My Summer @ NYC Resistor

nycResistor

This sum­mer I was a resi­dent at NYC Resis­tor (NYCR), a hac­ker col­lec­ti­ve based in Bro­o­klyn, NY. I’m now back home in Lis­bon and would like to sha­re a bri­ef round-up of this won­der­ful expe­ri­en­ce.

First of all I must men­ti­on how incre­di­bly wel­co­ming and fun all the mem­bers of the col­lec­ti­ve are. Not only did they let me sha­re their spa­ce for two who­le months, pro­vi­ding me with a gre­at lear­ning oppor­tu­nity, but also made me feel at home among them and showed me a gre­at time.

I was lucky to get the­re just as their Awe­so­me August chal­len­ge was star­ting. The idea here being that NYCR mem­bers chal­len­ged each other to finish one gre­at pro­ject until the end of that month. The pro­jects were inde­ed awe­so­me, from an Eight Foot Lite Bri­te, an FPGA-based DNA sequen­ce align­ment acce­le­ra­tor, a Mono­me, a Player Toy Pia­no, and some very civi­li­zed smashing… to name only a few.

Another of my favo­ri­te sta­ples, and the one I think I’ll miss the most, was Craft Night. Every Thurs­day eve­ning NYCR opens its doors to tho­se of us “who like to make stuff… so you don’t have to make stuff by your­self.” On the­se nights, NYCR mem­bers help visi­tors with their pro­jects by sha­ring tips and kno­wled­ge, and everyo­ne just has a gre­at time wor­king together around one big table.

And then of cour­se, the­re was the unfor­get­ta­ble Inte­rac­ti­ve Party, during whi­ch some of Awe­so­me August’s pro­jects were shown, and that even inclu­ded a giant robot cake, chalk drawing on the flo­or, a Wimshurst machi­ne, and crayo­la model magic.

NYCR is cur­ren­tly offe­ring a seri­es of really inte­res­ting clas­ses, whi­ch I’m very sad to miss.

During my resi­dency I wor­ked on a few (really fun) expe­ri­ments with paper/cardboard pulp and soft cir­cuits, as well as other (frus­tra­ting) ones with car­bon nano­tu­bes. More on that later — I’m still unpac­king 🙂

Thank you NYC Resis­tor!

Drum Pads

drumpads1drumpads2

Hey.

Four drum pads ready to go.

All made of old mate­ri­al found in the Alt/Lab ins­tal­la­ti­ons, and a very spe­ci­al big thankxxx for Móni­ca who brought the casings (we are going back to that in a moment) for the drum pads.

So the idea was to make drum pads that we could hook up to a sound card(or wha­te­ver) and them make swe­et music, this is a very nice com­bi­na­ti­on betwe­en pie­zo­e­lec­tric com­po­nents and a few layers of some absor­bent sound  mate­ri­al like rub­ber or cork foil (that’s what we use becau­se the­re was nothing more) and a pie­ce of alu­mi­num foil for a gre­a­ter drum area .

We use an old can (20l) of paint, four pie­zo­e­lec­tric found in elec­tro­nic junk like old modems and old telepho­nes, wire for con­nec­ting the pie­zos, cork foil for insu­la­ti­on the drum pad area and Móni­ca sup­ply the casings (squa­re rub­ber cd´s stands), and glue for put­ting everything nice and tight .

First we cut a pie­ce of the can (cir­cu­lar about 10cm radius)and we glu­ed the pie­zo into it, then we dril­led one hole into the rub­ber casing for the wires to came out, them we cut two squa­re cork foil parts (the first in the bot­tom of the casing and the other for the top) a bit of glue and that’s it drum pads ready to rock.

Now we got some audio coming out of the pads but thats just boring becau­se its always the same and we want to go further like trans­for­ming audio into midi mes­sa­ges, and we found the right tool for it, its cal­led  “KTDrum­Trig­ger” and he trans­forms the audio sig­nal into midi notes, we can use this midi notes insi­de a sequen­cer pro­gram to con­trol any kind of ins­tru­ment (either VSTI or some other stuff), in our case we use the drum pads to con­trol “Bat­tery” and thats it ins­tant fun.

The­re are some other links and some other ide­as for drum pads. This “one“uses ardu­nio as a sour­ce for the imput sig­nal.

drumpads3

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)

Horá­ri­os:

19:30 às 22:30 (dias de sema­na)

11:00 às 19:00 (fins de sema­na)

total de 58h

Infor­ma­ção e ins­cri­ções: http://www.audienciazero.org/cct/3dprinting

 

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 (sanguino.cc), robot con­trol­ler soft­ware (replicat.org), object sha­ring web­si­tes (thingiverse.com), self repli­ca­ting 3D prin­ters (reprap.org), or hac­ker col­lec­ti­ves (nycresistor.com) 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