Jun 172008

BlinkMs are a lot of fun by themselves, but they’re also little network devices, each having its own address on an I2C network. Here’s where I think BlinkM can really shine since it makes controlling multiple RGB LEDs pretty easy. For Maker Faire, I wanted to show off this facet by having a single Arduino control a dozen or so BlinkMs on a single I2C bus. The result is shown in the little video below.

Read on for how this was put together.

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 Posted by at 2:43 am
Feb 182008

Want to hook up a Wii Nunchuck to an Arduino but don’t want to cut up the cord on your Nunchuck? Yeah me too. So I made some of these:



It’s a small PCB that adapts the Wii Nunchuck connector to standard 4-pin header. I call it the “wiichuck adapter”. It plugs directly into the Arduino, no wiring necessary. You can get one too for $4.

Available from the following wonderful shops:
FunGizmos.com. FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING. International shipping for $1 more.
Little Bird Electronics (Australia)
SparkFun. Ships domestic & internationally. Be sure to order header pins too!
– and just about any SparkFun distributor

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 Posted by at 7:41 pm
Jan 152007

At my new company ThingM, Mike and I have completed a technology sketch for WineM, a smart wine rack. Below is a video demonstration and an abstract. A full description can be found on the ThingM site. We periodically create Technology Sketches as a way to explore the ideas we’re thinking about.

(revver link)

WineM is a Technology Sketch of a smart wine rack. It’s designed to locate wines in a wine rack using RFIDs attached to bottles and to display which wines have been located using LED backlights behind the bottles. Collectors (or anyone with a large wine cellar) can use it to search through collections, track the location of specific bottles and manage inventory with a minimum of data entry. Linking bottles to networked databases can provide information that would otherwise be too time consuming or difficult to obtain (for example, the total value of a collection, or all the wine that is ready to drink).

 Posted by at 6:44 pm
May 302006

At the next meeting of the SoCal instantiaton of dorkbot, I’ll be bringing an entourage of Roomba with me and will be demonstrating the hackability of them. Some of the things I’ll be talking about:

– RoombaMidi / Roombas making music
– Roomba Spirographs / Roombas making art
– Roomba as robotics experimentation platform
– What’s needed to hack a Roomba

What: Roomba-a-go-go at dorkbot-socal
Where: Machine Project
When: Saturday June 3rd, 1pm
Why: Know your enemy, the Roombas are ready to revolt

 Posted by at 10:23 am
May 232006

An interface that is interacts with you.
portmanteau of interface and interaction.

For interfaces with a touch response, interfaction == haptic. But there are other kinds of interfaction. The ring of LEDs that surround a rotory encoder to show a parameters value, or keys that beep when you press them are non-haptic interfactions.

 Posted by at 10:10 am
Mar 012006

I recently obtained a ReadyNAS NV by Infrant, on the recommendation of my friend Ben Franco, who’s done much research on large disk arrays. The ReadyNAS pretty much rules. I think my long-standing storage woes may finally be over.

readynas status screen

It’s a dedicated Network Attached Storage (NAS) box that does RAID-0, RAID-1, RAID-5, or a proprietary combo of the three called “X-RAID”. X-RAID allows you to start with one disk, move to two, then three, then four, all without rebuilding the RAID or changing RAID levels.

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 Posted by at 12:38 pm