FS Fives: Friday, August 26

Welcome to the latest FS Fives – FutureScot’s round-up of Scottish digital news.

First up, Amy Johnson, the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia, has been recreated with 3D technology developed by the Glasgow School of Art’s (GSA) Digital Design Studio. To mark 75 years since her death, the studio made a fully interactive digital 3D version of Johnson, which can walk and talk about her achievements. Motion capture technology was used by GSA and the University of Hull’s Immersive Virtual Environment to create the model. Raw footage of Johnson and actress Rachel Harris was captured and computer scientists then applied 3D modelling effects and animation techniques to create the character.

Robots to help humans travel to Mars

Next, humans will journey to Mars in the 2030s accompanied by robots, if Nasa’s ambitious plans become reality. The US space agency has launched a $1 million competition challenging engineers to develop the capabilities of humanoid robots, which will help astronauts on their long and arduous journey to the red planet. The Space Robotics Challenge will see teams program a virtual robot modelled on Nasa’s advanced Robonaut R5 android, dubbed Valkyrie, to complete a series of virtual tasks that could save human crew members’ lives, such as repairing leaks. Earlier this year the University of Edinburgh took delivery of Nasa’s Valkyrie humanoid, which is part of the Robotarium, at the heart of its Centre for Robotics.

Exsel Group sponsoring Scottish Football Association

Exsel Group has been appointed as the mobile partner of the Scottish Football Association. The sponsorship deal sees the IT and communications company partner with the governing body of football in Scotland for the 2016/17 season. Based in Glasgow and Aberdeen, Exsel Group works with some of the country’s largest and most well- known organisations including Muir Construction, Grahams Dairy and Social Bite.

Stagecoach digital revamp

Stagecoach is hoping that a revamped website and soon-to-launch mobile app will help bolster its popularity among younger transport users as it eyes improved profitability in the wake of its European megabus sale. Speaking at the transport company’s annual general meeting in Perth, chief executive Martin Griffiths said that with the political upheaval brought about by the recent Brexit vote leading to a tougher macro-economic environment, the business is focusing on the kind of demographical changes that are likely to have a positive impact on the transport sector in the longer term.

And finally…Like. Flirt. Ghost: a journey into the social media lives of teenagers.