AI • Robotics kit • Jan 2021
An exciting new robotics kit that is both highly versatile yet simple to use is being launched onto the market by ed-tech pioneers pi-top • Already billed as one of the “coolest” new computer devices of last year by Microsoft’s Jeff Teper, the pi-top  Robotics Kit is being officially presented at the first-ever virtual edition of CES
The unique, game-changing robotics toolset which combines all the power of the Raspberry Pi with the robust modularity of LEGO Technic is the long-awaited addition to the pi-top product range. It works when plugged into the pi-top , the world’s first Raspberry Pi 4 powered, go anywhere, do anything computer.
The pi-top combo caught the attention of Teper, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive, at the .NET Conf in November 2020. After catching a sneak preview of remote Computer Science with pi-top smart rover, .NET interactive Microsoft Bot & Microsoft Teams, Teper said that “in the last year of seeing so much creativity in remote education via #MicrosoftTeams this is one of the coolest yet.”
The pi-top  has already become a popular portable computer amongst the making community and in schools worldwide since it was launched in 2019. Makers and pupils alike are able to create a wide variety of electronics projects using an ever-expanding range of kits and accessories. These include a ‘bento box’ of components including LEDS, buzzers, connectors and sensors, the pi-top FHD Touch Display and Bluetooth Keyboard.
Coupled with the revolutionary new pi-top  Robotics Kit, makers will now be able to go that one step further in their creations thanks to the device’s own amazing electronic components such as a wide-angle camera, servos and motors. The kit itself is made up of strong metallic build plates and brackets that snap together with rivets in a limitless number of configurations.
Whether designing an automated vehicle, creating a smart city, or making the coolest drone in the class, pi-top  Robotics Kit will be able to help.
Jesse Lozano, co-founder of pi-top, said last night: “We’re really excited about the launch of the pi-top  Robotics Kit. It’s the culmination of years of work by everyone at pi-top and feels like the final piece of the puzzle. Our pi-top family is complete (for the moment)!
“The sky's the limit for anyone using our pi-top  computer in conjunction with the pi-top  Robotics Kit. Whether it’s a robot you’d like to make, or an environmental station or autonomous vehicle, they’re the only tools you need.
“We can’t wait to see what makers will create with our Raspberry pi powered toolset.”
Another factor that makes the pi-top  Robotics Kit stand out from other products on the market is that it offers users unique access to a powerful suite of open-source libraries. Makers will have the choice of working in any open-source software from Python to Robot Operating System (ROS) and even full deployment in a .NET environment.
pi-top’s Robotics Kit is the culmination of more than six years of work which began in 2014 when Lozano and co-founder Ryan Dunwoody set out to create the world’s first 3D printed laptop. pi-top now employs a global team and their products are used around the world in thousands of homes, maker spaces and schools.
The pi-top  Robotics Kit with Expansion Plate will be available to buy in the US for $199.90 from Amazon, b8ta stores, Newark, Digi-Key, Chicago Electronics and Arrow. Other international outlets include Elmwood Electronics in Canada, Farnell in the UK and The Brainary in Australia (pi-top  required and sold separately).
The 51st edition of CES - the world’s most influential tech event - will take place exclusively online from January 11th to 14th 2021. To find out more about the event, go to the website here. • 1/21
Canon • Storyteller • Aug 2020
Canon celebrates this alliance with exciting initiatives, from the Canon Female Photojournalist Grant and the inaugural Canon Video Grant through to Canon's Student Development Programme • Visa pour l'Image 2020 goes digital
For the 31ˢᵗ year, Canon Europe is proud to announce it will partner with Visa pour l'Image, one of the world's leading photojournalism festivals, during the Pro Week – from 29th August – 5th September 2020. This long-standing partnership highlights Canon's commitment to photojournalism, from students learning the craft to professionals breaking boundaries in the field. Once again, Canon celebrates this alliance with exciting initiatives, from the Canon Female Photojournalist Grant and the inaugural Canon Video Grant through to Canon's Student Development Programme. This year, due to social distancing measures, some exhibitions will take place as usual in Perpignan, France, while others - including talks, awards, portfolio reviews, screenings and presentations - will be held virtually.
Amine Djouahra, Sales and Marketing Director at CCNA said: "It is always a proud moment for Canon to be able to consistently support forums like Visa pour L'Image. 2020 has been particularly rewarding as we welcomed entries from more markets, especially Africa, into the competition for the first time. We are also proud to be a proactive supporter of women's progression in the imaging industry, and finally we anticipate an inspiring exhibition of work from all finalists."
2020 sees the fourth edition of the Canon Student Development Programme – dedicated to those who want to pursue a career in photography and photojournalism. Running from 1st – 5th September, and being held digitally for the first time, Canon will host over 220 photography students from across Europe, Middle East and Africa in an intensive developmental programme. This initiative aims to enhance their skills and advance students' careers by introducing them to some of the top professionals in the industry, through webinars and portfolio reviews. This year, there will be 24 professional photographers, including Canon Ambassadors - such as Muhammed Muheisen, Aïda Muluneh and Magnus Wennman - and photo editors reviewing student portfolios. The photo editors and curators participating include Sarah Leen, Kathy Ryan, Monica Allende, Nicolas Jimenez, Olivier Laurent, Whitney Richardson, Lekgetho Makola, Ekow Eshun and Bonnie Briant. Participating students will have images chosen from their portfolios for inclusion in a limited-edition book, due to be published later this year.
Starting on 1st September, as part of the Canon Student Development Programme initiative and open to all accredited visitors, there will be a series of inspirational lectures – taking place digitally – by world-renowned professionals. The first will be given by former Guggenheim Fellow, Jason Eskenazi, on the subject of 'Revisiting the Americans'. Other speakers include Visa pour l'Image's founder Jean-François Leroy, Gaia Tripoli of The New York Times, legendary photographer Sebastião Salgado and one of the most influential music and portrait photographers in the world, and film director, Anton Corbijn. A panel discussion will bring together leading voices to address the unique challenges Black and minority photographers and photojournalists face in the industry, underlining priorities for positive change and sustainable initiatives to encourage, nurture and sustain talent.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Female Photojournalist Grant, presented by Canon and Visa pour l'Image, which recognises an outstanding female photographer for her contribution to photojournalism. This year's recipient, Turkish photographer Sabiha Çimen, will be formally presented with the €8,000 grant in acknowledgement of her project – Hafiz: Guardians of the Qur'an. The project focuses on a 1,500-year-old tradition – where Muslims who completely memorise the Qur'an are then allowed to use the title 'Hafız' before their names – and the 8 to 17-year-old girls who attend the Qur'an schools to recite and memorise the 6,236 verses of the holy book of Islam so they can become Hafizas.
Last year's recipient of the Canon Female Photojournalist Grant winner and member of the VII Photo Agency, Anush Babajanyan (https://bit.ly/2D4KVLh), will showcase her project, A Troubled Home, both at Couvent des Minimes in Perpignan (images printed by Canon) and online. It focuses on large families in the South Caucasus where the government has encouraged the growth of the ethnic Armenian population. Anush began working in the region in 2016 when violence erupted during the Four Day War and wanted to explore the reasons behind the area's growing families.
Visa pour l'Image 2020 sees the presentation of the inaugural Canon Video Grant (https://bit.ly/31y3b9f). The first recipient is French-Swiss photographer and filmmaker Michaël Zumstein – the investigative journalist spends his time working on commissions for the French and international press, as well as on personal projects. Michaël will receive an €8,000 grant plus the loan of a Canon video camera and two cine lenses, in order to make a short documentary called Bangui la coquette, looking at the organization of Miss Central African Republic. The final version of the documentary will be screened at the 2021 festival.
A collective work, named The Pandemic, will showcase images by photographers from all over the world who have documented the largest global pandemic of modern times and the biggest story of the year – COVID-19. The collective exhibition includes an image from Fabio Bucciarelli's powerful and intimate reportage for The New York Times (https://bit.ly/2QqHVf8) and will take place at Couvent des Minimes in Perpignan and online, easily accessed through the Canon Digital Lounge. • 8/20
Technology • Health • Sep 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has permanently increased cleanliness and disinfection requirements on a global scale. In more than 60 countries worldwide, UVD Robots’ distributors are experiencing high demand from hospitals, airports, hotels, shopping malls, food companies, cleaning industries, cruise ships, pharmaceutical companies, office complexes and many others seeking to procure solutions to ensure infection-free environments.
“We have designed the world´s most advanced UV robot, which is also the world´s simplest to use,” says Per Juul Nielsen, CEO of UVD Robots. “Anyone can install the robot in a matter of minutes and immediately put it into operation, disinfecting bacteria and viruses from the air and any surface.”
The third-generation robot from UVD Robots can also navigate and operate in very small and narrow environments, which opens up new market opportunities such as the autonomous disinfection of small hotel rooms. The new robot has a significantly smaller footprint than its predecessor, yet boasts exactly the same disinfection strength.
“Our third generation autonomous mobile UV-C disinfection robot is the world’s first of its generation and definitely a game-changer in many ways, that will forever change the future of the use of UV-C robots for disinfection across a range of industries,” says chairman of the board of UVD Robots, Claus Risager, and continues, “The robot has an unrivaled safety system that uses four layers of safety, enabling the robot to move around in all kinds of environments - even in highly-trafficked areas - as it shuts down if people get too close. It has a unique capability to sense, document and show users how well disinfected an area is, enabling users to easily and quickly adjust the process and optimize the quality if needed. A feature not found in any other UV-C disinfection robot in the world. All these unique features are patented.”
This year, 2020, more 48-megapixel and 64-megapixel cameras will now officially come into people’s hands
Stepping into 2020, an article published on the Associated Press forecasts 5G, more screen forms, more megapixels, foldables, etc. are the technology innovations that most smartphone manufacturers are expected to prioritize in high-tech investment and continually enhance it in order to obtain the leading market position in terms of the creativity of products.
According to the article, more megapixels is going to be the key trend in 2020s, as standard of a camera nowadays has been of one of the most important elements and features judging a smartphone.
Development of networks and technology has caused very positive impacts on smartphone application software with social APPs springing out in the past few years. Human lifestyle changed accordingly: besides communication, people also share pictures and videos of life moments onto these platforms.
Spending time on social APPs becomes a ‘basic activity’ for people currently. This phenomenon requires a smartphone with high standard camera, resulting in users expecting more from their mobile photography.
Companies try their best to figure out ways to improve the pixel performance in order to meet people’s growing needs. Some devotes time and effort to the front camera; some works on multi-lens. Mobile photography is one of the most important standards when judging a smartphone. Within 20 years, the pixel has improved 640 times, which is a milestone for mobile photography.
Can you imagine that, in 1999, camera of phones was just 100 thousand pixels, with a single camera? Now smartphones can possess 64-megapixel, multiple cameras, thanks to the rapid development of technology. As Sony IMX586 and Samsung GM1 CMOS sensor have come to the market, most of the smartphones in 2019 carry a camera of 48 megapixels.
This year, 2020, more 48-megapixel and 64-megapixel cameras will now officially come into people’s hands. In 2020s, the smartphone industry will undoubtedly embrace a brand-new era of ultra-high pixel.
Once the new generation of this super high definition smartphones put into batch production in 2020, it will trigger the battle of camera pixel amongest the smartphone industry. It could be an indication that companies will competing to bring up new phones with even more powerful cameras, and possibly, even the ‘Billion megapixel’ may soon be brought into reality very soon.• 3/20