sudo make me a sandwich

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.02.27 at 4:40 pm | Perma

So this last weekend I was at NYC Resistor taking in the sun *cough* taking in the sights *cough* taking in the culture *……* well yeah. Anyway I was witnessing the birth of something magnificent. The “sudo make me a sandwich” robot!

Some of you may know the origin of the story, but for those that do not I think a simple cartoon slide will suffice.
Sandwich

From XKCD.com

So Bre of NYC Resistor and Adam of Hackerbot Labs decided to finally implement the infamous Simon Says of hacker sandwich making.

From Bre’s blog post

Make sure to check out Adam’s photos and his excellent blog called Shadowflux where he’ll post the code for this robot. Adam took the robot home to Seattle with him and I am optimistic that more sandwiches will be born of this robot and set free into the world.

In order to make it all work, Adam set up an arduino to interface with 2 servos and 2 steppers using the RepRap stepper controllers.

I used QCAD to design some bread and cheese distributing mechanisms and the infrastructure is up on Thingiverse.com.

The toaster oven needed a little modification and a servo controlled flap was put into place with some hinges to make it move slowly. Adam found some pretty special stepper motors with an amazing amount of torque fo.r the flap and the tray controls.

This is one of those robots that I swear is alive. The noises it made were like an animal and it seemed that everytime we looked the other way, it was coming to life and changing things with the setup.

Real Life Projects FTW!

/E.

Categories : fun  hackers  hackerspace  hacking  people
Tags :     

What is a hackerspace?

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.02.19 at 11:26 pm | Perma

That is but one of the questions I get whenever I go out and the topic of what I do in my free time comes up.

So recently I had that same question asked but this time, Dave Hoffman of Davemakes.com had brought a video camera.

From Daves’ site
The time has finally come to unveil my secret project. HELLO is a new series of videos about interesting people. This first episode features Eric Michaud, President of Pumping Station: One, a hackerspace opening up in Chicago. I asked him all about what a hackerspace is, and why you should join one.

If you don’t have 15 minutes to spare, check out this quick 90 second preview of the interview.

This is the preview.

Preview of HELLO – Eric Michaud, President of Pumping Station: One from Dave Jacob Hoffman on Vimeo.

I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I do, by doing this blog and building hackerspaces.

Cheers,

/E

How We Hacked Shmoocon, Or…

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.02.13 at 2:45 am | Perma

How I Learned To Stop Fearing The Digital DIY Life and Love It!

Some friends of the blog who attended ShmooCon this weekend were tickled pink (literally) when they arrived to find out the badge to the conference was just made out of a single piece of laser cut acrylic.

This lead to rapid phone calls between friends at NYCR and people whipping out US dollar bills to size up the badge for proper scaling.

The end result!

Flava Flav Shmoo Badge

Not 6 hours later they had been hand delivered to HacDC for a trial run as to the quality of the badges by passing it through some of the most stringent on site conference security available.

What rapidly became apparent to us and The Shmoo Group was that even if something that took large initial resources originally, now comes easily to a group of scrappy hackers that want more for themselves than to be beholden to a wealthy singular group.

A recent quote by Bre Pettis, “The future of manufacturing is going to happen in your living room.”, seems to impress the idea of having ability to produce what you want, when you want is rapidly becoming a reality.

What I’m trying to bring across here to you, the hackerspace fans and friends, is that we are in a very interesting time. Where we can in less than a few hours over a relatively large distance, with a device that is costing less than the Mini Cooper (think late 1970′s where a PC cost as much), we can produce something that normally requires machines that cost in the hundreds of thousands only a few years ago.

Let’s think of what beholds us in the next few years.

Groovy times await us,

-E.

Have a blast with an MP3 Grenade!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.01.20 at 3:32 pm | Perma

Having a blast with your music takes on more than one connotation with Matts’ ( a member of NYC Resistor) MP3 Grenade.

img_2006-1024x682

Excerpt:

There was much fear and freak out. But cooler heads prevailed and a phone call was made. “Hey Matt, did you order metal objects of a dubious nature?” “Yes, yes I did.” There was a great deal of internal strife over this particular event as ordering munitions to the space is strictly forbidden. Upon review and discussion it was decided that while purchasing decommissioned training grenades was not in fact illegal in NYC (as far as we know), it was not something we would ever do again. That being said. I immediately set forth on a childhood dream project. I put an 1/8th inch jack into the pin hole for the grenade. It looked GOOD. Totally flush… very pretty. So I decided to run with it. I ran the cabling into the grenade… hacksawed it open. Inserted a Sansa 2 GB mp3 player. And then tried to SMD rework it. This ended poorly as the first sansa basically got burned by the rework station and died. The second I avoided using the rework station and instead recruited bre and his arms for a session of intense soldering onto very tiny solder points…

For the rest hit the jump.

If you want to make your own it’s not terribly hard, just acquire the requisite parts.

  • 1 Unique object
  • 1 MP3 player of choice that’s cheap
  • 1 Audio Jack
  • 1 Soldering Station
  • 1 Rework Station

Plus whichever tools you would need for the fabrication of your new dastardly MP3 Player.

-E.

Categories : hackers  hacking  soldering  tools
Tags :             

Consumer B Gone!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.01.12 at 6:58 pm | Perma

/tmp/lab has an interesting philosophy about how a space is a temporal location in time and space with the moving forth of projects therein.

How appropriate that this particular project the Consumber B Gone which temporarily stops consumers in their tracks with just the signal generated from a cell phone.

They’ve even posted the audio file to lock the wheel.

And the audio file to unlock the wheel.

-E.

Categories : fun  hacking  security
Tags :       

25C3′s competition wrap-up

astera | Posted 2009.01.08 at 4:25 pm | Perma

As you might know (or have read already), we also held a little competition at this year’s Chaos Communication Congress on the base of and in great anticipation to The Hackerspaces Battle, consisting of a speed soldering and a speed coding challenge (unfortunately, we didn’t get the freaking proprietary Xbox Dance Dance Revolution device get to work with our shiny UNIX machines…).

This is an advertizement by bicyclemark

I know I’m pretty late with posting the results of the competition, but… well, in fact, I cannot even do that =(
Unfortunately, one of my bags disappeared mystically on the last night of 25C3, and with it not only a bunch of cables and T-shirts (if by any chance you come across any of these, please let me know!) but also a bunch of paperwork – including my list of participants in the coding challenge…

They love Astera by bicyclemark

Therefore, at this point I can only provide you with the times we took
at the speed soldering competition:

Group 1:
11:42 Ole
13:00 Ash
15:38 Paul
18:34 Joe
22:24 Alex
24:33 Risktaker
34:10 Dmytri
36:48 Natano

Group 2:
11:11 Marius
12:12 Andi
14:14 Zach
16:32 Rainer
16:51 Eric
17:27 Audrey
46:00 George

25c3 by yarnivore25c3 by yarnivore

However, there is ONE thing I can remember for sure, thinking of the following day’s speed coding competition – that being an epic accomplishment by a boy called Matvey (if I recall correctly):
This young coder did not only finish the task (Euler problem no. 12) within less than 20 minutes, but also put together a beautiful little piece of programming art.

Now if you got hooked on our coding challenge, why not consider to join TECC, The Euler Coding Collective?
We love Euler problems – and solving them in all different languages. ^^

25c3 by yarnivore

Again, special thanks to Mitch Altman for hosting our solderers,
and thanks everyone for taking part in the challenge!
You people rock.

Yours truly,
/astera

PS: And if ever I get my stuff back, I’ll update this post of course =)

All pictures by bicyclemark and yarnivore, under CC by-nc-sa.