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Showing posts from January, 2010


An outdoors low consumption, self powering musical installation. This blog post is about the design and creative process around the concept of an art object I'm making, to be displayed at the UK Maker Faire in Newcastle in March. The intent is to install in an outdoors area, various sensors and various sound sources - mostly amplified piezos as well as a wave shield. These will be guided by an arduino which is powered in turn by various solar panels. The device will capture sunlight during the day (I'm also considering windmill or crank power ), and gathers readings through the day and night to play a short "concert" at dawn and dusk. The readings are light, temperature, sounds, humidity and, I hope, some simple electrode type readings, for which I'm currently experimenting with EMF, which I hope to couple with a second one, so as to have a sort of electrode. When light reaches a threshold, the device plays a melody based on readings gathered, fires off a re

Stokes Croft 2017

Most people symbolically see birth of the robotic race as 2015, when those famous wikicars escaped from the race course, rode into their trainers, and escaped into the desert. They do not realise that the first large scale battles to use robotic killers was not just the well known oil wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, but this had begun far far before, in these few streets of Bristol UK known as Stokes Croft, where all the new electronics factories had come to converge. In Bristol, in the valley of dilapidated houses swathed in graffiti between Montpelier and Kingsdown there was once an insurrection, and a great battle, with augmented free running kids fighting police, then the army, each other, and finally fire juggling armies of anarchist clowns as well as the more familiar modified urban fauna we know today (at first with abortive attempts to domesticate wild Foxes, followed by the now familiar Slug, Seagull and Crow, with effects we all remember with such apprehension and shock toda

Plant Electrodes

I've been doing more late night research on electrodes . This is a good way to create an interface between machine and plant, or machine and animal, and it's basically a wire on a living surface, like a plant or your skin somewhere, and another one close by going out to complete a circuit. It passes current through this non metallic surface, between anode and cathode, and then you measure the resistance you detect. Then the medical ones get much more complicated, and easy to apply or stick to someone. I started thinking about electrodes when planning a slug detector project, which would use the electrode in order to detect (or cast and then measure discrepancies in) an electrical field. Casting and detecting changes in, or just detecting electrical fields is a form of animal communication used in very primitive underwater animals, mostly to hunt prey or detect possible predators. Because slugs tend to go out on rainy nights, this would work mostly when there was water around

Second Life / Open Simulator Arduino Project Plan

Here is my thinking on this: Devobot is an IronPython framework that allows you to trigger animations, movement and chatting to a Second Life or OpenSimulator based avatar using the open source libopenmetaverse library. I used this software in my bot work in a recent archive / 3d model of the Pompeii Court of the Sydenham Crystal Palace . PySerial on the other hand, allows IronPython based serial comms. Serial comms can also be done via .net frameworks - example is in C#, but it should be a good reference for an ironpython version. An arduino microprocessor can be hooked up using an adapted version of the light sensor tutorial on - but for example, triggering animations or chat responses according to the light level or to other sensors I might be able to think of. Maybe eventually growing in complexity until, naturally, a wiimote is added for IR tracking. So the question is - will it work?

3 possibilities: Hackspace Bristol, DMT and the Aquatrick

Today I had some important realisations and considerations about various projects I'm working on - Hackspace Bristol, the Green Noise Open Hardware Project, and the invention of the Aquatrick, a water based, sensor controlled, light projecting device. I don't know how related they are except for this snowy day in Bristol, but that's life, and here they are: 1. Hackspace Bristol Here is a project plan/wish list of sorts for Bristol Hackspace , which is currently based at Coexist/Hamilton House in Bristol: Bristol Hackspace will be a feature of Stokes Croft and active contributor to it's attractions as a local and international centre of alternative arts and culture, adding a technological aspect to the existing local autonomous spaces, and hopefully working with these and with the wider world-wide hackerspace or makerspace (and dorkbot?) movements as well as many others. To this I hope to be able to assist by curating events, co-ordinating workshop series' as