Sunday, June 5, 2016

Blue jay -The World's first drone cafe

A Dutch university houses the world's 1st cafe using tiny drones to serve drinks to customer.Te drones is known as "Blue Jay" resembles a small white flying saucer sporting with luminescent lights for eyes.

The pop-up Drone Café was a meeting place for people that want to discuss what we want our drones to do in the (near) future. The opportunities are only limited by our imagination. However, a close look is needed to see how far we can take this technology. This is one of the questions we answered together with all the visitors of the Drone Cafe. After all, we have the power to take matters in our own hands and show people what we want of robotics in the future.

It is fairly difficult to accurately and autonomously in indoor environments. Precise movements require advanced flying algorithms and accurate sensors. In order to achieve this we have used a unique combination of sensors, all on one drone, which allows us to make accurate and autonomous flight possible. In addition to that, the drone is safe thanks to its ring and mesh, it is helpful thanks to its gripper and a camera with menu recognition understands your order. Long story short: Our drones are ready to be waiters.

You can compare an autonomous drone with a youthful dog. It is ready to learn something and doesn’t need much care. So it’s up to you what trick you are going to teach the dog, whether it is going to be a guide dog for blind or a rescue dog in the alps. Our drone has learned its first trick: all snacks and drinks will be automatically sent to the right table. There’s no one that tells the drone where to go. They and on their own, take off on their own and take your order.

Panono -The Panoramic ball camera

Panono is the name of a 360° X 360° full-spherical, 108 megapixel Panoramic ball camera.The Panono GmbH develops pioneering digital camera technology as well as innovative smartphone and tablet applications. Its first product, the Panono 360° Camera with 36 individual cameras shoots 360°-panoramas with a resolution greater than 100 megapixels with just one click. The first version of the Panono 360° Camera has been available since September 2015.

The Panono GmbH was founded by Jonas Pfeil, Björn Bollensdorff and Qian Qin back in 2012. It currently has around 30 employees and is based in Berlin.
A user can throw it in the air and at its highest point 36 cameras in the ball will shoot an airborne panoramic photo. Panono was able to collect 1,25 Million US$ through crowd funding at indiegogo and over 1,6 Million € through crowd investing at companisto.

Ghana’s Slave Castles

Cape Coast Castle is one of about forty "slave castles", or large commercial forts, built on the Gold Coast of West Africa (now Ghana) by European traders. It was originally built by the Swedes for trade in timber and gold, but later used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Other Ghanaian slave castles include Elmina Castle and Fort Christiansborg. They were used to hold slaves before they were loaded onto ships and sold in the Americas, especially the Caribbean. This “gate of no return” was the last stop before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

History of the building

The first lodge established on the present site of Cape Coast Castle was built by Hendrik Caerloff for the Swedish Africa Company. Caerloff was a former employee of the Dutch West India Company who had risen to the rank of fiscal before employing himself with the latter company established by Louis de Geer. As a former high-ranking officer of the Dutch, Caerloff had the friendly relations with the local chiefs necessary to establish a trading post. In 1650, Caerloff succeeded in getting the permission of the King of Fetu to establish a fort at Cabo Corso (meaning short cape in Portuguese, later corrupted to English Cape Coast). The first timber lodge was erected at the site in 1653 and named Carolusborg after King Charles X of Sweden.

Caerloff returned to Europe in 1655, leaving a Swede by the name of Johann Philipp von Krusenstjerna in charge of Carolusborg. Louis de Geer had however died in the meantime, and Caerloff got himself involved in a serious dispute with his heirs. In Amsterdam, he convinced merchants to give a financial injection to the Danish West India Company, for which he set sail to the Gold Coast in 1657, with the goal in mind to capture for Denmark the Swedish lodges and forts he had established himself.With the help of the Dutch, Caerloff succeeded in driving the Swedes out, leaving the Gold Coast on the captured ship Stockholm Slott, and with Von Krusenstjerna on board as a prisoner.

Caerloff had left Samuel Smit, also a former employee of the Dutch West India Company, in charge of Carolusborg.The Dutch were able to convince Smit in 1659 of the rumour that Denmark had been conquered by Sweden, upon which Smit rejoined the Dutch West India Company, handing over all Danish possessions to the Dutch. The King of Fetu was displeased with this, however, and prevented the Dutch from taking possession of the fort. A year later, the King decided to sell it to the Swedes. After the King died in 1663, the Dutch were finally able to occupy the fort.

The Danes had in the meantime established another fort, Fort Frederiksborg (1661), just a few hundred yards east from Carolusborg. Although situated perfectly to launch an attack on Carolusborg, the British capture of Carolusborg (1664) during the prelude to the Second Anglo-Dutch War, prevented the Danes from challenging them; the British had reinforced the fort, which they named Cape Coast Castle, to such an extent that even Dutch Admiral Michiel de Ruyter deemed it impossible to conquer. As the Dutch had captured the former British headquarters at Kormantin and had rebuilt it as Fort Amsterdam, Cape Coast became the new capital of the British possessions on the Gold Coast.

In 1722, the fort was the site were 54 men of the crew of the pirate Bartholomew Roberts were condemned to death, of whom 52 were hanged and two reprieved.

In 1757, during the Seven Years' War, a French naval squadron badly damaged and nearly captured Cape Coast Castle.This event was likely one of the most important reasons to entirely reconstruct the Castle, which was quite notorious for its collapsing walls and leaking roofs. In 1762, an extensive spur ending in a tower was built on the western side and in 1773, a high building along the north curtain was erected, during which the last remnants of the 17th-century fort were demolished. Greenhill Point, a bastion to the east of the castle, was replaced by two new bastions, with a sea gate in the middle. To the south, two new bastions, named Grossle's Bastions, replaced an old round tower as the main defensive work. The tower, which now had no military use, was extended in 1790s with two stories, now becoming the governors' apartments. The space below Grossle's Bastions was used as the new slave dungeons.

Horror of Slave Castle

The castles were the ultimate stop in many ways. They provided the last experience that men and women had in their homeland before their final departure. For those who didn’t make it to the new world, the castles were the last place they ever saw on land. The last shreds of hope would wither away with everyday of captivity in the castle. On the seaboard side of the coastal slave castles, was ‘the door of no return’, a portal through which the slaves were lowered into boats, and then loaded like cargo onto big slaving ships further out at sea, never to set foot in their homeland again and with a final goodbye to the freedom they once knew.

Up to 1,000 male and 500 female slaves were shackled and crammed in the castle’s dank, poorly ventilated dungeons, with no space to lie down and with very little light. Without water or sanitation, the floor of the dungeons was littered with human waste and many captives fell seriously ill. The men were separated from the women, and the captors regularly raped the helpless women. The castle also featured confinement cells, small pitch-black spaces for prisoners who revolted or were seen as rebellious. Once the slaves set foot in the castle, they could spend up to three months in captivity under these dreadful conditions before being shipped off to the New World.

An environment of harsh contrasts, the castle also had some extravagant chambers, devoid of the stench and misery of the dungeons, only a couple of meters down below. For example, the British governor and officers’ quarters were spacious and airy, with beautiful parquet floors and scenic views of the blue waters of Atlantic. There was also a chapel in the castle enclosure for the officers, traders and their families as they went about their normal day-to-day life completely detached from the unfathomable human suffering they were consciously inflicting.

David gareja monastery

David Gareja is a rock-hewn Georgian Orthodox monastery complex located in the Kakheti region of Eastern Georgia, on the half-desert slopes of Mount Gareja, some 60–70 km southeast of Georgia's capital Tbilisi. The complex includes hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living quarters hollowed out of the rock face.

Part of the complex is located in the Agstafa rayon of Azerbaijan and has become subject to a border dispute between Georgia and Azerbaijan. The area is also home to protected animal species and evidence of some of the oldest human habitations in the region.

Monastery Timelines

The complex was founded in the 6th century by David (St. David Garejeli), one of the thirteen Assyrian monks who arrived in the country at the same time. His disciples Dodo and Luciane expanded the original lavra and founded two other monasteries known as Dodo's Rka (literally, "the horn of Dodo") and Natlismtsemeli ("the Baptist"). The monastery saw further development under the guidance of the 9th-century Georgian saint Ilarion. The convent was particularly patronized by the Georgian royal and noble families. The 12th-century Georgian king Demetre I, the author of the famous Georgian hymn Thou Art a Vineyard, even chose David Gareja as a place of his confinement after he abdicated the throne.
One of the monastery's surviving frescoes.

Despite the harsh environment, the monastery remained an important centre of religious and cultural activity for many centuries; at certain periods the monasteries owned extensive agricultural lands and many villages.The renaissance of fresco painting chronologically coincides with the general development of the life in the David Gareja monasteries. The high artistic skill of David Gareja frescoes made them an indispensable part of world treasure. From the late 11th to the early 13th centuries, the economic and cultural development of David Gareja reached its highest phase, reflecting the general prosperity of the medieval Kingdom of Georgia. New monasteries Udabno, Bertubani and Chichkhituri were built, the old ones were enlarged and re-organized.

With the downfall of the Georgian monarchy, the monastery suffered a lengthy period of decline and devastation by the Mongol army (1265), but was later restored by the Georgian kings. It survived the Safavid attack of 1615, when the monks were massacred and the monastery's unique manuscripts and important works of Georgian art destroyed, to be resurrected under Onopre Machutadze, who was appointed Father Superior of David Gareja in 1690.

After the violent Bolshevik takeover of Georgia in 1921, the monastery was closed down and remained uninhabited. In the years of the Soviet War in Afghanistan, the monastery's territory was used as a training ground for the Soviet military that inflicted damage to the unique cycle of murals in the monastery. In 1987, a group of Georgian students led by the young writer Dato Turashvili launched a series of protests. Although, the Soviet defense ministry officials finally agreed to move a military firing range from the monastery, the shelling was resumed in October 1988, giving rise to generalized public outrage. After some 10,000 Georgians demonstrated in the streets of Tbilisi and a group of students launched a hunger strike at the monastery, the army base was finally removed.

After the restoration of Georgia's independence in 1991, the monastery life in David Gareja was revived. However, in 1996, the Georgian defense ministry resumed military exercises in the area, leading to renewed public protests. In May 1997, hundreds of Georgian NGO activists set up their tents in the middle of the army's firing range and blocked the military maneuvers. The army officials finally bowed to the public pressure and the exercises were banned.

By travel agency

Many travel agencies (e.g., in Tbilisi) can organize a one-day or half-day tour to the monastery. But it may be much more expensive than chartering a taxi yourself.
Get around

No entrance fees.

Be aware that it is often windy; so during winter be sure to wear warm clothes.

There are no toilets on site; however, some 100 meters before the entrance (the "church shop"), there are some public toilets on the left (small house with a red roof).
David Gareja, a rock-hewn Georgian Orthodox monastery complex

The main monastery is right behind the small parking lot. You can visit most of it; the rooms not allowed to tourists are clearly marked with "no entrance" signs, in both English and Georgian. See the tomb of the first monk to have lived there (St. David Garejeli).

Then, you can follow the path starting right behind the church shop, that goes on the top of the small mountain. There, you have a wonderful view towards both Georgia and Azerbaijan. And you will see many troglodyte churches, some of them with paintings from the 11th and 12th centuries. Total time: about 1h30, using a sometime steep path.