Following in the footsteps of +Mike Barela I have connected the Esplora to the Electric Imp and sent serial communications to a remote Imp by way of the Imp servers. Photos below.
I used the physical setup that Mike devised, connecting the Imp to pins 7 and 8 of the Esplora expansion headers (D0 and D1 of the Arduino) which are RX and TX respectively. I used an +Adafruit Industries April Impee board and a Sparkfun logic level converter to shift the Arduino's 5V signals to 3.3V for the Imp.
Reshared text: The geometry of music revealed! The red lines connect notes that are a major third apart. The green lines connect notes that are a minor third apart. The blue lines connect notes that are a perfect fifth apart.
Each triangle is a chord with three notes, called a triad. These are the most basic chords in Western music. There are two kinds:
A major triad sounds happy. The major triads are the triangles whose edges go red-green-blue as you go around clockwise.
A minor triad sounds sad. The minor triads are the triangles whose edges go green-red-blue as you go around clockwise.
This pattern is called a tone net, and this one was created by David W. Bulger. There's a lot more to say about it, and you can read more in this Wikipedia article:
So I'm making my way through the wireless alternatives for Arduino. I've tried Xbees. They're fun. Tried Bluetooth LE. Nice to control the Arduino with an iPhone but the next step is a big one.
Now the Electric Imp. Looks like a nice system. I could probably learn enough of their Squirrel language to use it. Lots of web-based support and graphic configuration between Imps in the field. This could be really useful.
Still amazing to me that I can get the latest Arduino board at a suburban NJ Radio Shack. Now to spend some hours trying it out. Right out of the box it should work as a game controller for Unity - the joystick is putting out up down left right arrows, the right button is a space, other buttons N, V, and B.
Like other newer Arduino boards, the Esplora is a USB HID device. There is a page of instructions on the Arduino site about using the library for this:
And in the last day or so, +Jeremy Shore has released code that lets the Esplora work as a controller for a number of game emulators, including Snes9X and JNES.
For me, this board is a way to grab the attention of our girls, age 11 to 16, who will be the core of a Space Girls project that includes running programs on ArduSat, the Arduino based orbital satellite that we backed in a Kickstarter campaign last summer. We will have to move on from this board eventually - it does not expose the pins for I2C that are used in ArduSat - but this looks like fun for all of us.
Reshared text: White's proposed design, an ingenious re-imagining of an Alcubierre Drive, may eventually result in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks — and all without violating Einstein's law of relativity. We contacted White at NASA and asked him to explain how this real life warp drive could actually work.
The below image of a Vulcan command ship features a warp engine similar to an Alcubierre Drive.
Reshared text: Let's do a bit of 4-dimensional geometry. Here's a movie of a rotating 4d hypercube, also called a tesseract. Of course it's projected down to 3d space, and then drawn in perspective on your 2d computer screen. But notice that just as a cube consists of 2 squares with edges drawn from the corners of one to the corners of the other, this consists of 2 cubes with edges drawn from the corners of one to the corners of the other.
We can use this pattern to work out a bunch of stuff:
A square has 4 corners, a cube has 2 x 4 = 8 corners, and a tesseract has 2 x 8 = 16 corners.
A square has 4 edges, a cube has 2 x 4 + 4 = 12 edges, and a tesseract has 2 x 12 + 8 = 32 edges. (Here the +4 comes from the fact that a square has 4 corners, and the +8 comes from the fact that a cube has 8 corners.)
A square has 1 square, a cube has 2 x 1 + 4 = 6 squares, and a tesseract has 2 x 6 + 12 = 24 squares. (Here the +4 comes from the fact that a square has 4 edges, and the +12 comes from the fact that a cube has 12 edges.)
A cube has 1 cube, and a tesseract has 2 x 1 + 6 = 8 cubes. (Here the +6 comes from the fact that a cube has 6 squares.)
I'm not being ultra-systematic here... but if you get the pattern, you can work out how many things of each kind a 5d hypercube will have, and so on. If you get stuck, try this:
I arrived too late this morning to see the last piece go into place. But there's plenty of work left to turn Area 51 into a digital dome theater. And there will never again be this much light blasting the dome.
A couple of hours of cleanup, then a possible quick run up to the American Museum of Natural History, to see the Hayden planetarium. The blokes (John, Dino, and Mike) fly out to London at 6pm. Then Colombia, Czechoslovakia, and other destinations. Wherever a dome needs building. But now that they've had a taste of the East Village, they'll be back.
Reshared text: The Most Beautiful Wisteria Tree in the World
In the Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi, Japan sits an incredibly gorgeous wisteria tree that's often referred to as the most beautiful in the whole world. The largest and oldest in Japan, the tree is the main attraction at the flower park as visitors flock to see it in full bloom. Dating back to approximately 1870, the 143-year-old tree has branches that are supported by beams, which creates a a stunning flower umbrella.
Not bad as far as it goes. But I'm not sure why it had no luck with the back of the doll. I shot 38 photos going all around the model. Maybe lighting issues? Does anyone have any experience with this to share?
After 18 months protected from the construction around it, the 1958 Airstream trailer is almost ready to uncover. Ceilings have the final paint coat, and the walls are rolled, not sprayed, so I pulled back the tarp to take a look.
In the summer of 2011, my son Will and I spent weeks polishing and preparing the trailer to be hoisted in. That fall it was hoisted into the building.
NEW PRODUCT – WiFi Portable Microscope – Usable With Android/iPad/iPhone – As electronics get smaller and smaller, you’ll need a hand examining PCBs and this little USB microscope is the perfect tool. Its smaller and lighter than a large optical microscope but packs quite a bit of power in its little body. There’s a high quality 640×480 camera sensor inside and an optical magnifier that can adjust from 5x (for basic PCB inspection) to 200x (for detailed inspection). Eight mini white LEDs are angled right onto whatever you’re examining so you get enough lighting to see, and are smoothly adjustable via a dial on the side.
Unlike our USB microscopes, this ‘scope is WiFi based. This means that instead of having a cable or wireless-usb-dongle type connection, there’s a WiFi access point inside the camera enclosure. When you turn it on, it will create a new hotspot just for the camera, so that any tablet or smartphone (such as an iPad/iPhone/Android/etc) can connect to the camera and view the microscope’s video output. This isn’t possible with a USB microscope as many tablets and phones don’t have a USB port and even if they did, there wouldn’t necessarily be drivers available for the camera.
Comes with the microphone, charging cable, CD with software and manual. A stand is not included, the photo above shows it with our articulated aluminum stand (which works great). While this camera is more expensive than a wired-variety, there’s nothing like it for when you want to view the output on a smartphone or tablet!
Reshared text: Is internet access in the US a luxury or a utility?
"In Hong Kong, you can get a 500Mbt symmetric connection for about $25/ month..."
Susan Crawford on Why U.S. Internet Access is Slow, Costly and Unfair
Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation, and author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, joins Bill to discuss how our government has allowed a few powerful media conglomerates to put profit ahead of the public interest — rigging the rules, raising prices, and stifling competition. As a result, Crawford says, all of us are at the mercy of the biggest business monopoly since Standard Oil in the first Gilded Age a hundred years ago.
Update: In comments on one of his original posts, Chris provided some more details about the wiring and Imp setup. Here's the discussion:
Are you documenting the wiring?
Not yet, trying to find a good template in fritzing for the electric imp, but as you noted its pretty simple, just attached the serial backpack to 3v3, GND, and Pin 1. Attach the battery pack to the BAT+ and BAT- terminals.
Most of the time was actually spent unsoldering my 'first rev" which was with two LEDs that would light on/off to indicate successful data push and fast blink for RSSI level. This (obviously) was discrete enough, hence why I went and got the LCD.
So the last piece of the puzzle is the Planner webpage, where input goes to output?
That part is easy, its a simple loopback so it ends up looking like this: http://cl.ly/image/0A250r3D0c14 just take the "output nub" and draw it back into the module. That makes the roundtrip and pushes it back to the device by way of the EI server.
Reshared text: I spent most of today unsoldering and soldering components together, but I have finally built a real-time, micro wifi analyzer. I used an +electric imp, an April prototyping board, 2 CR123 batteries, and a +SparkFun Electronics 16x2 Character LCD. Combine all that with some simple code ( available here: https://gist.github.com/4627143 ) and you too can have a perfect, pocket-sized wireless analyzer.
RESHARE: Nice tiny WiFi node. Note Nicolas' comment on the original post for more details.
Reshared text: Just a little sensor temperature/humidity package I built from an Electric Imp, April Impee board, SHT15 sensor, a 3.7V LiPo and LiPo usb charger. The Electric Imp's code polls the sensor every 600s and pushes the data to the Planner, which makes it to Cosm: https://cosm.com/feeds/95922. The Imp uses Wifi so there's no wires or USB cables. You basically build, place and forget these (that is until the battery dies, which I also track on Cosm). When it sleeps, it draws around 6uA or so of current, so it lasts a long time with the 1300mAh battery.
This is my 2nd Generation, as you can see, it is bare components "assembled" together with double-sided tape. It's really not pretty but it works. There's no enclosure or frame yet as I couldn't find anything that kept it compact. My first generation was using 2x 14500 batteries but it had no USB charger since I was using an older 3.6V cell setup.
RESHARE: Suffering from breakthrough fatigue but this looks promising.
Reshared text: New Way to Split Water Molecules Into Hydrogen and Oxygen: Breakthrough for Solar Energy Conversion and Storage?
Using the power of the sun and ultrathin films of iron oxide (commonly known as rust), Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers have found a novel way to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The breakthrough, published this week in Nature Materials, could lead to less expensive, more efficient ways to store solar energy in the form of hydrogen-based fuels. This could be a major step forward in the development of viable replacements for fossil fuels.
Reshared text: ProBuilder for Unity is diabolically awesome. Grey-boxing goodness.
One of my laments of modern level-design is the environmental tools keep getting better, but gameplay-focused level-design tools have stagnated. ProBuilder revives BSP-style tools, without the actual constraints of BSP structure. So levels can be blocked-out quickly, directly within the editor.
It's simple poly-editing really, but so creatively enabling. This tool makes Unity so damn appealing to me.
Edit: I just gave the demo version a try and it works exactly as shown in the videos (although the demo is limited of course). The full version could replace all of my grey-box workflow. You may have read my previous posts, stumbling about with SketchUp and Blender.
Sensible commentary on the Apple Samsung decision, from Jean-Louis Gassée.
There seems to be a moral aspect, here, as if Apple should be held to a higher standard. Last year, Apple and Nokia settled an IP “misunderstanding” that also resulted in a “Tax”…but it was Nokia that played the T-Man role: Apple paid Nokia more than $600M plus an estimated $11.50 per iPhone sold. Where were the handwringers who now accuse Apple of abusing the patent system when the Nokia settlement took place? Where was the outrage against the “evil”, if hapless, Finnish company?
Count Samsung in this group: The Korean giant reportedly agreed to pay Microsoft “between $10 and $15 – for each Android smartphone or tablet computer it sells.” Sell 100M devices and the tax bill owed to Ballmer and Co. exceeds $1B.
For those of you who have been following our saga, constructing a community science and art center in lower Manhattan, here's some news.
After an extended period of high anxiety, this morning we passed the walkthrough inspection for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy from the New York Department of Buildings. TCO is all we have obsessed about for weeks. This is some kind of financial milestone for our builder/partners, but for us it means we can proceed with our fit out, building the planetarium, the Airstream recording studio, storage, ramps, platforms, risers, office partitions, etc.
Here's a photo of the 1958 Airstream framed in its second floor facade. How did they do that? Exactly.
The Adirondack Space Camp that we held with our first NASA grant was a big hit. Now we move ahead.
We have backed ArduSat and will put girl-made sensor programming on the satellite, and our own satellite images in our space center. The ArduSat team has made their goal but are pushing for an advanced version of the original spacecraft design.
Join us this week and put them over the top for a next level DIY citizen space project.
"So for every $9.99 book I sell I, the author, pay 30% to Amazon for the right to sell on Amazon AND $2.58 for them to deliver the DIGITAL GOOD to your device. It is free for the reader, but the author, not Amazon, pays for delivery."
Reshared text: Thinking of writing an eBook? Be careful:
Reshared text: What is this GeoWizardry? A Kinect 3D camera is aimed at a sandbox & used to create a topographic overlay, which is then projected back onto the sand with a waterflow simulation. Wow! #ScienceSunday
RESHARE: While the usefulness of QR codes is debated (see comments on the original post) this is a clever way to generate them and use them in education. One commenter who is a sys admin noted that he puts a QR on every computer and can then check the history of that machine and all info without logging in. Easier these days than barcoding and with an available spreadsheet more versatile.
Reshared text: Produce QR codes directly in GDocs Spreadsheet
Open a GDocs spreadsheet. In cell A2 type in a favourite URL (e.g. http://cnn.com) In cell B2 drop the following line of code:
Here's a good reference from Google. I've signed up for apps, mainly to create a site to document our mini-dome workstation project. In Android vs iOS I definitely favor the latter, but I live in gmail and Google+ so I am a fan. This brings it together.
To preview the Google site I am working on (under construction) see domebase.org
Reshared text: Sunday Night at The Movies: "Krautrock" another excellent BBC documentary - this time showcasing the German electronic music culture that directly inspired the formation of the global branches of electronic music: emerging in Europe as Electropop, Post-punk Synthpop, and Italo Disco, and in the USA with Hip Hop, House, and Techno. Enjoy! Krautrock - The Rebirth of Germany (BBC Documentary) - Full Version
Reshared text: President Obama promised he would “create a centralized Internet database of lobbying reports, ethics records, and campaign finance filings in a searchable, sortable, and downloadable format.” Today, with the launch of www.Ethics.gov, he’s delivering on that promise. Visit Ethics.gov and give it a try.
RESHARE: Great find. This is apparently the only filmed performance of Getz and Coltrane together.
Reshared text: ...We have rare birthday today and a rare filmed performance...Legendary Stan Getz was born today in 1927...we lost him in 1991...here he is with 'Trane in 1960....enjoy! Happy Birthday Stan...
We've got the Domegirls class for the older girls, but we also want to do interactive work with the younger girls - ages 8-12 - in the new building. We are laying out the interiors now, including flat panels for info and interaction. This would be great in the large arts and crafts studio.
Reshared text: In mid-2009 four former employees of Ableton left to start their own company called +Bitwig and create a new DAW. You probably nearly forgot about them. Well, today they announced they are about to start beta testing (with limited amount of invites). What's there for us? Bitwig Studio works on Linux :)
Fisheye camera rig in Unity3D, for dome projection - and a call for dome games
I'm reposting this link to +Paul Bourke 's fisheye camera rig for Unity, since I'm getting some interest in it.
Also, I will be speaking at MacWorld, Jan 27 in San Francisco, on the potential for immersive dome gaming using this rig and Unity. If any Unity developers have a game or demo they'd like shown in this format, or have an idea for a game that can be played in and between dome theaters (planetariums) let me know,
This is a running version of the Unity fireworks example, with added water, skybox, and fisheye view for fulldome projection.
Please give me feedback. I know these have fairly low frame rates. That's improved by reducing max particles in the emitters (done after these apps were uploaded). And please share any tests you are doing.
Reshared text: Kinect + Massive = the future of making electronic music?
Just watched this and wow... i had seen the previous video demo but he goes into detail explaining how he's interfacing the kinect with max/ massive inside ableton. Pretty straight forward stuff in terms of taking midi info and getting it to control a soft synth but i haven't used a kinect to send out midi data so not sure how hard that is to figure out.
I mostly compose "in the box" but i love interfacing with hardware so i have many different types of controllers that send out midi to the computer so i'm always looking for new ways of interfacing with synthesizers, i'm absolutely sold on this and i already have a couple ideas in how i can use this in mixing situations for creating automation on the fly.
CC: +Eric Martindale have you sent it out yet? If not i'm gonna go buy one cause i'm seeing the possibilities with this and i'm freaking out a lil.
Touropia - "Famous trees come and go. L’Arbre du Ténéré was once considered the most isolated tree on Earth, a landmark on caravan routes in the Sahara, until it was knocked down by a drunk Libyan truck driver in 1973. This year in August, the famous Anne Frank tree in Amsterdam was blown down by high winds during a storm. Luckily, there are still many special trees out there. An overview of the most famous trees in the world. ..."
Space memoirs are popping up. Here's mine. Sorry it's a "long read" for this format.
My Dad worked at Melpar, in suburban DC, in the 50's and 60's. Melpar was one of the first government contractors, later bought by Raytheon. I knew my Dad had a top secret security clearance, but that was about all I knew. He bought me a model of all the missiles and booster rockets in about 1960 - mounted in rows of plastic spikes - and took us to the outdoors exhibit of rockets in DC before there was an Air and Space museum. But he never talked about it - too much cold war paranoia and too much of a chance I'd tell my friends.
One day he brought home some little packets and asked us to taste them. We ate the dry bland stuff - the first freeze-dried foods, designed for astronauts. Last week I saw one of those little packets, framed with a Melpar blueprint, for sale online for $850.
I rebelled against engineering and became a musician and English major, but eventually found I had the aptitude: approximate television engineer, editor/producer, computer geek. Now I find myself building a community planetarium, writing NASA grant proposals and converting a '58 Airstream into a recording studio for the Girls Club. 1958 was the year NASA was established, two years after we moved to northern Virginia and my Dad started at Melpar.
And the Airstream has its space connection, as I've noted before. Melpar built the MQF, Mobile Quarantine Facility, that the moon astronauts spent 3 days in upon their return. No moon-bugs or body snatchers for NASA.
He's gone now, and I wish I'd asked him more about those days. In his obituary I learned that he had a patent on the antenna used on the Atlas boosters that lifted the first space capsules.
Dad was a hobbyist, polymath and materials scientist, starting as a semiconductor engineer in 1948 and later programming the first microcomputers in assembly language. He died in 1992, before seeing his life's work enable a global network. But he had a blast, I know. Sometimes I get a feeling that he's looking at all this through my eyes.
Reshared text: For anyone interested in building immersive environments, Elumenati launched Omnity 2 on the Unity3D asset store. This video introduces the technology that easily enables any Unity3D game to to be projection mapped with Elumenati's Omnifocus projection systems.
Please share with anyone you know that uses Unity3D or is interested in projection mapped immersive installations.
Just working out the best layout for desks in my future office and in the dome control room and "space center". For the first time I can sit in the place that has been 3 years under construction. A folding table for now, but it's still a thrill.
Contrast with Carter Emmart's office in the American Museum of Natural History, where he is director of astrovisualization. His place shows a quirky 15-year accumulation of space toys and souvenirs of his travels. Mine will get some character over time but I doubt I will ever match his. Who could?