MachinePix Weekly #11
A full-size Gundam mecha, and an evolutionary biology explanation for why they don't really make sense 🤖🦖
Some last minute changes and a postponement of this week’s interview, but I’ll have something exciting for you next week 🌚
The most popular post last week was a full-scale Gundam model at a Japanese amusement park. As always, the entire week’s breakdown is below the interview.
I’m always looking for interesting people to interview, have anyone in mind?
The Week in Review
Prosthetic makeup and masks use several discrete parts, usually made of latex foam, to allow a range of movement and expressions. This was a motion test and you can see the commercial results here.
The Singapore LRT website lists this feature as “smart glass”, which isn’t very helpful. A follower pointed out that it’s likely Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) glass, one of the two ways to implement switchable glass (featured in another popular @MachinePix post).
I learned that the fountains these balls are installed in have a technical name, “Kugel Fountains”, and then I was disappointed to learn that “kugel” is just German for “ball”. Fun fact: these balls do not float (they are denser than water)—they are supported by hydroplaning.
A great example of a very scoped, very useful implementation of Augmented Reality. @MachinePix has also posted another, more macabre example.
This week’s most popular post. Huge mechas don’t really make sense on Earth because they run into the same challenge as huge animals: mass increases cubically as muscle power (or hydraulic power in the case of a mech) increases by a factor of two. This is kind of like a biological analog of the Tyranny of the Rocket Equation. At some size, the support structure is too heavy for to move.
That said, who cares—I want to see the Gundam.
I’ve been practicing with the CNC embroidery machine, and it’s a more complicated than I would have thought. Partially because working with compliant material like textiles is challenging, and partially because the tools to digitally define patterns are not well maintained. Curiously, Linus Torvalds—creator of Linux—is the author of an open source embroidery machine file converter.
If you enjoyed this newsletter, forward it to friends (or interesting enemies). I am always looking to connect with interesting people and learn about interesting machines—reach out!