The Big Think

June 2, 2015


Filed under: Friends — jasony @ 11:00 pm

Phenomenal publicity picture of Erin’s best friend Anne. Wow! Photographer did a great job and Anne had fun getting the professional makeup/makeover. Yes, that really is her natural eye color.

She’ll use this photo as part of her piano performance publicity stuff.

Erin and I decided that the colors and saturation in the picture almost look like a Vermeer painting. Great picture Anne! 🙂


R2 Skirt and Electronics News

Filed under: The R2 Project — jasony @ 10:39 pm

Huge conversation at TechShop tonight. I had one of the guys from National Instruments in my class (both guys in this photo, by the way) and we got to talking (for about 90 minutes after class!) about the R2 project. I mentioned that eventually I wanted to get some basic sensors (temp, humidity, CO2, Methane, etc) integrated into him and wondered if the new MyRio box from NI would do the trick.

What followed was an hour and a half whirlwind conversation that I won’t even try to recount except to say yes, yes it will. Nicely. This is an amazing little dual core Linux box that comes with Lab View and will allow me to not only plug in some truly wonderful and hard core National Instruments/NASA level sensors, but will also do some amazingly creative and complex control of motors, servos, NEST thermostats, GPS, etc. It interfaces via WiFi and can run completely independent of a host compuer. It’ll do Kinect style motion following, record audio and video onboard (or stream to a server via WIFI), and (here’s the part that’ll make hardcore Geeks swoon) instantiate your logic as an FPGA with a single click. Great Babbage’s Ghost.

The box is normally $1,000, which is pricey, but the engineer was so excited he’s going to try and get me the MyRio and LabView (the programming environment) for the educator’s discount of $250. Seeing as the control boards for R2 alone were going to be around that cost, and were much less flexible, I count this as a complete and total win. My brain is buzzing over what I can do with this little beastie. Stay tuned.

In other news, I got the bread pans powder coated. They’re not super perfect but I think I’ll go with them for now. Barring much better equipment (which is why they were a little messed up), stripping and re-coating them wouldn’t be a guarantee of better results. So I’ve turned my energy to R2’s skirt. After a week or so of thinking and design work in Inventor I cut the parts as a test on the laser in plywood. Then I cut them tonight on the water jet. A couple of minor issues have made it necessary for me to do another piece on the WJ tomorrow (very small and minor). Then I’ll be able to weld the aluminum skirt together and start in on the skirt details. When that’s done I’ll powder coat the skirt (or, actually, ask one of the TechShop members who has a really nice powder coating system to do it for me). Then I’ll start the research into prepping the frame for anodizing. After that I’ll start designing the laser files to etch the artwork/circuitry/Death Star plans into the anodized frame. I’m still shooting for Sept 1st for my Year 1 completion. I may finish a bit early at this rate.

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