They used a Peggy 2 to drive a field full of LED illuminated spheres, along with IR sensors to detect visitors entering the array. Each new person would trigger a new sphere to light up and move through the field.
This is the largest installation we’ve ever seen based on the Peggy 2.
Thanks for sharing your incredible project with us!
Links to many more Peggy 2 projects are on the wiki.
The 2013 Bay Area Maker Faire is a wrap— and it was amazing. And we took pictures. We’ve uploaded 362 photos from maker faire right here for your browsing pleasure. But first, a little preview.
Kids play with giant cardboard robot arms at the Giant Cardboard Robots booth. As they say, “The revolution will be corrugated.”
Glo-Puter Zero, by Alan Yates, with its phosphor-based memory. Truly a highlight of the show.
Lenore shares a nerdy moment with Akiba from Freaklabs.
An unusual LED badge, from the Bay Lights project.
The Western Pyrotechnics Association is a club for people that make their own fireworks. It’s incredible to see the complexity and artistry of the fireworks and the tooling that makes them.
A beautiful hovercraft, designed to look like a flying DeLorean; you can see video of it on the project site.
An unexpected application: Our friend Bilal Ghalib stopped by and enlisted the WaterColorBot to help him make a birthday card for another friend.
And one of our favorite moments of Maker Faire: a young visitor, tickled pink as she tries out the WaterColorBot, watching it paint a drawing that she had just sketched.
Some of the creations are simpler, like this sidewalk-chalk wielding vibrobot, spinning on a tabletop chalkboard at the Exploratorium booth.
Some of the creations are more technical, like the OpenPNP project to create open source pick and place machines for electronics assembly. We’re excited by where this is headed, along with a few related projects.
And of course, there’s no shortage of LED goodness.
Please click right here for the rest of our 2013 Bay Area Maker Faire photo album.
This is a fantastically busy week in the bay area for makers and hardware folk.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Hardware Innovation Workshop will be held at San Mateo College. Windell will be speaking on Wednesday afternoon; check out the agenda to see the full lineup of presenters.
On Thursday, we’ll be participating in Maker Faire Education Day with Super Awesome Sylvia and the WaterColorBot. If you’re a bay area teacher, you and your class should be there! If you’re a bay area student, make sure your teacher knows about this!
On Saturday and Sunday, the Bay Area Maker Faire is in full swing at the San Mateo County Event Center. We’ll be there with Super Awesome Sylvia and the WaterColorBot. Windell and I also mentor FIRST Robotics team 3501 from Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, and they will be there with their robot, Oddjob. I will be participating in the Parenting Young Makers panel on the Make: Education Stage at 2:00 pm on Sunday as well. The full Maker Faire schedule has been posted, and advance tickets are still available. If you’re planning on driving, check out the list of free parking lots with shuttles or in walking distance. 110,000 attendees were there last year— not a small party!
To spread the celebration a little further, we’re holding a DIY Fever sale in our shop now through Monday.
Over on instructables, SF Media Labs has posted a 1x1x1 LED Cube tutorial.
See also: Blink an LED with an AVR.
It was the 1960′s, and people were building some very interesting digital computers. One of them was the Digi-Comp II, which we have written about extensively: a binary mechanical computer based on rolling marbles and flip-flop gates.
For an entirely different approach, look no further than How to Build a Working Digital Computer (1967) by Edward Alcosser, James P. Phillips, and Allen M. Wolk. You can download it as a free e-book (PDF, EPUB, Kindle) at Archive.org, thanks to the BitSavers PDF Document archive.
How to Build a Working Digital Computer is both an introduction to the “new and exciting field of digital computers” and a set of plans to build one. What’s especially interesting is that the plans don’t call for any specialized electronic components, but instead show how to build everything from parts that you might find at a hardware store: items like paper clips, little light bulbs, thread spools, wire, screws, and switches (that can optionally be made from paper clips).
That’s not to say that such a computer is necessarily simplistic. Arrays of paperclip logic gates can get pretty big, pretty fast.
The instructions include a read-only drum memory for storing the computer program (much like a player piano roll), made from a juice can, with read heads made from bent paper clips. A separate manually-operated “core” memory (made of paper-clip switches) is used for storing data.
So can this “paper clip” computer actually be built, and if so, would it work? Apparently yes, on both counts. Cleveland youngsters Mark Rosenstein and Kenny Antonelli built one named “Emmerack” in 1972 (albeit substituting Radio Shack slide switches for most of the paper clips), and another was built in 1975 by the Wickenburg High School Math Club in Arizona. And, at least one modern build has been completed, as you can see on YouTube.
Perhaps more surprisingly, the “paper clip” computer was also the basis of the Arkay (later, Comspace) CT-650 computer trainer, a rare, early computer that seems to have been built directly from the plans in How to Build a Working Digital Computer.
Photos of an original Comspace CT-650 posted recently at the Vintage Computer Forums show that this computer was a beautiful piece of work— no paper clips or tin cans in sight.
Although it’s a too small to see in the pictures, the fine print below the “core” memory switch array reads “PATENT PENDING.” The brains of the computer being adapted from an existing design, the patent, D210728, claims only the “Ornamental design for the data entry keyboard console.”