Robotic paintball turrets

December 16th, 2014

Hoppers rigged

I got to work on an interesting project for Toyota’s Make Your Mark campaign for the new Corolla. We built 2 robotic turrets with 3 paintball guns on each. The pan and tilt movement is driven by 2 Tormach rotary tables; these usually act as a 4th axis on a CNC mill. The paintball guns already had solenoid driven triggers but we adapted them for remote control. We also monitored the gun ball sensors to determine if a paintball was in the chamber. The guns are driven using G-code like any CNC machine. You can see a video of it in action below where it’s painting every time it receives a tweet. More photos from the event are on Flickr. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Carnival

December 15th, 2014

outdoor section

Remember my giant countdown clock? Well, as soon as I got back from Germany, I immediately went back to work at Two Bit Circus to prepare for the STEAM Carnival. The Carnival has a large variety of home built games, carnival inspired activities, and educational fun. Many of the games were built by our summer interns; it’s what I built the spirograph for. The week was full of events starting with our Gala on Wednesday night with a cocktail party, dinner, and a show. Thursday was a hackathon. Friday was our education day with almost 3000 school children coming through to do a workshop and play our games. Saturday and Sunday was the main event with even more people coming through each day. I was demoing Intel’s ConnectAnything one-on-one to kids of all ages. It let’s you change the connections between inputs and outputs on a microcontroller dynamically. The days’ big finale was the Dunk Tank Flambé which you can see embedded below. We’re taking the show on the row next year. Read the rest of this entry »

Berlin!

December 14th, 2014

Eliot on top of the Großer Bunkerberg (Mont Klamott)

After Oktoberfest, I headed to Berlin to stay with my friends Astera and Joernchen. I love Berlin. This was my fourth trip there. Here’s why: the city has been through so much in the last 100 years and you can see it. I remember the first time I walked through a low spot in Görlitzer Park and I wondered what that was about; it’s the crater from the original Görlitzer Bahnhof. The photo above was taken in Volkspark Friedrichshain on top of one of the two artificial hills constructed from rubble (yes, there’s a word for it) after the war. This trip we spent five hours walking the path of the Berlin Wall seeing how the city had changed since it was taken down. You can still see East/West Berlin as you navigate the city. The East has broad streets with a great tram system while the West is far more packed and disorderly. You can still see the division from space because of the color of the street lights. We went to the Deutsches Technik Museum which is in two train roundhouses they rebuilt after sitting dormant for many years. I highly recommend it if you’re in the city. You get to see all of the technology on the other side of the war. Finally, Berlin feels like a real 24hr city with transit and food always available without feeling contrived like Las Vegas. You can find hundreds of photos from my latest Germany trip on Flickr.

Protect Ya Neck

December 13th, 2014

Protect Ya NeckLast year I sent my favorite Wu-Tang Protect Ya Neck scarf with Pinguino and friends to Africa specifically so they could put it on a giraffe. The moment above was captured by @nousie and the photo has since spread far and wide. Wu-Tang Financial recently reposted it and I had just finished a piece of holiday art which worked out to be the perfect reply, embedded below. Read the rest of this entry »

XOXO 2014

December 13th, 2014

Multnomah Falls hike

Another year, another excellent XOXO. This year I went for just the festival pass. You can find all of the conference videos on YouTube. I spent my two conference days hiking with my friend Joe instead. We explored the Columbia River Gorge area which was absolutely beautiful. If you’re ever in Portland it’s definitely worth getting out of the city to check it out; I hope to do it again next year. My friend’s favorite guide book is Curious Gorge.

Munich river surfing

October 5th, 2014

Eisbachwelle river surfing
I’m in Germany right now for Oktoberfest with Chris and Erin. While in Munich, we stopped by the Eisbachwelle, a permanent river wave that is a very popular surfing location. The wave is generated by the pump that feeds the artificial river and people have been surfing it since the early 70’s. I’ve embedded a few videos below of the action. Read the rest of this entry »

LED matrix hoodie

October 4th, 2014

LED hoodie on
For Christmas 2010, Old Navy stocked a bunch of hoodies with headphones built in for $10. I intentionally purchased a white one because I wanted to use it as a diffuser for an LED project. I finally got around to it in the run up to Fuzzyland. Read the rest of this entry »

Sidewalk Chalk Spirograph

October 3rd, 2014

Spirograph gears painted
This summer the folks behind Haha Bird posted about the giant sidewalk chalk Spirograph they had made. It has a large ring gear made from interlocking segments. The smaller internal gears ride on 3 casters each and carry the chalk. I thought the design was great and that we should have our own for The STEAM Carnival. Haha Bird had used a plotter and a jigsaw to cut their gears; I luckily had access to a CNC mill. Read the rest of this entry »

Killer Karaoke

October 2nd, 2014

Killer Karaoke receiver

My work on Capture led to another TV gig. The show Killer Karaoke features people singing while performing stunts in hopes of winning a cash prize. They had a gag from season 1 where they would shock the contestant with an animal collar while they were singing. This season they wanted a better way for the audience to know what was happening. Read the rest of this entry »

STEAM Carnival Countdown Clock

October 1st, 2014

Steam Carnival Countdown
The STEAM Carnival is coming up October 25 & 26th at the Port of Los Angeles. Two Bit Circus wanted a sign for the outside of the venue that would both tell how many days were left and grab people’s attention. Since it had to be daylight visible I suggested we use electromechanical flip displays. Read the rest of this entry »