I met Laszlo Kovacs, Director of C/Punk/Doc through the amazing forums @ Cyberpunk Review. He invited me to submit media just as they were wrapping production, so we have a 1.5 minute segment on my Wearable and Nomadic Computing work that begins Act 2. Narration is by Hawk from American Gladiators, over the song Teenage Hitman by Encephalon. Thank you Wood, Keypixel, and my other fellow Cyberpunks.
Via Hackaday, the 25th Chaos Communication Congress's Wearable Computing and Solar Power presentations roused me from blog hibernation to say Happy Holidays and please don't text and drive. For abstracts, lecture notes, slides, and links, you too can veer off; About Cyborgs and Gargoyles:State of the Art in Wearable Computing, and Solar-powering your Geek Gear: Alternative and mobile power for all your little toys.
New Year's greetings from under a rock. No, I haven't been in the desert lately, but I have been in other realms. I've been getting into some high voltage shenanigans, the splendid forums at Cyberpunk Review, back into microcontrollers with the Seeeduino, interfacing it with Pure Data, and touring exhibition and interactive design. 2009 is looking to be hacktastic, but more on that next year.
This is the work I exhibited at Maker Faire this Spring. I've been hacking my Archos PMA-430 into wearable computer prototypes for 2 years, and hacking my Nokia N95 for about 9 months. The top image shows a video feed from my Nokia to my Archos, while the image below it shows the unhoused wiring that adds functionality such as USB connectivity and power.
Systems integration is designed for field-reconfigurability and use of ubiquitous technologies such as USB ports and ethernet or phone cables. I can charge both devices from AC, my motorcycle, its solar panel, or even a random computer in any number of libraries, cafes, etc. The two devices link up through a retractable 8-conductor ethernet cable, although I can use a multitude of available cords. The green terminal blocks allow field connections without soldering, since I believe the universal connector is bare wire if no adaptors are nearby.
I have hundreds of images of my work, and lots to write about, so there will be much more ahead. Just a Heads-Up.
I haven't been posting much, but I have been researching, developing, rapid prototyping, and hacking. I'm applying my love of desert camping, travel, wearable technology, and embedded computing to my urban flagship; a duosport motorcycle. Here's a first look:
This photo shows items I transformed into a top case and a tank bag.
While commuting, the top case can hold gear from errands. While touring, it can carry as much gas a my tank holds plus water. I can remove it anytime. This allows off-roading without extra fuel sloshing around in an enlarged tank. It is made from an LP case, and stability tests will determine if it's indeed more versatile than a top case and replacement gas tank; easily at a savings of at least $200.
The tank bag is made from a folding map case, magnets, and wiring. It's appropriate that it holds my phone with GPS, a non-networked highway infrastructure computer, compass and pencil pack, map, and a solar battery charger for my bike and auuxilliary device battery. I'm sure it'll still also hold an actual paper map or two. I can't find many tank bags with top map pockets that will fit my sloped gas tank. So, I made a form-fitting one that mostly multplies the functionality of the feature I wanted most anyway; a large map pocket.
Accompanying Touch Bionics' prosthetic finger and hand (shown above), comes the iLimb Arm. It's interesting to read how its superhuman capabilities may be intentionally scaled back before they will become available. Hacking the limb to its designed capabilities may become more akin to unlocking than overclocking.
In this quick digest about my attendance of the Life Extension Workshop yesterday, I will drop a lot of names and links on you while I attempt to digest the profound content of the day. Thanks to everyone whom I met for being so cool and sharing your passion for your interests; even when you could not talk about certain things for various reasons.
The presenters and panelists included Doctors Stephen Coles, Aubrey de Grey, and Michael Rose, followed by David Kekich and Peter Voss. I will be helping Dr. Coles post video online; I'll post when and where that will be available.
There were various plugs for books, which will reach you through links, slides, and video of the workshop. I want to mention a book that was not part of the day's official proceedings, which I learned of when I met Gregory Benford. He and Elisabeth Malarte have authored Beyond Human: Living with Robots and Cyborgs, and I'm excited to check it out.
Google and Specialized are searching for the brightest engineering minds on earth for the first ever Innovate or Die Pedal-Powered Machine Contest. $5,000 and a nice new bike go to the winners, who create the most innovative and revolutionary design. It's simple, you and up to four others build a zero-emission machines that transform human pedal power into a new and useful purpose then upload a video of it in action to YouTube by Sunday, December 15th. See the innovate-or-die.com website for full details.
For the same unit mass of fuel, a fusion power plant would produce 10 times more energy than a fission reactor, and because deuterium is contained in seawater, a fusion reactor's fuel supply would be virtually infinite. A cubic kilometer of seawater would contain enough heavy hydrogen to provide a thousand years' worth of power for the United States.
Tabletop fusion: check. Now, where's my skycar?
Ah, the smell of a German Pulsejet in the morning! I'm trying to expand the scope of this blog a bit to include some of my more dangerous interests, like Survival Research Lab's mounted V-1 pulsejet, which they recreated from WWII's "buzz bomb", a breakthrough missile that Germany fired 8,000 times on London.
This engine was a masterpiece of simplicity and heralded in the dawn of what we now know as the cruise missile or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Little was known about this engine until the end of WW2 when the allied forces were able to examine a number of complete and partly constructed V1s recovered from formerly occupied territories along Europe's western coastline.
When SRL originally built their V-1, it wasn't an exact replica of Germany's V-1. Due to a lack of machine tools, they didn't have an exact valve intake assembly. It wasn't a major problem, except that each time the engine was run for any length of time, several valves would break off and disappear.
When they finally were able to build a proper valve intake, they decided to run the thing, which you can see in this test video. The best part is the end where a crowd of firemen show up and SRL has to explain why they have a gigantic jet that spews fire and acts as a frequency generator in their work yard. The best part is while he's explaining why they're recreating weaponry from WWII, he's eating like it's no big deal, and the firemen decide to leave after he tells them they're not going to run it any more.
Above: SRL's new and improved valve intake assembly for the V-1 pulsejet.
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