about todbot

Bio for publication purposes:

Tod E. Kurt is co-founder of ThingM, a ubiquitous computing / Internet of Things device studio based in Pasadena and San Francisco. He is creator of the popular blink(1) USB notificiation light and BlinkM, the Smart LED prototyping device.  Tod is a contributor to MAKE magazine, the author of the book "Hacking Roomba", an active member in the Arduino community, and co-founder of the Los Angeles hackerspace Crash Space.  His past work includes being the original systems architect of GoTo.com, the first public pay-per-click search engine, and a researcher in Yahoo Research Lab.  Before that, Tod was a hardware, software, and firmware engineer working on robotic camera systems for probes that went to Mars.  

More casual bio:

I'm based out of Pasadena.  I'm an Electrical Engineer by training (went to Caltech) but spent most of the 90s doing web engineering at the start of the web.  For a bit I also worked on the firmware and hardware for space cameras that went to Mars.

Now I'm doing various hacking things.

My company ThingM is a ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) and Internet of Things (IoT) design studio.  We do ubicomp/IoT research and release a few commercial retail products, most notably the blink(1) USB notification light.  ThingM also produces a few hacker/prototyping tools: BlinkM, BlinkM MaxM, and the "Wiichuck adapter"

I'm also part of WingShield Industries (http://wingshieldindustries.com/), makers of the ScrewShield for Arduino, with John Park and Brian Jepson of Make Magazine.   I occasionally write for Make Magazine, like the Servomotor Primer in Make #19 (http://makezine.com/19/primer/)

I also wrote a book called Hacking Roomba (http://hackingroomba.com/).  If you recall seeing a Roomba hack in 2006-7, it was probably mine.

Arduino is a big favorite of mine. In 2006-7 I taught a series of Arduino classes at Machine Project that were pretty successful:  Spooky Arduino (http://todbot.com/blog/spookyarduino/) and Bionic Arduino (http://todbot.com/blog/bionicarduino/). The PDFs and code for the classes are still used by instructors.

In the last few years I've been working with local artists, discovering ways of melding technology into art.  One example is the"Crystal Monster" I worked on with Beverly Tang (http://sublimina.com/work/crystal-monster). Another, with Carlyn Maw and Mark Allen of Machine Project, is the Cash Machine.

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