Jed, aka “JedJedJed”, “Jedders”, “Jedbutt”, “Little Wacko” died today after living approximately 15 years. He died quietly in his home with me at his side.
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.
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).
– RoombaMidi / Roombas making music
– Roomba Spirographs / Roombas making art
– Roomba as robotics experimentation platform
– What’s needed to hack a Roomba
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.
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.
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.
I just received my quicky non-business business cards. That makes them calling cards, I guess, and when I get more time I’d like to get really nice simple letterpress ones, with some sort of sumptuous paper.
These quicky cards are from some place I found on the Net, clickbusinesscards.com. Use their little web design GUI for 10 minutes, insert 35 bucks via Visa and I had cards being shipped to me. I get them in a matter of days, but when I look at the Fedex tracking info (aka “travel blog” ), I see the cards came all the way from Australia! Across the Pacific! Through customs! Into Tennesee?
We live in a strange wonderful world where it’s cost-effective to have business cards made on the other side of the world.
A couple of the Roomba projects got mentioned on the Net recently. Actually what was primarily mentioned was the wonderful editing job of the posts done by Phillip Torrone for the Makezine blog. The projects were on the front pages (briefly) of Makezine, Boing Boing, Digg, etc.! Very exciting. I’ve been collecting links of famous (to me) places were it was mentioned:
– Makezine blog, serial interface
– Makezine blog, bluetooth interface
– Digg, serial interface
– Boing Boing, serial and bluetooth
– Engadget, serial and bluetooth
– Gizmodo, bluetooth
Unfortunately, many of the comments on these blogs don’t quite get the reason for hacking the Roomba in this way. (many “what’s the point?” comments) It’s not to make Roomba a better vacuum cleaner or to make it into a fully-fledged autonomous robot. It’s to bring the fun of robots into your household very cheaply. If you already have a Roomba or don’t mind spending ~$160 for one, you can easily hook it up to your computer and have real live Logo with a real live ‘turtle’. Or make it dance. Or just play around with it.
It’s not often we can write programs that effect the real world.
And if none of that helps, just think of it more as a computer-controlled RC car rather than a vacuum cleaner or robot.