All posts by ctasso

Coloring Books in 3D, The Perks of Being Young in 2015

Remember as a kid when you used to color in your coloring book? The appeal was either the characters in the book or the fact that you just got a new box of Crayons. Exciting.

Well, things have changed a little since then; recently Disney designed a augmented reality coloring book that allows individual’s to view their work in 3D with the help of a tablet.


Disney has created a new software that takes the image of the character in the coloring book and maps the colors applied by the artist to display a pre-made 3D animation of the character. When developing this product, the developers conducted tests where one can view the coloring book page through an app and watch the character move around in an augmented reality 3D space on the page. Developers choose to use a tablet as the means of viewing the augmented reality because they rely so much on a tap and swipe interface, which means that babies and young children can operate their media devices and navigate through this coloring book.

A cool feature of this app is that it has developed a way of reading the entire recognized image on a curved surface, such as the interior pages of the coloring book. This app does not only have to recognize the boundaries of the object, but the boundaries of the drawing itself, including the colors the crayons apply, even if the page is moving around. Pretty neat, right?

But it gets even better. The image on the page doesn’t show the character from all angles, but with the app and a tablet, you can move 360 degrees around the animated character. Each of the characters from the coloring book were created in 3D modeling software and animated, then, each surface pixel on the model was assigned a corresponding pixel space on the 2D image in the coloring book. Thus, if you color the front of your elephant’s pants blue and the app makes the back of his pants blue as well. Presumably if you decided to color the pants with polka dots, the 3D image would be mirrored to make a full, polka-dotted pants pattern.

You can even boot your app and watch your character get colored in real time. Although, experiments with this have shown that the images created are not 100% accurate to the artist of the characters, the test subjects loved the feature.

Below is a video of the coloring book and app:


I-Lab at CEWIT 2015

This past Monday, October 19th, 2015, the Innovation Lab participated in the 12th International Conference & Expo on Emerging Technologies for a Smarter World (CEWIT2015). The conference, originally known as the International Conference on Cutting-Edge Wireless & Information Technologies, is the premier international forum on the applications of emerging technologies in infrastructure, healthcare, and energy, which are three of the most critical components of a smarter global environment. This conference is organized by the New York State Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) located at Stony Brook University in New York. The conference was located in the Melville Marriot in Long Island, NY.

In order to be featured at this year’s CEWIT expo, the Innovation Lab, like all participants, had to submit an abstract describing their technical contributions highlighting end-to-end technical solutions, applications and systems. The Innovation Lab presented lab member Kelly Smith’s silk screen project, where she made tote bags using the silk screen and sewing machine, Samiha Shakil and Alysha Bullock’s  project where they were able to create a fabric using arduino technology,  the prototype bathrooms high school students, Drew Kaplan and Shakeel Faizy, created with the 3D printer for cerebral palsy patients (link to blog post covering it here), and Allisha Parvez’s 3D printed scientific models of new horizon satellites.

During the expo, the I-Lab had a table set up where they handed out business cards, had a 3D printer on display, handed out vinyl-cut Innovation Lab designs, and answered all questions about what we do here at Stony Brook University’s Innovation Lab.

Below are some photos taken of the team and their table at CEWIT 2015:

Image Today 7-23-53 PM

Image Today 7-23-54 PM

Image Today 7-23-55 PM

Image Today 7-23-57 PM


Help Make the Next Discovery About Mars!

Researcher Meg Schwamb wants to transfer some of the general public’s Facebook time towards helping her research the planet Mars, specifically geysers on Mars.

Meg Schwamb is encouraging everyone to take part in the citizen science test, known as Planet Four. This test asks individuals to draw circles around what looks like geysers to them around Mars. Schwamb believes that the “wisdom of crowds” often tends to be more accurate than information provided by experts and algorithms.

Schwamb’s project is specifically focused on the south pole of Mars, an area that is coated in water ice, carbon dioxide ice and geysers. She believes that if we can understand this region of Mars better, and what exactly is going on with the geysers, we will also attain a better understanding of Earth and the atmosphere of Mars.

The images Schwamb is using come from Nasa’s  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is a multipurpose spacecraft designed to conduct reconnaissance and exploration of Mars from orbit.


IP Policy Workshop Success!

This past Wednesday, September 30th, 2015, The Innovation Lab had their very first IP (Intellectual Property) policy workshop!

Allison Singh, an experienced IP lawyer, came in to answer all questions concerning IP policy. Singh has worked with Perfumania Holdings, Inc. and Quality King Distributors, Inc. Singh has also authored Getting Over Not Getting In- A College Rejection Guide, and Rearranged!

At the workshop, Singh spoke about trademarks, copyright, patents and answered questions/listened to proposals considering Wolfie Tank.

Here are some pictures from the workshop:

unnamed (2)

unnamed (3)

unnamed (4)

unnamed (5)

Apple Car expected to be released in 2019

A recent Wall Street Journal article announced reports of Apple’s electric car development coming to fruition in 2019.

Project Titan is responsible for the design and development of the car is reportedly going to increase their manpower for the job to 1,800 persons. This news comes after the addition of many car industry veterans to the Titan team, such as Tesla’s previous senior engineer, Jamie Carlson.

Apple’s 2019 vehicle is not expected to be autonomous, but driver-less car experts are going to be working on the development of the car as well. What we can expect from this car is that it will reflect Apple’s extensive research into batteries, sensors, and design. As of now, there is no clear answer on what type of car (sedan, coupe, truck, mini van, etc.) the Apple car will be.

With the coming of Apple’s electric car in 2019, we should expect the release of many other electric cars. Along with the familiar production of electric vehicles from Tesla, Nissan, and Toyota, companies like Porsche, Audi, and Chevrolet have some electric car projects in the works as well that we can expect to see in the near future.

With Google and Apple’s emergence into the car industry, many car companies are worried that it will negatively affect business for them.


Easy, cool tech life-hacks

Here are 3 little technological life-hacks to make your life more cool/interesting, enjoy:


iPod and iPhone projector for $1-

Iphone projector

What you’ll need:

  • An iPhone/iPod
  • Magnifying glass
  • A shoe box
  • A knife
  • Duct tape
  • Clay
  • Scissors
  • Construction Paper

Here is how to do it.

Turn a laser pointer into a macro lens for your smartphone-


Things you’ll need:

  • Laser pointer
  • Smart phone
  • Tape
  • Bobby pin/tape

Here is how to do it.

Guard for iPhone and laptop charger cord-


Things you’ll need:

  • A spring
  • A charger

Here is how to do it.






Social Entrepreneurship Competition!

Get Ready.

Along with The Innovation Lab’s very first Woflie Tank event, The College of Business recently announced that they are hosting a Social Entrepreneurship Competition!


This goal of the competition is to design a way to raise funds in order to support significant innovations that address a social or a local problem.

The initiative can be for-profit, not-for-profit, or both. The innovations that contestants support can relate to a wide range of problems such as education, poverty, social justice, etc. and can incorporate any discipline or combination of disciplines.

This competition is in association with Lift Up Long Island (LULI) and is funded by James and Cecilia Komosinski and Simplex-Grinnell.

The submission process works as follows: by October 15th contestants have to submit a 2-page presubmission initiative description which covers (1) the team or leader submitting the initiative, (2) the problem and evidence for why it’s important, (3) the solution–what the initiative will do and how, (4) why this solution is innovative, and (5) finances–both costs and how the initiative will make or raise money.

From here a panel of distinguished Long Island social entrepreneurs and Stony Brook faculty will provide feedback and invite submissions of detailed business plans for the next round. Groups, according to their initiative, will be assigned to a mentor.

Finalists from this group will work with a mentor to develop a pitch to be presented in person to a panel of social entrepreneurs Monday, Feb. 15th 2016.

Projects will be judged according to how thorough the understanding of the problem is, how innovative it is, the social impact, sustainability, scalability, leadership and teamwork.

Prizes and dollar amounts will range between $500 to $5,000 to implement contestants’ start-ups. A total of $15,000 will be awarded depending on the winning proposals’ need for financial support.

For more information, go to or or contact Prof. Gerrit Wolf at or Prof. Richard Chan at

Attached is a document covering more information concerning the competition:College of Business Social Entrepreneurship Competition Announcement Fly…


Drone technology captures bird’s eye view of campus

Have you seen this video?  – This is John Feinberg flying his drone.  His work with Drones photos is as a community member is not affiliated with the SBU Innovation Lab or  endorsed by the Lab.  Since the campus is still working on a campus policy for Drone use on the Stony Brook Campus.

John Feinberg, a member of the Stony Brook Innovation Lab team, has been flying a quadcopter equipped with a camera around Stony Brook University’s campus day and night for the past few weeks. Throughout his flights he compiled this unique bird’s eye perspective of the university.

Feinberg began to receive some buzz for his work after he began to post edited images and videos he captured of campus locations to various campus social media accounts, such as the @StonyBrookU Twitter and Instagram handle, and the university hospital:

Shortly after he sent out his work, he began to receive responses from the Stony Brook University Medical Center, who shared photos of photos of construction of the new children’s hospital to their followers; the Computer Science Department retweeted photos of the new building;students began to post Feinberg’s content on YikYak and Reddit; and even the CEO and Founder of Shutterstock, Jon Oringer, who found his footage after it was tweeted by the executive director of alumni relations, made one of Feinberg’s tweets a “favorite.” The featured video has even made its way onto the university’s homepage!

Feinberg uses a DJI Phantom 3 Advance drone to fly and capture his footage. The drone hovers at around 400 feet in the air. It’s camera has a direct connection to whatever device attached to the controller, such as an iPad or iPhone, by USB. A 720p video signal transmits back in real-time with very little latency so one can get proper exposure on the camera and flight data.


In the future Feinberg plans to film various events on campus, such as the Homecoming football game, Roth Regatta and the change of seasons. So be on the look out!

Although this is a hobby for John, he treats it as a profession and will be continuing to fly for years to come. We will forward to what footage his drone will bring Stony Brook University next!



High school researchers design a bathroom for cerebral palsy patients

This past summer two high school researchers, Drew Kaplan and Shakeel Faizy, began to design a bathroom system for individuals with extreme disabilities such as cerebral palsy. This bathroom design Drew and Shakeel have created will allow individuals who cannot move on their own, and lack motor skills, to use the bathroom without the aid of others.

The inspiration for this project came from Shakeel, whose brother suffers from cerebral palsy. Shakeel’s brother’s condition requires constant aid and assistance from his family, with the creation of a bathroom like the prototype Drew and Shakeel are working on, his brother would be able to use the bathroom on his own.

When creating their design, Drew and Shakeel analyzed the aspects of bathroom usage that they found most important. The next step was redesigning a normal bathroom for more accessible use.

Here is an image of the bathroom system:

unnamed (1)


The bathroom consists of five main parts: it includes a rotating platform, a low to the ground shelf, for easy access,
a sink, a toilet, and a bath/dryer unit. Each station is engineered with automatic technology to improve and simplify hygiene.

In the Innovation Lab, Drew and Shakeel 3D printed the platform, chair, and tub/shower unit of our design. They used TinkerCAD to design the prototype for 3D printing. As of now, the duo is still working on the sink, toilet, and shelf designs.

Their next step is to program the chair to move into and out of the tub on a small embedded motor.

We look forward to what is to come from these two bright gentlemen!

Below is an image of both Drew (right) and Shakeel (left) holding the 3D printed prototypes they created in the lab.



First Workshop of the Year; Maker Mentality!

Come September 2nd, between the 1-2:20 pm in Harriman 210 (The Innovation Lab), to the Innovation Lab’s first workshop of the Fall 2015 semester!

This is the Maker Mentality workshop, and it will inform all attendants on what exactly it means to be a maker, the tools and resources needed to get started, the various ways in which the Maker Movement is impacting the modern world, and the cool, interesting ways in which you can get started here at the lab!

The Maker Movement is a movement that combines entrepreneurial spirit with modern technology. This movement accounts for approximately 28 million small businesses and the creation of 8 million new jobs in the U.S.

Maker’s use technology to help make everyday living simpler and more efficient, create new boundaries for the uses of modern technology, start up new businesses, and most importantly, use their imagination as fuel for innovation.

Here is a nice graphic with some information about the Maker Movement:


During the workshop we will provide information on the resources we and others can offer to get started in the maker community, such as: Maker festivals, events, meetups, etc.

The Innovation Lab from its opening has put much effort into networking in the local maker community, and will help you get your foot in the door.

Make sure to come September 2nd!