Who are those cool guys?
Why that's Autodesk Labs Program Manager, Scott Sheppard, and Autodesk Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Kowalski. What's the only thing that could make them cooler? Why 3D glasses of course!
Actually we were fortunate to attend Bot & Dolly's viewing of the new Gravity movie starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Other Autodesk luminaries in attendance included members from the Office of the CTO (OCTO): Arthur Harsuvanakit, Evan Atherton, Jon Pittman, and Maurice Conti. And it wasn't just OCTO, other parts of Autodesk were represented by Carl Bass, Greg Eden, Matt Tierney, and Rama Dunayevich. Autodesk was well represented.
Bot & Dolly's contribution to the movie involved hooking cameras and scenery to robots. The robots then moved the cameras and scenery to create special effects that look like weightlessness. This style of filming also prevented motion sickness for the actors since they remained stationary while everything else revolved around them. The effect on screen though is that the actors are moving. So it was not a shock to us that the centerpieces for last night's gala were small-scale replicas of Bot & Dolly robots and looked like:
Autodesk's connection to the movie is that Bot & Dolly use Autodesk Maya to program their robots. They find that this makes for an easier user interface than manual robot programming. If you want to get an appreciation of what Bot & Dolly can accomplish, check out this 5 minute video:
With regard to Gravity, for all you astrophysicists out there, I do have a question:
- In zero gravity, a body in motion remains in motion until acted upon by another force.
- So if one is hurdling through space but then becomes tethered to a space craft, wouldn't the force end when the tethering caused the motion to stop?
That's the one part of the movie I didn't get, but overall the event and the movie were stellar. Thanks Bot & Dolly!
Gravity is alive in the lab.