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3-D Without Four Eyes

Nintendo and Toshiba will bring glasses-free 3-D to portable devices

10 min read
Opening photo for this feature article.
Photo: Dan Saelinger; Prop Styling: Laurie Raab/Halley Resources

Beautifully animated figures seem to be leaping out of the game player I’m holding. Planes and cars are swooping toward me so convincingly that I’m actually flinching. The graphics are detailed; the colors are natural. I’ve never had a better 3-D experience, and here’s the best part: This handheld, multidimensional marvel, a prototype from 3M, doesn’t require me to wear those clunky, chunky 3-D eyeglasses.

New glasses-free 3-D devices are about to hit the market, and their backers are hoping they’ll make 3-D spectacles as obsolete as Smell-O-Vision. These gadgets, described as “autostereo” to distinguish them from the kind requiring eyewear, will include not only game consoles like the one I’ve been playing with but also cameras, cellphones, and tablet computers. Among the first will be autostereo 3-D TVs, just now hitting stores in Japan, and Nintendo’s 3DS handheld games console, due for release worldwide early next year.

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Paying Tribute to 1997 IEEE President Charles K. Alexander

The Life Fellow was a professor at Cleveland State University

4 min read
portrait of man smiling against a light background
The Alexander Family

Charles K. Alexander, 1997 IEEE president, died on 17 October at the age of 79.

The active volunteer held many high-level positions throughout the organization, including 1991–1992 IEEE Region 2 director. He was also the 1993 vice president of the IEEE United States Activities Board (now IEEE-USA).

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Robot Learns Human Trick for Not Falling Over

Humanoid limbs are useful for more than just manipulation

3 min read
A black and white humanoid robot with a malfunctioning leg supports itself with one arm against a wall

This article is part of our exclusive IEEE Journal Watch series in partnership with IEEE Xplore.

Humanoid robots are a lot more capable than they used to be, but for most of them, falling over is still borderline catastrophic. Understandably, the focus has been on getting humanoid robots to succeed at things as opposed to getting robots to tolerate (or recover from) failing at things, but sometimes, failure is inevitable because stuff happens that’s outside your control. Earthquakes, accidentally clumsy grad students, tornadoes, deliberately malicious grad students—the list goes on.

When humans lose their balance, the go-to strategy is a highly effective one: use whatever happens to be nearby to keep from falling over. While for humans this approach is instinctive, it’s a hard problem for robots, involving perception, semantic understanding, motion planning, and careful force control, all executed under aggressive time constraints. In a paper published earlier this year in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, researchers at Inria in France show some early work getting a TALOS humanoid robot to use a nearby wall to successfully keep itself from taking a tumble.

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Get the Rohde & Schwarz EMI White Paper

Learn how to measure and reduce common mode electromagnetic interference (EMI) in electric drive installations

1 min read
Rohde & Schwarz

Nowadays, electric machines are often driven by power electronic converters. Even though the use of converters brings with it a variety of advantages, common mode (CM) signals are a frequent problem in many installations. Common mode voltages induced by the converter drive common mode currents damage the motor bearings over time and significantly reduce the lifetime of the drive.

Download this free whitepaper now!

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