Thursday, May 19, 2011

I’m off to Maker Faire (2011 Edition)!

It’s that time of the year again! Some folks call in summer – I call it Maker Faire. So next week, I’m packing up a few of my favorite new projects, and hopefully show off something interesting at my table out in San Mateo.

One thing I’m really excited about is the stuff I’ve been hacking around with in Android. I always felt like Android was one of those hardcore engineering things, but I’ve been able to get it to work with the BeagleBoard and BeagleTouch to do some pretty fun stuff.

Last week, Will, and I were sitting in the lab playing around with the old RC car and some of Playstation cameras we had from a project last year. Will always thought it would be cool if we could control the car without having to follow it around, so we gave it a whirl. Loading up the car with a couple hacked PlayStation 3 cameras, Will was able to drive the car around the house without leaving the room.

By hooking up the PS3 camera to the car, Will and I were able to bring up the camera to the BeagleTouch and see exactly what the RC car was seeing. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be driven around on a little RC car (think Honey I Shrunk The Kids :) and this is just about the closest I’ll get.  Using the same hack, I hooked up four PS3 cameras to the around my desk to make a “BeagleBoard Security System”, complete with split-screens and everything. It made me feel like a security guard/command-center operator of sorts, and plus, no one could sneak up on me.

Not to say I’ve forgotten all about the Arduino - I’ve also been playing around with a low power, portable, WiFi/GPS/Arduino rig with the GeoShield, which I’m going to test out at Maker Faire Exhibition Hall when I get there.

I had some spare time on my hands the past couple weekends, and some cooler gear to play with, so there’s plenty more projects I’ll have to show off. I’ll be there the whole time, and would love to say hi to some fellow West Coast hackers…see you there!