Adam Savage has been operating Boston Dynamics' Spot robot for a few months, getting to know the ins and outs of its capabilities. While more projects with Spot are in the works, Adam today answers questions about how Spot works, showing core features like how it's manually controlled to how it can autonomously navigate planned missions. Its different gaits are mesmerizing!
We shot this piece last month before going into shelter-in-place, in which Adam shows his custom-assembled lightweight iPhone stand he put together to film himself during weekend builds. But now that he's alone in the cave all the time, this rig is proving essential for Adam to document his builds in isolation as well as livestream every week. Hope it helps in giving you inspiration to make your own cameraphone rigs!
We chat with Gavin Free of The Slow Mo Guys to learn about their new VR mini-series that lets you watch their experiments in stereo VR180. Joey and Gavin compare notes about the interesting production challenges of filming and editing immersive video, and we marvel at the custom Phantom Flex 4K rig The Slow Mo Guys put together to capture their experiments. Plus, Norm reviews The Room: A Dark Matter, which is one of the best puzzle games made for VR headsets!
Tested Producer Joey tests and reviews the GoPro Hero8 Black and DJI Osmo Action, two of the newest action cameras with very similar feature sets. Joey compares the image quality right out of the cameras and for editing, as well as other important features like built-in motion stabilization, user interface, and accessory options.
We've played through Half-Life: Alyx, and here's our in-depth and spoiler-free review of Valve's return to the Half-Life universe. We show you how the game takes advantage of VR for exploration, combat, and puzzle design, and discuss how it runs on different virtual reality headsets. No story spoilers or dialogue details here, but you can watch the first hour of gameplay here.
With a shelter-in-place policy in effect in California, the Tested team is working from home sharing their current projects. Norm checks in with his recent testing and research into gaming laptops powerful enough for VR headsets and video editing, using HP's Omen 15 as an example of a system that uses Intel's Coffee Lake H processor and Nvidia's mobile RTX graphics card.
We play through the first two levels of the upcoming VR puzzle game The Room: A Dark Matter. Based on the popular series of mobile puzzle games, this atmospheric take on virtual reality escape room is full of intricately-designed puzzles and a-ha moments. Here's a spoiler-free look at how it plays and why we're excited for its release!
Half-Life: Alyx is almost here, the culmination of years of development and experimentation with VR gaming. Back in December, we sat down with Valve's Robin Walker and Greg Coomer for an in-depth conversation about designing the game to showcase the potential of virtual reality and lessons learned during development. Don't worry, no game spoilers here!
With HTC's announcement of a family of Vive Cosmos virtual reality headsets, we revisit the Cosmos to see how it's held up and test the new external tracking faceplate that gives it SteamVR Lighthouse tracking. Plus, an interview with HTC about the state of Cosmos tracking updates, modular faceplate strategy, and future of VR for the company!
We go behind-the-scenes at Lucasfilm's ILMxLAB to dive into the development of Star Wars: Vader Immortal. Chatting with the director and developers of this VR experience, we see how iconic environments were crafted, how new ships were modeled, and how lightsaber combat and force powers were designed to work with the potential and limitations of virtual reality hardware.
Adam's first project with Boston Dynamics' Spot robot gives it a novel purpose: pulling a custom-built carriage with Adam as its passenger! Watch Adam give Spot some Victorian flair and the interesting problems that arise in marrying cutting-edge robot technology with vintage transport.
The flip phone is back! We go hands-on with the newly announced Samsung Galaxy Z Flip smartphone, which has a 6.7-inch OLED display that's apparently made of foldable glass. Plus, we check out the 100X "Space Zoom" camera on the Galaxy S20 Ultra flagship from the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event!