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The clever designers at Chicago’s Tanagram adapted code developed to recognize those little black-and-white augmented-reality markers (“fiduciary markers”) for target acquisition on a DARPA-funded robot that can autonomously deliver humanitarian aid and other supplies to 20′ square markers unrolled on the ground.

What’s great about fiducial marker tracking technology is that it is pre-built to handle the marker being viewed at ANY angle (including nearly flat) in the crappiest of lighting conditions. A marker does not have to be smack in front of the camera to be recognized. Another added bonus is that it is easy to embed a two-dimensional barcode within the marker.

Their system can recognize 64 distinct markers, which opens up the possibility, for instance, of delivering particular types of supplies to particular places in a refugee camp. [Thanks, Joseph!]

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Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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