Do Happy Robots Dream of Electric Sheep? Happy Robot LabsTumblr (3.0; @happyrobotlabs)<p>There are going to be some changes around here. First of all, I plan on actually doing projects this summer and getting more involved in documentation. That means this site will actually be used. Second of all, I want to move from tumblr (which has been fairly buggy lately) to some other platform so the site might be down for awhile.</p>, 18 Apr 2011 09:36:21 -0400My second time soldering a kit. I got this little kit,...<object width="400" height="336"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="336" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent"></embed></object><br/><br/><p>My second time soldering a kit.</p> <p>I got this little kit, <a href="">Terror-Min from SparkFun</a>. and put it together today. I had a little trouble with the soldering iron at first, but eventually I got the whole situation sorted out (I had to file of a little bit of oxidation on the tip… I might need to buy a better tip for my iron). I made a few mistakes while soldering, but it didn’t effect the fact that the circuit works. I am pretty proud of myself.</p>, 12 Jan 2011 18:50:13 -0500Awesome video about the Arduino Platform<iframe src="" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0"></iframe><br/><br/><p>Awesome video about the Arduino Platform</p>, 12 Jan 2011 17:18:42 -0500Review: Tristan Perich — 1-Bit Symphony<p><img src="" alt=""/></p> <p><a href="">Tristan Perich’s 1-Bit Symphony</a> is, regardless of any musical sensibility, a great concept. Surely, the music itself may be too shrill or rough for some, but the concept is a success.</p> <!-- more --> <p>When I first picked up the CD case I was amazed, this little case contained more than just music, it also contained art and technology. The layout of the circuit is streamlined and has a particular sensibility about it. Quite simply it is a minimalist layout, the transparent CD case sets a minimal mood. Furthermore, my copy was accompanied by a little pamphlet including a circuit diagram, track listing and all of the code on the ATTiny85 micro-controller. This guy did a lot of work getting the music onto this chip and I respect that.</p> <p>After looking and studying the packaging (and circuit) for a good length of time I took my Sennheiser’s and plugged them into the jack and turned it on. The sound instantly started overwhelming me, but I was able to tame the sounds using the volume knob and I let myself get swept away into a beautiful electronic fantasy. The music was some of the best electronic music I have heard in awhile. Despite being based in technology that has been around for awhile it was liberating and fresh. I left the experience inspired, when I finally decided to fade out and turn off the last infinitely long track.</p> <p>The experience was a great one and I would suggest it for anyone who is interested in music and technology. The music is pricy running about $29.00 <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p>Rating: <strong>85/100</strong></p>, 07 Jan 2011 19:58:00 -0500reviewsmusicTristan PerichHigh-Low Tech Lab at MIT Media Labs<a href="">High-Low Tech Lab at MIT Media Labs</a>: <p><a href=""><img height="100" width="328" alt="high-low tech logo" align="top" src=""/></a></p> <p>Some cool projects and ideas over at the high-low tech lab. My favorites include the tutorials for programming ATTiny85s with an Arduino (planning on doing this soon). The copper paint and paper circuits are also really interesting.</p>, 05 Jan 2011 15:17:29 -0500linkselectronicsPoster and Scripts<p><img align="text-bottom" height="221" width="220" alt="Ruby Logo" src=""/></p> <p>Some new projects are going on. I changed up the format of my <a title="Github" target="_blank" href="">github</a> so that I have three projects at the moment. The first one is <a href="">Poster.rb</a>, which I will expand upon later. The second is, scripts-and-stuff, which is just a dumping ground for whatever I am working on. I was inspired by some articles I read about _why to try out the concept of shipping and just getting my code out to the world, regardless of quality control. I was scared of doing this, but at this point in my career it is more beneficial, because it is inspiring and helpful. The final repository is a fork of RHoKBrum’s HeightCatcher app for the Android OS, which I may or not fix up the documentation for and help with development.</p> <!-- more --> <p>This post raises two questions… What happened to Python? And why Ruby? The answer to the first is: absolutely nothing. I still love Python and I am continuing to learn it, but I wanted to go back to my roots of Ruby, it was the first language I learnt. I am really excited to continue programming in both Python and Ruby.</p> <p><strong>What is <a title="Github" href="">Poster.rb?</a></strong></p> <p><a href="">Poster.rb</a> is my attempt at making a script to help me manage and write Tumblr posts on my computer using <a title="Daring Fireball" target="_blank" href="">markdown</a> and then publish them. I have no idea where I plan on Poster.rb going really. I am going to make a GUI for it, but it has no intent on becoming a text editor. It has one more goal. This is to update Twitter every time a Tumblr post is posted. This seems redundant because Tumblr can autopost to Twitter, but the benefits are to have personalized descriptions of your posts on your Twitter page.</p> <p>Status of project: May or may not be continue, but I am finding it fun and using it as a way to get reacquainted with Ruby. </p>, 04 Jan 2011 16:09:51 -0500projectsrubypythonscriptingReview of 2010<p><img align="text-top" src="" alt=' Some rights reserved by aresauburn"' width="534" height="356"/>2010 was a busy year for me. It started in chaos and ended quite enjoyably. When I started this year I was a senior in high school confused about what I wanted to do with me life, now I am a freshman in college, still confused, but with an inspiration to create. I am pretty set on engineering now, but more than that I am excited to just make things, DIY things and ultimately express myself through these things. My pursuit of music was a pursuit of expression, but I am starting to find a new way of expressing myself through electronics.</p> <!-- more --> <ul><li>Blinking LEDs on an Arduino</li> </ul><p>Making LEDs bling was my first <em>working</em> Arduino circuit and I, daresay, one of the more intriguing projects I finished because I felt empowered. I don’t think, there is something that can empower a person more than feeling like they have just opened the door to all of electronics, the building block of modern technology and life. Sure it was tiny, but it was meaningful and after a burnt LED or two I learnt a lot.</p> <ul><li>Photo-phone</li> </ul><p>This was my first foray into the analog side of electronics. The project was to build a photophone, a “phone” which transmits the sound via a fiber optic cable. The schematics were already done for us, but it was the first time I even looked at an op-amp and worked with ICs directly. More importantly, it was the first full working project I made <em>working</em> it was my first time not using the Arduino to process input and generate output.</p> <ul><li>MIDI Ribbon Controller using an Arduino</li> </ul><p>Moving back to using the Arduino as the base of my project I decided to make a MIDI Ribbon Controller for my <em>Electro-Acoustics/Electric Guitar</em> class. The project for the class was fairly open ended. Despite the project dying during transport I was able to get it working. The last bug I had to work out was the pitch bend algorithm to make it gracefully bend across two octaves lined up (at least approximately) with the notes. I learnt a lot this, especially not to transport breadboard based circuits from Boston to Long Island in a plastic box in your backpack</p> <ul><li>Random Tiny Scripts</li> </ul><p>This was the year for me to restart with my programming. I had not actually taken programming seriously since 9th grade or so, but finally I am starting to come back around to it. I rekindled my love of programming at RHoK and it has been continuing as a brush up on Python and Ruby (and twiddle around with Haskell and deepen my knowledge of C). Let us see where this goes!</p> <p>(c) Happy Robot Labs 2010</p>, 31 Dec 2010 13:15:00 -0500projectsreview"When you don’t create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. Your tastes..."“When you don’t create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. Your tastes only narrow and exclude people. so create.”<br/><br/> - <em>Why the Lucky Stiff</em>, 30 Dec 2010 01:20:18 -0500quotesinspirationR.I.P. MIDI Ribbon Controller<p>Sadly after I demonstrated my MIDI controller to me EK132 (Engineering Module) class it died. The demonstration was successful, but I had a few bugs to work out so I brought it home from university with me. However, it was unable to make the trip back home and I can no longer get it working. I wanted to write up more about this project, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.</p> <p>I will leave you with a video of my inspiration.</p> <p> <object width="480" height="385"> <param name="movie" value=""><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object> </p>, 20 Dec 2010 20:32:23 -0500Python Development 1: Brushing Up and Google APIs<p><img align="top" src="" alt="Python" width="601" height="203"/>I started brushing up on python recently. In actuality there was not a whole lot of brushing up to do. In fact, the process was fairly straight forward. I remembered the syntax and most of the basic concepts behind the language. I also started working on a “List Cruncher” for <a href=""></a> (a music site which I co-founded, but currently am uninvolved in).</p> <!-- more --> <p>While being updated on the status of 130BPM I was told of the horrors of compiling the year end lists (out start of next year due to maintenance). I decided to use my knowledge of python and try to offer up a solution. They maintain all of the information on Google Docs Spreadsheets, add weight and crunch the numbers by hand.</p> <p>What I decided to do was take the Google Data API (which is not well documented, especially by Google standards) to retrieve the spreadsheet as a csv file and then crunch the information from there outputting the final list. So far the process has been straight forward, but the documentation is holding me back.</p> <p>I also discovered I need to work on documentation myself. I need to start reading up on that. Updates on this project will be coming (and the source code should be released under some open-source license) to GitHub soon!</p>, 16 Dec 2010 17:39:16 -0500pythonprojectsonethirtybpmProject Updates<p>Currently I am working on a project I call “Finals Week,” but here are the rest of my projects as they stand, including things I want to do:</p> <ol><li>Arduino Powered MIDI Ribbon Controller (code, schematic, and project diary coming soon)</li> <li>RHoK HeightCatcher (contributions to the UK version)</li> <li>Brushing up on Python and learning Django</li> <li>Brushing up on Java and learning Android</li> </ol>, 15 Dec 2010 16:11:00 -0500brainstormprojectsThoughts on Random Hacks of Kindness <p><img src=""/></p> <p><span class="st_sharethis" displaytext="ShareThis"> </span></p> <p>Visit: <a title="RHOK" href="">RHOK</a></p> <p>From 10am to 6:25pm on Sunday, December 5, 2010 I spent my time on Boston University Campus—in CAS—ignoring my homework and hacking away at a good cause.</p> <!-- more --> <p class="p1">When I first walked into the room I was unsure what was going on. I signed in, got myself some much needed coffee and settled down with my laptop, ready for whatever was to come next. To be honest, I had no intent of going the previous day, because I felt that I just had too much homework to waste 8 hours hacking away. However, I decided to go for a few hours, I ended up staying the whole time. </p> <p class="p1">Once the event got rolling we broke up into small groups and decided what projects to work on. One person worked on the Google People Finder application—which seemed like it would have been cool to work on—and most of the people there worked on the Open Data project, because it was not code intensive. My friends and a few stragglers latched on to the HeightCatcher Android application.</p> <p class="p1">The concept behind HeightCatcher is to be able to measure the height of a baby using a photo on a mobile phone. We chose Android as our development platform, because it is all open source. There were some issues with the actual how to, but we tried anyway. None of the people in the group worked on Android development before and most of us were rusty on our Java, but we sat there hacking away.</p> <p class="p1">My job was to get the input from the user, do the distance calculations and compare the reference object with the baby to give a measurement. I achieved this after a lot of hacking around, but it was far from an elegant solution. We packed this all up onto dropbox (our rudimentary version control) and went and gave our demo of what we accomplished today. A day later I found out that the guys in Birmingham, UK finished the app… or rather started it a little before us and came out of it with a finished product. It was fun to try to make the HeightCatcher, but I am glad that it was made, because it is an application which has tons of application in disaster control and 3rd world countries!</p> <p class="p1">Random Hacks of Kindness was definitely a good experience! Do it when it comes to your area.</p>, 07 Dec 2010 22:20:00 -0500Currently at Random Hacks of Kindness Boston<p><img height="192" width="256" alt="Random Hacks of Kindness" align="middle" src="" _mce_src=""/></p> <p>I am currently working on HeightCatcher at Random Hacks of Kindness. You can follow what my group is doing on my twitter (<a href="!/cjwoodall92">!/cjwoodall92</a>). I will give an update of our progress as the day goes on and and overview on this site when we are done.</p><p> <span displaytext="Share" class="st_sharethis_hcount"></span></p>, 05 Dec 2010 12:16:00 -0500MIDI Ribbon Controller Phase I<img src=""/><br/><br/><p>MIDI Ribbon Controller Phase I</p>, 04 Dec 2010 13:00:23 -0500Idea Submitted<p>The idea has been submitted to Imagine Cup for Automaton.</p>, 17 Oct 2010 14:13:27 -0400