Demistifying DSVL Configuration

directx-logoIn my previous post I just mentioned how we can use ARToolkit in conjunction with a 3D rendering engine. The camera connection was made by the ARToolkit via DSVL (DirectShow Video Library) . As I promised, through this post, I’ll expose how we can configure DSVL with its supported parameters.

DSVL is a wrapper for DirectShow which in turn is a part of DirectX. We all know that DirectX is the prominent media framework used in windows platforms. Other than DirectShow, Direct3D and DirectSound also come under the brotherhood of DirectX. So what is the specialty of DirectShow? In computers data can be generated in many places, such as file system, network, TV cards or video cameras etc. And data which is produced at each of these locations take many formats. Therefore front-end applications have to explicitly communicate with these underlying data sources and deal with its formats. Obviously this would be pretty cumbersome and overwhelmingly incompatible with different hardware devices. This is where DirectShow comes in to handy. It synchronizes and unifies all the communication flow between our application and the underlying hardware. In particular DirectShow talks directly with the camera drivers, capture card drivers etc… and provide feedback for the user application. This is the simplest way we can understand it, but for more details go here http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd375454(v=vs.85).aspx .

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Combining ARToolkit & OGRE

AR and OGRE

It’s wonderful to see AR Applications, running within our physical environment. For an average guy it really looks like magic. But creating that magic was never easy. A professional magician always has to acquire a proven set of tools and techniques in order to deliver a realistic illusion. So as with the developer! For years ARToolkit served as the fundamental set of software package for crafting AR applications. However it becomes more rewarding to combine ARToolkit with a 3D Graphics Rendering Engine so that a one can create his own 3D graphics or even an animation and turn them into Augmented Reality. Therefore the objective of this article is to share my own experience in combing an AR application with a 3D rendering engine.

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Nature – Is it Just a Coincidence?

It seems to be quite a coincidence how things happen in nature. For instance blooming flowers, reproduction of species, waveforms in the sea appears to be random and chaotic.  There’s no one behind driving these forces. It’s driven by the nature itself. However further insights into these chaotic motions of nature, reveals something unbelievable. That is, things happen in nature according to a pattern.

Obviously nature organizes things in the most effective and easiest manner. Large formations are constructed by combining smaller parts. Yet these large formations are similar in shape to the smaller components. The fern leaf is the best example. The whole fern leaf was formed as a result of recursive placement of smaller leaflets. This phenomenon is known as Fractals – self similar patterns. Self-similar patterns can be seen everywhere. Rock formations, growth pattern of a leaf, surface of broccoli & Cauliflower, Fractal Mountains, lightning, and even clouds express this nature. The growth pattern of fractals are predictable, they are not just random. The following describes how. Continue reading “Nature – Is it Just a Coincidence?”

Turing Machines – A Review

It’s known that the Turing machine was the first theoretical model of modern day computers. But it’ll be a fruitful effort to find out why? The fascinating thing was it’s still capable of computing most of the existing computer operations including basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, etc…) into much complex algorithms. Therefore it’s worth digging down deep into this idea and see how it relates to (or how it does) computer operations.

The bare roots of Turing Machines go back into the theory of computation. During the early decades of 1900’s there’s been an increasing demand for a machine capable of computing. Obviously this was a part of several military projects run by allied groups for gaining victory over the war. So that, this signifies the necessity for defining the science behind computing. Generally, the computational theory consists of three parts.

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Remote Human-Robot Operations with Adjustable Autonomy

CuriosityThis article was based on the work carried out by [1]. In future NASA’s space missions will include more and more interactive robots. The Curiosity rover that has been recently sent to Mars was a good example for that. These kinds of robots require new remote operation mechanisms for effective use. In such a tele-operated context, a human team should constantly supervise the robot and manually perform tasks whenever needed.

An important aspect of such operations is the ability to allocate tasks between humans and robots effectively. This capability was known as Adjustable Autonomy (Adaptive Autonomy) so that the automation can be smart enough to achieve the autonomy required according to changing situations. Human-robot interactions are closely related to adjustable autonomy, and they both go side-by-side. Apparently, human robot operations are highly dependent upon the scenario so that they become specific to a given robot, thus making it hard to generalize them. Given below is a sub-set of such human robot operations. Continue reading “Remote Human-Robot Operations with Adjustable Autonomy”

Hunting the Talented

Job Hunt

Talent hunting emerges as a war around the world with the hightened demand for new IT projects. Not all IT professionals are suitable in a soft job market. In the IT world there are always skills shortages in growing technologies, like HTML 5 for instance. According to Dice.com, it predicts that people with .NET, mobile application development, virtualization & cloud computing skills have no trouble finding work.

However in most cases, people specializes only one particular field. But future hiring trends will mainly focus on people with right combination in technical skills and soft skills. More specifically, talent hunting on tomorrow will be wrapped around on all-rounding performers.

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How to get Malaysian Visa in Sri Lanka.

Please note that this content is now obsolete as the embassy has changed its visa process entirely. The embassy has outsourced this process to a third party agent and so the applicants are now required to submit their paperwork to this agent located at World Trade Center Colombo. This turns out to be a good movement since now the people do not need to line up and wait outside the embassy, as they used to be in earlier. But this facility comes at the expense of an increased visa fee – which is Rs. 5000/- per head  at the moment of writing this post.

I’m writing this in the hope of helping someone who’s seeking a Malaysian visa. Literally I was trying for a student visa. Long story short, it was a pretty bad experience for me. However finally I managed to get it endorsed. Here’s how it goes.

First you need to get an application form. I must say that even in this computer age, the embassy seems to be still in a amateur stage that it doesn’t provide its own website to download the application form. So you got to go there physically and ask for it at a cost of Rs.30.

With the completed form, you have to again go there and please make sure that you make there at your earliest. Otherwise you would end up towards the latter part of a long queue. Embassy already has a fixed time slot from 9.00 am to 12 pm for applicants to submit their applications. They take only 50 applicants inside. Please find below the item list
that you have to bring along and make sure you got them all. Continue reading “How to get Malaysian Visa in Sri Lanka.”