Animated GIFs are Chic, dancing in Virtual Unreality too

By Mehdi
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Remember good olde animated GIFs of the 90’s, like the one above? The New York Times says they made a comeback in 2012, and even made a foray into art, as unexpected it may seem.

GIFs are chic! Dance and Virtual Unreality too !

Just discover our new unexpected project when engineers met with artists to reinvent a discipline … Watch our sneak preview below for yourself! :-)

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World-Changing Dreamer: Geoffrey Cooper

By Aurelien
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Last but not least in our series about IF WE Challenge dreamers, here comes our great winner Geoffrey Cooper. His IF WE Dream was “IF WE designed a rolling tree planting robot, we can send them out to replant forests and restore a deserted land. Let’s make it happen!!“. Geoffrey is anindustrial designer coming from Canada and lived in Los Angeles at the time of the challenge.

So without further ado, watch the video below to see Geoffrey’s brilliant idea illustrated:

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Q: Could you let us know where the idea of a rolling tree planting robot came from?

The tree planting robot idea was inspired by my step-brother, who worked as a tree planter in Canada for many years. From him, I learned how difficult it is for people to plant and maintain trees in remote areas, and how important it is to keep our forests alive. That topic lingered in my mind for a long time, and I also looked into the topic of desertification. I discovered that many deserts and plains around the world were once thriving forests, but turned into barren land because of the impact left by man, animals, and climate change.

While I was an Industrial Design student in college, I came up with the idea of designing a rolling tree planting robot that would tackle this problem. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to fit the project into my curriculum, but I have thought extensively about it, and would like to pursue it.

Q: More specifically, how would you see the rolling planting robot actually work?

I envision a group of autonomous tree-planting robots sent out into a deforested area, that would work together to achieve the tasks necessary for planting and ensuring the growth of trees. These tasks would include navigating natural terrain with the use of sensors, coordinating with other tree planting robots working nearby, loading saplings from a larger vessel, boring holes into the ground for the saplings, and cutting away the weeds around planted trees to ensure their growth. The robots would also be able to scan the elements in a landscape to determine the most habitable areas for the trees. After several weeks, the robots would return to the same location to maintain and check the status of the young trees.

The robots would be small (maybe the size of a wheelbarrow), would traverse terrain on wheels, and would be powered partially by solar panels on top of the robots. The robots would work alongside a human operator who would oversee a fleet of tree planting robots. The operator would plan out the operation, and could be on-site in case anything goes wrong.

Q: How would you like to see this idea developped?

I am very interested in making this idea a reality, and would be interested in working with Dassault Systèmes on it if possible. I currently work as an Interaction Designer, and have a background in Industrial Design, so I am confident with my abilities to design systems and physical devices that could work cohesively. The area of the robot project that I am not so familiar with is the robotics, programming, and manufacturing of such a robot. As with any project, I believe that strong teamwork creates big changes, and I believe that such a team could be assembled for the tree planting robot project.

Stay tuned to see how we helped Geoffrey get started with his project :-)

The COE Experience

By Andy
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Well, another COE Annual Conference is over and the value of bringing together USERS has been proven again.  In these days when online communication is so accessible, it is great to see how users respond to hearing advice and ideas from their fellow users as much as they do to the experts from Dassault Systèmes and other partners.  Perhaps it is the dedicated time, instead of snatching a few minutes while at work, or it is the opportunity to interpret the body language, vocal tone and crowd reaction that makes the presentation of experience more effective at a physical event?

From a Dassault Systèmes’ perspective, it is always an interesting occasion because the focus of discussion moves from the sales people to the technical, training, support and development teams.  Many of these meetings have been taking place for many years, (Philippe Laufer, CATIA CEO, has been discussing with COE members for  years since his time as an R&D product manager).  So the planning and thinking that takes place in these 3 days can drive a years work and the chance to mix the work with an element of socializing only helps the productivity.  CATIA is certainly at the heart of the conference but almost every user also has a connection with another Dassault Systèmes brands or partner application.  This discussion, around real world environments, makes the key difference between a sales and marketing event and a user event plus it links in the participation of nearly all the Dassault Systèmes brands to serve the users needs.

But my personal lesson is that COE is not about just 3 days in April but it is a year round community that has its foundation in the Regional User Groups (RUGs) and the online forums.  Without doubt the annual conference needs to justify the time and investment of  the COE members and their employers but it’s integrity and right to speak for its members is based on discussions and experience that is captured at regional and communal level.

The coming year seems to be a good one! The V6 discovery panel, (a shared V6 design project that is supported by Dassault Systèmes), as well as potential new RUGs in places as diverse as Seattle and Shanghai, show that COE really is thinking about its member’s needs.   The foundation for members coming to COE is about education.  The COE University classes as well as the expert sessions represent significant value to users and the future seems to be bright in this area, so that the new opportunities that Dassault Systèmes brands bring can be tested, learnt and discussed by the COE members and valuable lessons learned.

COE is not the only strong CATIA user group in the world but it does possess a certain style.  This could be based around the people that drive the organisation or it may be that the Florida sun is more appealing than the UK rain :wink: But it is certainly a group of people that when motivated can energize the user base and is never afraid to ask the tough questions.  The coming months will show that CATIA and its user groups can do more to connect users, discussions and awareness of how CATIA can shape the product design experience.  User groups, like COE, are key partners in that and we look forward to announcing some fun ways that CATIA users can hold their hands up to be counted.  I am currently trying to build connections with user groups around the world so that we can increase our support for their efforts, if you are part of a group or would appreciate some assistance in starting a group then please let me know  :-)

Andy Reilly is a member of CATIA brand and a regular COE attendee

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