Website can Identify Birds Through Photos

A new website has crept up recently, created in a collaboration between Cornell University and Visipedia research project.

The website isn’t fully automated just yet; it current works off an image that you upload and then asks you to pinpoint certain features such as the beak, tail and eye(s). From here it will search through the millions of archived images from eBird.org and find matching images with known species. Along with other images and the possible species, it will give you sounds and songs that the bird is known to make

Along with other images and the possible species, it will give you sounds and songs that the bird is known to make. The only drawback is that the service only currently works on birds found in North America and Canada.

The system uses machine-learning technology, which betters itself the more it is used; Science professor Serge Belongie said:

“Computers can process images much more efficiently than humans—they can organize, index, and match vast constellations of visual information such as the colors of the feathers and shapes of the bill. The state-of-the-art in computer vision is rapidly approaching that of human perception, and with a little help from the user, we can close the remaining gap and deliver a surprisingly accurate solution.”

I tested out the service, but because I have zero knowledge on North American or Canadian birds; it didn’t work. However, the service did present me with similar images. The service is free to use but is currently unavailable on smartphones and tablets. It will be added to the Merlin app once all of the kinks have been sorted.

Are you an avid bird watcher? or do you have an image of a bird that you want to know the species of? Then head over to Merlin Bird Photo ID and take a look at what it has to offer.

Thank you to engadget for providing us with this information.

The Incredibles 2 Is Brad Birds Next Film

Can you remember the Incredibles? Pretty awesome film in my opinion. While promoting Tomorrowland, director Brad Bird confirmed that his next film will be the much awaited The Incredibles 2. Brad Bird wrote and directed the original Incredibles back in 2004. He recently confirmed that he was working on putting the sequel together.

“I had a lot of ideas for the original Incredibles that I didn’t get a chance to use that I like. I have ideas that I wanted to pursue a little bit and there wasn’t enough time in Incredibles. There are new ideas I have, and I think there are enough of those together to make an interesting movie. I’m just focusing on getting Tomorrowland out into the world and playing with the Incredibles sandbox again.” 

One of the keys to Pixar’s ability to do what it does is the giant, powerful render farm located in its main headquarters building. This is serious computing power, and on “Cars 2,” it required an average of 11.5 hours to render each frame.But some sequences were especially complex, particularly those involving ray tracing–which involves simulating light hitting surfaces, essentially “trying to simulate photons.” And as a result, a huge amount of computing power was needed to process frames that took as much as 80 or 90 hours to render.And that meant that the studio “bulked up our render farm.”He said that Pixar had to triple its size, and today, the render farm features 12,500 cores on Dell render blades. As well, the file servers, network backbone, and every other piece of the computing puzzle was boosted in order to handle the making of “Cars 2.”

We can expect Pixar to be using the render farm to its full capacity in the Incredibles 2 and we can only hope that there will be some stunning animation techniques.

 

Collider posted a YouTube video with Brad explaining all :

Thank you to cnet and comicbook for this information

Image courtesy of Pixar

Scientist Working On Nature Inspired Millimeter-Sized Drones

Drones are apparently not only becoming more common, but a lot smarter and smaller it seems. According to latest news, some research teams are currently looking into nature for answers in order to tackle the problems when designing new and improved drones.

From flying through narrow spaces to picking up objects, drones have plenty to learn from birds and other animals in the wild. However, the precision when looking at a flying drone depends entirely on its flight control. And where to get a better tutor than a which is born with the ability to fly.

This is the aim of some US-based groups scattered around the country. One of these groups is based in Harvard and is looking into creating a millimeter-sized drone which can manoeuvre in small, narrow and hard to reach areas. The drone at hand is reportedly inspired by flies or other winged insects, hovering in the air for extended periods of time. The team tasked with this project is hoping to gain a more detailed insight into insect population and even help in areas such as pollinating plants in the future.

Other groups such as the ones based in UNC Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University, or the University of California, are tasked with finding a way to create drones which can handle and perceive the elements of hot and cold or rain and heavy gusts of wind. The main objective for the latter teams is to come up with a wind-proof drone, having the hawk moth as the primary source of inspiration.

Thank you Daily Digest News for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Daily Digest News