KUKA and Microsoft Collaborate to Create the Next Generation of Robotics

KUKA Robotics a leading manufacturer of industrial robots and solutions for factory automation, has created a self-standing robot that puts various parts together on the assembly line offering a wide range using the Microsoft IoT platform and Windows platform. With Windows Tablets, KUKA staff has anywhere access to monitor the robot’s productivity and proactively respond to robot’s issues or malfunctions.

https://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2015/04/17/kinect-sensor-lets-manufacturing-robot-know-to-slow-down-or-stop-when-humans-are-approaching/

Computer-Assisted Authoring of Interactive Narratives

Link to project page and press release: http://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/computer-assisted-authoring-of-interactive-narratives/

This paper explores new authoring paradigms and computer assisted authoring tools for free-form interactive narratives. We present a new design formalism, Interactive Behavior Trees (IBT’s),
which decouples the monitoring of user input, the narrative, and how the user may influence the story outcome. We introduce automation tools for IBT’s, to help the author detect and automatically resolve inconsistencies in the authored narrative, or conflicting user interactions that may hinder story progression. We compare IBT’s to traditional story graph representations and show that our formalism better scales with the number of story arcs, and the degree and granularity of user input. The authoring time is further reduced with the help of automation, and errors are completely avoided. Our approach enables content creators to easily author complex, branching narratives with multiple story arcs in a modular, extensible fashion while empowering players with the agency to freely interact with the characters in the story and the world they inhabit.

A Layered Fabric 3D Printer for Soft Interactive Objects

Link to publication page: http://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/a-layered-fabric-3d-printer-for-soft-interactive-objects/

We present a new type of 3D printer that can form precise, but soft and deformable 3D objects from layers of off-the-shelf fabric. Our printer employs an approach where a sheet of fabric forms each player of a 3D object. The printer cuts this sheet along the 2D contour of the layer using a laser cutter and then bonds it to previously printed layers using a heat sensitive adhesive. Surrounding fabric in each layer is temporarily retained to provide a removable support structure for layers printed above it. This process is repeated to build up a 3D object layer by layer. Our printer is capable of automatically feeding two separate fabric types into a single print. This allows specially cut layers of conductive fabric to be embedded in our soft prints. Using this capability we demonstrate 3D models with touch sensing capability built into a soft print in one complete printing process, and a simple LED display making use of a conductive fabric coil for wireless power reception.

Introducing StaffPad

StaffPad is a revolutionary new music notation application for Windows 8.1 and Surface.

StaffPad allows composers, musicians, students, teachers – anyone interested in music – to write notation by hand directly onto virtual manuscript. StaffPad features advanced handwriting recognition, and will convert your music into a beautifully typeset score. Experience the magic of writing with StaffPad by getting it exclusively from the Windows Store.

Visual Studio 2013 – Clean Solution

I recently upgraded a project from Visual Studio 2010 / .NET4.0 to Visual Studio 2013 (update 4) / .NET 4.5.
Code that was working for weeks, didn’t work anymore (exceptions in Caliburn.Micro).

Summary:
I reinstalled all my Nuget packages, verified the public key tokens of the libraries via the Strong Name Tool (SN.exe -T my.dll), did “Clean Solution”, “Rebuild Solution”, rewritten code, etc…

In a desperate action I manually cleaned every bin and obj folder in my Workspace.
After this action the code started to work again.

Then I was wondering: Does the “Clean Solution” in Visual Studio 2013 work different compared to Visual Studio 2010.
An internet stranger gave me a good hint:

“Sorry, but this is simply not true. It does not delete the contents of /obj which are the root of the problem. At least this is the situation with VS 2013 update 3.”

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/755382/i-want-to-delete-all-bin-and-obj-folders-to-force-all-projects-to-rebuild-everyt#comment41784938_755390

After searching some more, I was happy that I was not the only one who had problems with Visual Studio 2013 and the Clean Solution:

“However, once I’ve converted my projects to Visual Studio 2013 I star receiving error on build or deploy:”

http://kitsula.com/Article/How-to-remove-bin-obj-folder-before-build-deploy

Conclusion: if you upgrade to Visual Studio 2013 and receive strange exceptions, clean the obj directories manually or change your project file to remove the obj directory before each build via the BaseIntermediateOutputPath property/parameter.

By default the BeforeBuild and AfterBuild are not used. You can see this by unloading your project in Visual Studio and then right-mouse click it and select Edit:

<!-- To modify your build process, add your task inside one of the targets below and uncomment it. 
       Other similar extension points exist, see Microsoft.Common.targets.
  <Target Name="BeforeBuild">
  </Target>
  <Target Name="AfterBuild">
  </Target>
  -->

Uncomment the BeforeBuild.
Your project file should now contain this:

<!-- To modify your build process, add your task inside one of the targets below and uncomment it. 
       Other similar extension points exist, see Microsoft.Common.targets. -->
  <Target Name="BeforeBuild">
    <RemoveDir Directories="$(BaseIntermediateOutputPath)" />
  </Target>
  <!--<Target Name="AfterBuild">
  </Target>-->

Information on the BaseIntermediateOutputPath property/parameter:

 “The top-level folder where all configuration-specific intermediate output folders are created. The default value is obj\. The following code is an example:  <BaseIntermediateOutputPath>c:\xyz\obj\</BaseIntermediateOutputPath>”

If you receive the Error after changing the project:

 Unable to remove directory “obj\”. The directory is not empty

Go have a look at this url: http://forums.asp.net/t/1976253.aspx
It might also be related to Visual Studio 2013…

Info:
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/k5b5tt23(v=vs.110).aspx
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/5ak1w89s.aspx
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb629394.aspx