Category Archives: Misc

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:

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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.


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.






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!



Prosthetic Printing In the Innovation Lab




Ellie Evans – A student intern during the Summer of 2015 printed and assembled a Prosthetic Hand, using the Innovation Lab’s 3D printers.  Ellie had the idea from e-Nable project. E-Nable project is a global network of volunteers using 3D printing to give helping hands to kids that don’t have one.   Ellie is a Political Science major at the University of Rhode Island. However, she became an intern at the SBU Innovation Lab after hearing about the various technologies in the facility that student’s have free access to.


Ellie said that she learned everything from basics of how to use a 3D printer and filament, to the different printers it takes to print finer/bigger objects.  While assembling the pieces she had to figure out how tension worked in a hand, as well as how the pieces fit together.   Ellie adapted the concept of “Tunnel Vision”, when working on long term projects that use 3D printers. Ellie describes “Tunnel Vision” as, when you know a piece is supposed to go together a certain way, but just don’t see why it isn’t work. The project was difficult, but Ellie said that if it wasn’t for her great colleagues in the lab who were always available to lend a hand or to look at the project from a different perspective; this made her job a little easier. IMG_0342


As this being the first prototype of this kind to being developed in the lab the team was excited to see the final project.


This is one of the many projects that are challenging students and staff alike at the SBU Innovation Lab.


3D Printed Replacement Shell Saves A Tortoise’s Life

In Santos, São Paulo, Brazil, a Red-Footed Tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaris) named Fred, received a 3D printed replacement shell, in order to replace the shell he lost during a recent forest fire.



To fix this issue, the good-natured and tech savvy veterinarians of Santos decided that they would use 3D printing technology to create a new shell for Fred!

The veterinarians in Santos teamed up with a dentist and a graphical designer and worked for three months to come up with a shell that would protect and cover Fred, as good as his original shell.


The shell was printed with the same PLA material found on most 3D desktop printers and was surgically attached to Fred. So far it has been holding up well, but researchers are still uncertain how long it will hold up in the wild.

For now the shell has been left its original white color, but Brazilian artists have been contacting Fred’s veterinarians in order to see if they can paint it the same colors of his original shell. At this time the veterinarians are still trying to figure out if the paint would be harmful or not.

Hopefully all works out for Fred! This story is an excellent example of just how versatile and helpful 3D printing technology can be.



I-Lab Featured in Stony Brook Happenings

Last Friday, July 31st, 2015, Stony Brook Happenings, an online newsletter covering events, updates, and various information concerning Stony Brook University, wrote an article on our being featured in InnovateLi!





The article on Stony Brook Happenings can be found here.


The article covers what we are doing in the lab, have done, and will be doing here in the near future. Be sure to give it a gander!

We hope to be featured somewhere new soon!



The Innovation Lab


InnovateLI’s Article on the Innovation Lab!

InnovateLI, an online news site covering startups, biotech, IT, and clean energy on Long Island, recently wrote an article on the Innovation lab!

The Lab’s Director, David Ecker, and team member Samiha Shakil, were interviewed on what we do, have done, and are planning to do at the Innovation lab.

The article sheds light on how Stony Brook University’s Innovation Lab is a unique space on campus where students from all backgrounds can get together to design and build new products. It also focused in on the workshops and competitions that we offer and will be offering, such as the soldering workshop and our first pitch night!

InnovateLI seemed extremely impressed with all of our outreach efforts, such as our WISE workshops and our participation in the LI MakerFest.

Having this article done on the lab is very reassuring and motivating as we move forward!