Tag Archives: flight control

Environmental Health Clinic

11 Dec

In November I had the opportunity to visit and speak at the Environmental Health Clinic in NYU’s Steinberg school, which is run by Natalie Jeremijenko.  The clinic deals with regular people’s concerns about the health of the environment, and through a consultation, they devise various experiments and interventions to both measure the health of the environment. The photo above was taken immediately after the talk. I had been drafted into the Imaginary Airforce to retrieve a dead woodpecker for examination. Why are we triking across Manhattan to retrieve a dead woodpecker? I’m just a draftee they don’t tell me these things The X Clinic or Environmental Health Clinic is researching bird wings to better build a flight simulator to allow people to experience flight viscerally again.  As commercial flight is a completely insulated experience, so simulated flight via the Strap on Flight Trainer [sorry I have a huge problem with this name. I think wearable is a much less alienating name.  I get the point, of course, but I don’t think it adds to the project] is experienced completely via the body, on a one to one basis.  That we should experience things physically should not be anything special, but these days the technological and digital mediation of experience is getting such that purely physical experiences are becoming academic.

I had a short discussion with Natalie about methods to construct this flight trainer in larger numbers.  The current design is fine for a beginner, but I also see limitations on finer controls. Control surfaces should be operated via the fingers in an advanced model, and perhaps a skin and bone construction.  I will try to find some time for modeling and prototyping in the New Year.

Spatial User Interface – gspeak spawned Minority Report…and Macross suits?

26 Nov

I just came across oblong industry’s gspeak user interface.  It was the inspiration for Minority Report’s UI.

But more than a gestural interface, gspeak incorporates a lot of things I don’t understand, including things like recombinant networking and real world pixels.  I think the recombinant networking describes the interoperability, or modular nature of the code components.  If unix is a mass made of single purpose code structures, then the recombinant networking is the same, except that each structure can be reconnected to other structures and combined to perform new functions( I think ). I think a rough analogy would be k’nex versus lego, where k’nex pieces are generally single purpose(I think, I never played with k’nex) and require specialized connectors, lego pieces are complete in themselves and can be recombined with any other piece(almost).

The prototype applications include air traffic data management and real time video editing.  I see it as a possible way to a kinesthetic flight control, as well as a real time flight data management.  With the large bandwidth and high resolution control, coupled with the gestural and spacial input/output, digitally mediated real world mechanical and electrical system manipulation can occur.  Instead of a generalized, abstracted flight control of the stick and pedals, humans pilots can have a more direct, visceral and kinesthetic experience of flight.