March 9th, 2017


Another year, another couple posts. I’m still working for Two Bit Circus doing any sort of engineering they can throw at me. We’ll be building a permanent facility in downtown LA this year. I live in Highland Park in my coworker’s four-plex. The photo above is from a birthday BBQ in the art park across the street. My friends had lasercut a pair of brass knuckles that can hold a beer can.

LED matrix hoodie update

February 12th, 2017

Matrix Hoodie by @robotskirts being test-driven by @waxpancake and @heartshapedsky #xoxofest

A video posted by Evan Cordes (@pheezy) on

I took my LED matrix hoodie back to XOXO last year and, as shown above, it totally worked this time! This time I used a PixelPusher as mentioned in the previous post so I could hand people my iPad mini to play with the display. I powered it using just USB batteries this time. The matrix has stood up well over the years. I’ve only had to replace the initial pigtail and I’ve used it with several different controllers. Although it might be time to retire it. Or attempt to wash it for the first time ever…

The Space Camp animated LED sign

February 11th, 2017

Dmertl's abduction at Space Camp
Last summer my friend Laura planned an elaborate surprise birthday party for her boyfriend Eric. We took over a private high desert campsite, built a UFO DJ booth, dance floor, and other alien activity areas. One of the main attractions we built was the animated LED Space Camp sign. Read the rest of this entry »


March 9th, 2016

2016-03-10 11.30.09

I turned 35 this year and I only got this post up two months late so far. I’m still living in Highland Park, CA and it’s amazing. There’s a little art park across the street we’re cleaning up and we’ll be showing a movie in it tonight. I still work at Two Bit Circus and I spent my birthday doing an install at Dave and Buster’s in Milipitas which is what my spoooooky photo is from.

Boardgames 2015

February 21st, 2016

We're not going to save this house.

I got back into boardgaming in 2012 after receiving a copy of Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre. Before that I had a copy of Catan and Carcassonne from high school and college. Since 2012 though I’ve been playing regularly and acquiring quite a few more. I wanted to cover a couple of my favorites I got in 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

Nerf flywheel gun modding

January 13th, 2016

Ready to run

I haven’t been paying attention to Nerf guns for many years. While they still use spring powered air pistons for many of their blasters (the official term) their product line now includes electromechanical guns. Essentially a pitching machine for foam darts. I decided to buy myself one for Christmas to do some hacking.

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Dry erase shipping containers

January 11th, 2016

custom boxcar by eliot!

Delible Goods, 2015

This was a project I had been thinking about for a while but finally came together last summer. I really like shipping containers and graffiti so I wanted to make a reusable canvas you could doodle on.

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March 9th, 2015

Eliot 34I’m older than I was a year ago! I’m now a full-time engineer at Two Bit Circus who I’ve been working with since last Summer. I still don’t own a motor vehicle. Last month I moved to Highland Park. My coworker lives in a 4-plex that he owns and I rent one of the 1 bedroom units. It’s a great spot and only a few blocks from the train station. I moved Hacker Drinkup with me. We’ve got a diverse regular group of people and no one lives in the same neighborhood. I’ve been better in the last year about posting projects here but it looks like I need to catch up again. In a few days, this blog, which gave me my career path, will turn 10 years old.

Christmas tree hexapod dancing alone to Ginuwine’s Pony

December 24th, 2014

Ready to dance

A couple weeks ago I had a strong desire to get a six legged robot, stick a tiny tree on it, and make it dance… so I did exactly that. The Hexy I started with came from my friend Arko and I took advantage of it being open source to print the new parts I needed. I set the whole thing to the tune of Ginuwine’s Pony since YouTube is chock full of sexy dancing to that song. You can find the video embedded below and my friend Taylor Hatmaker — who loves robots — was able to suss a few more details of the build out of me for her post. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »