Project Helicam

Helicam Sketches

Heli­cam is an AltLab pro­ject that emer­ged from the wish to cap­tu­re ima­ges from the sky with a WiFi ena­bled came­ra so that one can see what’s being shot from a dif­fe­rent pers­pec­ti­ve and in real-time. This appro­a­ch may lead to new para­digms in visu­al pers­pec­ti­ves by ena­bling sho­o­ting from air views at a con­si­de­ra­bly low cost and also so clo­se that can­not be easily done from a heli­cop­ter.

As a real exam­ple, one of the pro­jects to accom­plish with Heli­cam is for tes­ting for local forests sur­veil­lan­ce and use in rela­ted rese­ar­ch pro­jects, as with forest fire pre­ven­ti­on for sus­tai­na­bi­lity. Other pos­si­ble ope­ra­ti­on fields can be archi­tec­tu­re, buil­ding sur­veil­lan­ce or even artis­tic per­for­man­ce envi­ron­ments whe­re mul­ti­me­dia has a strong pre­sen­ce.

The main idea is to build an inex­pen­si­ve and fle­xi­ble plat­form using – as a star­ting point – spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons made avai­la­ble by seve­ral open sour­ce pro­jects avai­la­ble onli­ne (like Mikro­kop­ter or UAVP-NG). After doing some ini­ti­al rese­ar­ch and costs eva­lu­a­ti­on we rea­li­zed that we can­not make this pro­toty­pe with the resour­ces cur­ren­tly avai­la­ble within the group mem­bers or AltLab and the­re­fo­re we star­ted to seek for some kind of spon­sorship. I have to say that we were lucky sin­ce with only two con­tacts made, we were able to fun­drai­se money in order to build a flying pro­toty­pe accor­ding to our ini­ti­al costs pre­dic­ti­ons. Thank you Mob­bit for accep­ting our pro­po­sal!!

If you wan­na join us in this pro­ject stop by AltLab in one of our regu­lar Tues­day night mee­tings.

Dissecting old hardware

The last two ses­si­ons at Altlab have been a tre­men­dous fun!

We had been col­lec­ting lots of old hard­ware (pc’s, modems, mothe­bo­ards, cd-roms, prin­ters, etc)  to give it a new pur­po­se! Finally we deci­ded to start to take pro­fit from it.

Basi­cally in old hard­ware trash, the­re are lot’s of inte­res­ting things that still work very well (like motors,  leds, scre­ens) and can be re-uti­li­zed in other pro­jects.

Here we have some pic­tu­res of this acti­vity :

One of the results, a box full of motors :

So if you have in your pla­ce some old elec­tro­nic equip­ment sto­red that you are no pla­ning to use it any­mo­re, you can bring it to AltLab and we’ll take care of it! 😉

More pic­tu­res in our Flic­kr Pho­to Stre­am

Workshop de Impressão 3D com Zach Hoeken (Lisboa)

3D Printing Workshop

Datas: 19 de Out a 1 de Nov de 2009

Local: Lis­boa (espa­ço a anun­ci­ar)


19:30 às 22:30 (dias de sema­na)

11:00 às 19:00 (fins de sema­na)

total de 58h

Infor­ma­ção e ins­cri­ções:


Orga­ni­za­ção: Audi­ên­cia Zero (altLab + LCD)

Con­tac­to: cata­ri­na­mo­ta (at) audi­en­ci­a­ze­ro (dot) org

(ins­cri­ções aber­tas :: núme­ro limi­ta­do de vagas)


A impres­são 3D é uma for­ma ori­gi­nal de impres­são, no âmbi­to da tec­no­lo­gia de pro­to­ti­pa­gem, em que um objec­to tri­di­men­si­o­nal é cri­a­do por uma máqui­na a par­tir da acu­mu­la­ção de cama­das suces­si­vas de um dado mate­ri­al (Wiki­pe­dia).

O Workshop

O objec­ti­vo do workshop é a cons­tru­ção e uti­li­za­ção de uma impres­so­ra 3D open sour­ce (mode­lo Maker­Bot). Os par­ti­ci­pan­tes irão cons­truir a máqui­na de raiz: des­de a mon­ta­gem das com­po­nen­tes elec­tró­ni­cas e extru­sor, pas­san­do pela mecâ­ni­ca, até à jun­ção de todas as peças. Irão ain­da adqui­rir e aper­fei­ço­ar apti­dões e téc­ni­cas nas área de fabri­co de elec­tró­ni­ca, mecâ­ni­ca, mode­la­ção 3D, fabri­ca­ção digi­tal e reso­lu­ção de pro­ble­mas com impres­so­ras 3D. O workshop será ain­da um lugar pri­vi­le­gi­a­do para adqui­rir conhe­ci­men­tos sobre os mais diver­sos tópi­cos, como teo­ria da elec­tró­ni­ca, design de firmwa­re, enge­nha­ria mecâ­ni­ca, pro­to­co­los de série, fabri­ca­ção digi­tal e dese­nho 3D.

A impres­so­ra 3D cons­truí­da duran­te o workshop fica­rá pos­te­ri­or­men­te dis­po­ní­vel para os mem­bros do altLab (qual­quer inte­res­sa­do se pode ins­cre­ver no altLab se assim o dese­jar). Os par­ti­ci­pan­tes que dese­jem cons­truir a sua pró­pria máqui­na, e levá-la para casa, terão que adqui­rir o res­pec­ti­vo kit open sour­ce no site da Maker­Bot.

Zach Hoe­ken

Zach Hoe­ken likes to dre­am big, fail big, and win big. His true pas­si­on in life is acting as a catalyst and hel­ping others do ama­zing things. Whether it is cre­a­ting open sour­ce micro con­trol­lers (, robot con­trol­ler soft­ware (, object sha­ring web­si­tes (, self repli­ca­ting 3D prin­ters (, or hac­ker col­lec­ti­ves ( the­re is one cen­tral pur­po­se: to help other peo­ple help them­sel­ves cre­a­te an awe­so­me world to live in. He hopes that some­day we can cre­a­te a world that sur­pas­ses even the wil­dest futu­res por­trayed in sci­en­ce fic­ti­on. He thinks the uni­ver­se is and will con­ti­nue to be com­ple­tely rad. Do you want to help?

Datas e Valo­res para ins­cri­ção no workshop:

Ins­cri­ções até 31 de Julho: 200€*

(50% no acto de ins­cri­ção + 50% até 19 de Setem­bro)

Ins­cri­ções após 31 de Julho: 250€*

(pagos no acto de ins­cri­ção)

* não reem­bol­sá­vel

3D printing workshop

digital art girls @ futurartes

digital art girls @ futurartes
Ladi­es, from left to right: Raquel Par­dal, Ana Car­va­lho, Dia­na Com­bo, Elga Fer­rei­ra, Petra Fari­nha, Cata­ri­na Mota, and Móni­ca Men­des. And then, of cour­se, there’s Rudol­fo Quin­tas in betwe­en Elga and Petra 🙂 Note that we tri­ed to hide our lap­tops under the table to avoid loo­king like total wor­kaho­lics, but Mónica’s still shows…

We loved the first edi­ti­on of futu­rar­tes. The­re were talks by LCD (Pedro Ânge­lo), In Moti­on (Fili­pe Val­pe­rei­ro), and altLab + open­Ma­te­ri­als (me), Pro­ces­sing and PD workshops (Pedro Ânge­lo), per­for­man­ces by Rudol­fo Quin­tas, Diat0m (Rui Mon­tei­ro), and Magen­ta Inte­ri­or (Ana Car­va­lho). Thank you Pedro and Raquel for a won­der­ful fes­ti­val!

But mos­tly it was gre­at to, for the first time in qui­te a whi­le, gather together so many Por­tu­gue­se girls wor­king in digi­tal arts — the­re were 8 of us, ins­te­ad of the usu­al 2 or 3. Raquel, Ana, Dia­na, Elga, Petra, Cata­ri­na, Móni­ca, and Letí­cia (who wasn’t the­re for the group pic) are deve­lo­ping expe­ri­men­tal work on tan­gi­ble inter­fa­ces, bio art, com­pu­ter visi­on, phy­si­cal com­pu­ting, live video pro­ces­sing, hybrid mate­ri­als engi­ne­e­ring, and per­for­man­ce. Yay ladi­es!

Make your own game-pad!

…Don’t let others tell you how many but­tons you can press at once, the­se are times of fre­e­dom 🙂

This is a home­ma­de game-pad with just one acce­le­ro­me­ter (a bre­a­kout board from Spark­fun) and one push-but­ton.

custom game-pad with accelerometer and push-button connected to arduino

Using a sim­ple, cus­tom pro­to­col and a C# lis­te­ner we could play Acce­le­roids, an Aste­roids lost sibling on Ste­roids, whi­ch uses the acce­le­ro­me­ter to con­trol the ship and the but­ton to sho­ot.

next steps will be to turn this into a gene­ric game-pad by simu­la­ting key­bo­ard key pres­ses for any sen­sor you throw at the Ardui­no, allowing you to cre­a­te truly funky pads to con­trol your favou­ri­te game. Stay tuned! 😉

Edit: We were aler­ted by fri­en­dly com­ments that this pro­ject resem­bles another project/tutorial that can be found here:,902.0.html