semisorted blog posts. There’s a huge gap, from about April/May through to now. I feel bad about that, but there has been something  that we’re been working on that hasn’t been ready to discuss. Technically, it still isn’t, we’re still playing (the most productive state of being in my opinion)… And as soon as you start talking about it externally, for some unbeknownst reason that stops. So, a quick article to explain where I vanished… and then to probably vanish again for a bit.

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New Arrival! Eye-tracking…

I’m not a huge fan of doing hardware (p)reviews without some code and possibly an application, but couldn’t help posting this. It’s called an EyeTriberead more here – and it’s a pretty amazing piece of technology. Eye tracking is huge, and this Danish company seem to have it down…


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Mid-Sprint Update (June-August)

It’s the strangest thing, I never bothered sharing code in the past. Wrote it, tested it, mission accomplished… Put in the archive to harvest dust bunnies. Never crossed my mind that someone else may want it – pleasure was just in solving the problem itself. Well, since starting SemiSorted, I’ve realized it’s fun to release the codebase, discuss it a bit, and get some feedback. Maybe some of it takes up some traction, maybe it doesn’t (either way is a win). Half the fun is in scrambling to put the code together so that you have something to write up in a few hundred words, without it looking like a dog’s breakfast in the repository.

Well, most of the projects in this sprint are either work-related, or on the down-low until they can be demonstrated…

…And wow, there are some ridiculously cool projects/events that have happened in the last few weeks…

…Like, participating in a big hackathon in San Diego, playing with the latest cutting edge company software (mind=blown! Keep your eyes open, stuff is a complete gamechanger)…

…Like, the ARNerve project might be integrated into a robotics platform for a real-world application (no more Brookstone rovers for bots)…

…AND I can’t post pics/code/write about them…

…Which is driving me a little crazy. Amazing how quickly you get used to something.

Luckily, there is one project that I can whittle a few words away on for this sprint: Little Orc Wars. We’re actually actively trying to get some feedback – so I can write like crazy about it 😛 (read as: expect way more posts in the coming weeks).

Update: Little Orc Wars

Little Orc Wars is just about at a releasable version.  Also, it has a a growing LOW Beta Tester Group that you can join if you want to try it before release.

Yup, it’s free for beta testers because you’re giving us mission-critical feedback, just ask to join the facebook group!

Here’s a quick overview of the game elements – it still contains a lot of ‘features’ but we’re polishing those out as we speak – more to follow in the next few weeks!

– Sam

A Little Bit of Entertainment: Project OBW

During a big renovation in our offices, the front entryway was left a little scarce – just a blue wall with a little company logo… A little lacking for one of the biggest tech companies in the world, right? So, of course, we thought, “Heck, what an opportunity to play with fun hardware and build a novel welcome desk?”

Enter Project Occupy Blue Wall 🙂

Nadeem and I burnt a few late hours putting this together – It’s just a proof-of-concept design at the moment, but we installed it today to get a bit of user feedback, and so far everyone seems to like it (even with the few minor bug fixes throughout the day).

More to follow if we take it further, but if not I’ll open up the source code for feedback. It’s a lot lighter than ARNerve – but the effect is interesting… I’m curious whether there are other neat applications for light Natural User Interfaces (NUIs) such as this.

Btw – serious props to Nadeem for working late hours on this! Good teamwork on a fun project.

– Sam

Building vtk User Interfaces: Part 4 – LCM Integration

With the changes to the project over the last few months, I totally forgot to post this! LCM is pretty awesome and was used in the example with the Wrap 920 glasses, so here we go…

LCM (Lightweight Communications and Marshalling) is a communication framework that allows you to transfer messages between machines on a network. This post provides a quick overview of LCM and then shows how to integrate a few messages into a Python example project.

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