Hello JGO guys,
For the noobs, I am Tom of JOODE unfame. Before I get to my point, I'll give my quick background since I was active. JOODE (the java physics engine) was a tool for me to do robotics research in modular robotics, started as an undergrad some 6 years ago. Since my last commits, I did a PhD in robotics, in particular, motion planning for self-reconfiguring robots i.e. transformers. Now thats finished (phew! 5 years), I am spinning out a company which will build self-reconfiguring modular robotics hardware (if we get investment etc. etc. lots of unknowns so don't get too excited yet). Building this robotics kits is pretty hard, so we are trying to come up with a plan that incrementally builds the vision, one robotics application at a time (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsCKs31QB8Y
*). I would like to pitch one idea to you, to get feedback, to see if you like it. One of the simplest applications I can think of that is a robotic building block to greater things and is modular and that might have targeted appeal is: a 3D optical scanner.
The optical scanner would be 2 modules. One camera module, and one module that has a 360 degree rotating plate. The rotating plate is placed somewhere with an object upon it. The camera is placed elsewhere but with the rotating plate and object in view. The software then spins the object, and translates the information into a CAD model. These kind of system exists in the professional world, but I don't think their is really a hobby level one (http://www.david-laserscanner.com/
is software only). I thought this might be useful for indie game devs. because 3D artwork is hard to come by, and its probably quicker scanning objects than drawing them. Indie devs seem to prefer 2D, but maybe this is because 3D art takes too long??
I would love to hear if you would think this might be an item you would watch with interest, or whether it is totally inappropriate for the things you do. I truly welcome negative and positive feedback, and conflicting opinions. The better I can judge the appeal at this stage, the better I can allocate my time.
PS Minecraft is awesome, hooray for Java, hooray for JGO and hooray Markus! *351 views as of posting. If any of you are journalists then this is not a story as yet.