My Robot Nation

My Robot Nation is a new website which combines WebGL, robots, and 3D printing.  Consumers can make a robot on the site in full 3D, then have it 3D printed and shipped to their door!

Through the power of WebGL, you can customize your robot with different body parts, 3D parts, stamps, and colors.  Having it “just work” in a browser without needing to install any plugins means that users get a seamless experience.  Because our HTML5 GUI is totally integrated with the WebGL view in the browser window, we can provide the interaction and flexibility that consumers expect from a website.

Throughout the development of My Robot Nation, we were constantly amazed at how easy it is to use WebGL.  Whenever we needed to add a new feature or capability, it was done with a few lines of Javascript.  The flexibility and stability of WebGL meant that we could focus on the user experience, rather than fighting the technology.  Users can see everything happen in real time as they drag new 3D parts onto the model, rotate and place stamps, and pose their robot just right.  No waiting for a server to re-render a static image.  Of course, getting all of this to work seamlessly for the user was a large technical hurdle, resulting in a couple pending patents, but WebGL makes it all possible.

Because the robots are created in 3D, we have an accurate blueprint for the 3D printable geometry.  Once you have made your awesome robot, the model gets sent to the Robot Factory at Offload Studios, which 3D prints it for you in full color.  What you see in the browser is what is printed!

We love that consumers are able to get easy access to 3D printing.  Previously, only 3D modelers and artists with high-end software were able to use the technology.  But now, with a browser and WebGL, anyone can create their own personalized, customized robot!  And robots are just the beginning!

Mark Danks
My Robot Nation, Co-Founder
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The Khronos Group to invite Universities and Training Centers to Submit Open Course Content

The Khronos Group is pleased to invite Universities and Training Centers to Submit Open Course Content for Free KITE (Khronos Institute for Training & Education) Program

The Khronos™ Group www.khronos.org, maintainers of open standards such as OpenGL®, OpenCL™, WebGL™ and many other universal graphics, parallel computing and mutlimedia APIs for over 10 years, is very excited to extend this formal invitation to you for early participation in our soon-to-be-announced KITE initiative.

Khronos standards have existed for over a decade and we are proud to begin the next steps in outreach – education.

KITE is a cooperative effort between the Khronos Group, its individual members and worldwide educational institutions to provide free, web-based resources and Wiki hosting of Khronos-approved educational materials for teachers and students. We are building a repository of open courseware from universities and colleges worldwide and invite your participation.

Designed to facilitate communications and enable project collaboration between educators, students, researchers and Khronos Group members, KITE will offer reference materials and coursework covering all of the Khronos Group programming solutions, including its acclaimed OpenGL family of desktop and mobile 3D graphics APIs, OpenCL heterogeneous computing, OpenMAX™ multimedia frameworks and many more.

Due to your involvement as a leading member of the web community of CG educators, professionals and companies we offer you this early opportunity to become join us in this exciting initiative. We are pleased to offer marketing resources to publicize your involvement in KITE when we launch in a few weeks. Let us know if you are interested.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and we hope you choose to participate in this exciting education initiative.

Benefits to Educators

Educator benefits will include

  • free online listings in the KITE directory as well as sharing open courseware
  • a reduction in necessary prep time for Khronos-related materials
  • peer-reviewed courseware from colleagues
  • sharing real-world teaching experiences
  • leveraging of Khronos members to find industry placements
  • internships and sale prices on premium courseware

While all teaching institutions are invited to submit content for review (and if approved to have upload and sharing privileges), a teaching institution must be a Khronos Academic Member to receive enhanced promotion of their coursework and to have access to the “behind the scenes” communications on the KITE website.

Benefits to Students

Students all over the world will have access to a wide range of resources, including

  • “Study Hall” with industry materials and forums for courseware discussions with lecturers
  • “The Quad” for online meet-ups for students to discuss projects and news
  • a notice board to find internships, competitions and projects offered by Khronos Members
  • “Roving Reporter” opportunities to report back on industry activities and to share demo videos and interviews.

Details on Course Content Submissions

If you have course content, reference materials, and/or presentations and are willing to help us build a world-class facility to share this with others interested or involved in open standards, please contact:

Jonathan Hirshon
Principal, Horizon PR
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Phone: +1 (415) 952-3001

1991 Was a Very Good Year…

…And if you’ve been involved in computer graphics since then, I encourage you to become a Siggraph Pioneer!

Hi, my name is Jon Peddie, and I’ve been appointed president of the SIGGRAPH Pioneers. If you’ve been playing with pixels for the past 20 years or more, I invite you to the SIGGRAPH Pioneers’ reception in the Vancouver Convention Centre on Tuesday August 9, 2011 at 18:00, and to please consider membership in our organization.

The SIGGRAPH Pioneers are part of ACM, and if you’re an ACM member, Pioneer membership is just $5.00 on top of your ACM membership. If you’re not a member of ACM, you probably should be; and you can join ACM and become a SIGGRAPH Pioneer at the same time for just $47.00.

Being a SIGGRAPH Pioneer is fun and a great way to give back to the community! At the very least – as a Pioneer you get to attend our annual SIGGRAPH reception with a terrific speaker. If you want to do more, the Pioneers also sponsor scholarships and offer mentor tours of the SIGGRAPH activities to aspiring high school students, 16 years and older, who have demonstrated interest in art, design, computer animation, interactive technologies, architecture, modeling, math, and science.

To learn more about the SIGGRAPH Pioneers go here: http://www.siggraph.org/programs/pioneers. If you are not joining but would like to come to the reception as my guest, please let me know by reply email. I have a limited number of guest passes, so it’s “first-come, first-serve.” Once I run out of guest passes, the guest fee is $20.00. The reception is included in the Pioneers/ACM dues.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you and meeting you at the reception.

Jon Peddie
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COLLADA Conformance Testing: Toward a More Efficient Content Pipeline

A clear message emanating from the 3D content creation community these days is that the plethora of content creation tools, no matter how they are deployed, or for what 3D graphics market they are intended, do not interface seamlessly in a content pipeline. However, today’s content rich world increasingly demands such a seamless integration of tools but such a highly functioning content pipeline is still not a reality in practice. Relying on one or two proprietary standards may suffice near term to achieve an artist’s or engineer’s goals, but is not likely sustainable for all the reasons that make large corporate “standards” difficult to adopt and adhere to long term. What can stand the test of time is a robust content interchange standard, accessible in a way possible for implementers to take advantage of to achieve maximum pipeline efficiency. COLLADA offers this and the Khronos Group is making the COLLADA 1.4 conformance test suite more widely available as the next phase in this vision for a open standard content pipeline.

Not for nothing is the ethos of the digital world becoming increasingly about openness. Digital citizens are realizing that the more proprietary the tools and formats, the more constrained they are, and the more money and time they have to spend in order to get their work done. Tools and formats that use open standards enable them to be more productive and creative because components move effortlessly along the pipeline, freeing up creators to do what they do best: make cool content. Is it any wonder that folks are becoming impatient with the old way of doing things?

Khronos COLLADA conformance is designed for the forward-thinking tool developer and provider: you. Conformance testing your products and regression testing your tools confers valuable benefits: highly interoperable tools, credibility and good will, protection against product regression, easy-to-create use cases, streamlined procurement, clear customer expectations, and consistency of implementation with other vendors, not to mention happy and productive users. 

What the Tests Are

COLLADA conformance involves running a suite of automated tests on your product(s) and tools to prove objectively, there are no opinions involved, that they conform to the COLLADA 1.4 specification. The test suite includes over 500 test cases and a scripted framework that you integrate your software command line with in order to drive your software through the tests. 

COLLADA isn’t a rendering standard, although you must be able to render to be integrate with the conformance testing framework. The tests are about parsing syntax and implementing correct semantics and comparing images is just one method used to prove compliance. That doesn’t mean all your output has to have the same look, though. COLLADA documents can describe whatever visual appearance you or your customers want. COLLADA offers extensible lighting models and direct access to industry standard GPU shading languages, for example.

Levels of COLLADA Compliance

There are three levels of COLLADA compliance that are automatically tested by the suite:

  • COLLADA Baseline. Basic geometry and appearance interoperability
  • COLLADA Superior. Adds dynamic lighting (normals), skinning, and animation interoperability
  • COLLADA Exemplary. Supports and preserves the most information robustly

Best practices 

Alan Hudson of Yumetech, Inc., the company contracted by Khronos to complete development of the COLLADA conformance test suite in cooperation with the COLLADA working group, offers these tips for getting the most out of the conformance process:

  • Read the documentation carefully and often
  • Run the installer in administrator mode (Windows)
  • Use the external software dependencies that come with the tests

Obtaining the COLLADA Test Suite

The Khronos Group is pleased to offer the COLLADA 1.4 conformance test software to registered developers. Please visit our web site at http://www.khronos.org/implementers to obtain your copy today!

OpenGL ES 2.0.25 spec updates released

The OpenGL ES Working Group has released version 2.0.25 of the OpenGL ES 2.0 Specification, including a number of minor bugfixes and clarifications, in the OpenGL ES Registry.

Welcome to the Khronos Registry Blog

Per request on the opengl.org forums, we're starting up this blog to notify developers of updates to the Khronos API Registries, including the OpenGL registry on OpenGL.org, and the EGL, OpenCL, OpenGL ES, OpenKODE, OpenSL ES, and OpenVG registries on Khronos.org. Initially it will be done by hand and only note update we think are significant, but we may hook the blog up automatically to all updates.

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