RC Rover Hack
A fun little project! A client wanted to see our office during the meeting at their office. The problem? They are on the other side of the country. Using Arduino, node.js and a $30 RC car, we created a rover with a live stream, that they could control over the web.
Interactive Music Table SPELA WIP
IKEA, the world’s most ubiquitous Swedish furniture manufacturer has teamed up with the DX and some of Toronto’s best creatives for a unique silent AUKTION. Each designer was provided with a limited IKEA budget to go shopping for loads of great product to deconstruct and reassemble in any way they liked.
We came up with an idea of creating an interactive music table, which will let people collaborate and create music together through play. Hense, where the name of the table came from - SPELA (play in Swedish). Guests are able to compose music out of 120 loops by moving around toys on the table. For the table, we are using an iconic DOCKSTA table and for the toys, we are using two versions of battery-powered kids SPÖKA night lights. For the tech, we are using an Arduino Mega, 10 ID-12 RFID readers (embedded in the table) and 12 tags(one per toys), which communicate with Max for Live that is running on a Mac Mini.Tweet
Learning the basics of projection mapping
Projection Mapping has been around for a while, so we decided to see what all the fuss is about and create a small installation for an open house at SidLee Toronto. As most of our projects, it started out with a small prototype, to help us wrap our heads around the tech and creative alley ways we could take. In this post, we’ll try to describe our journey, and hopefully it’ll be of assistance to whoever is trying to have some fun with projections for the first time.
The idea for the prototype was to create a pyramid-like sculpture, that we will project sound-reactive visuals onto. The visuals will be embracing the form and structure of the sculpture, in this case, triangles. Let’s tesselate.Tweet
When I was working on KnitterStream (www.knitterstream.com), I developed a Processing script that converts an image into a knitted pattern.
We decided to knit our scarf only 90 stitches wide, and therefore all of the designs we are creating for it are pixel perfect 90 pixel wide bitmaps. Of course, once they go through the machine, they are knitted to about a 3 foot wide scarf which looks awesome. But how do we create a digital version of the scarf for the website? Especially, if these designs have to be generated in real time during the event.
I am already generating all of the designs dynamically in Processing, so it was just a matter of replicating my 90 pixel wide designs with texture that imitated knitting. I found a great 4x10 tiled pattern created byJoel Glovier and cut it up in Photoshop into individual stitches. Then, I exported each of them as a single PNG. Now, I could affect each PNG’s tint through color manipulation in Processing. After tinkering with offsets along X and Y axis of each individual stitch, I was able to recreate the tiled texture and have control over color of each stitch. I cycled through each pixel in the orginal Bitmap design and assigned that color to a stitch that “represents” that pixel in my digital scarf.
Couple things left to do would be creating a nicer edge on both left and right of the scarf as well as bumping up the saturation and levels of outputted image to match neon colors that we are using in real life. https://github.com/isharko/KnitterStream/tree/master/processing
Evan hacking away:
For the past couple weeks I’ve been working on automating and hacking the Passap E6000 knitting machine.
I have previously posted about hacking on .cut files, but it turns out that the machine doesn’t even use .cut files. While Ivan & I were learning to knit we heavily used a piece of software called WinCrea and it lead us down the path of .cut files as that it is what WinCrea reads and writes by default. It turns out that it uses something even simpler, much simpler.Tweet
We are knitting
Our first successfully knitted piece! We were finally able to knit a 90x90 stich 3 color design of skull and bones that we uploaded from the laptop onto the machine. The piece came out perfect, with great edges and no holes (comparing to our previous attempts).
Hacking .CUT files
Evan Borgstrom wrote a nice post about hacking CUT files during our Knitterstream venture.
A .cut file is a simple image file format that can be used store very basic image data plotted in pixels and using a limited 256 colour palette. These files can be loaded onto the E6000 via a serial cable and there’s a couple different pieces of software out there that can both create .cut files and download them to the E6000 but we’ve been using Win_Crea for our testing.Tweet
Today was the day! We went down to our favourite new store - Sew’n Knit outlet and purchased an almost brand spankin new Passap E6000 with 4600 motor and a 4 color changer from 1998. Retro contraptions ftw. Jason from the store was able to come down to what is going to become our lab room for the next couple months and put together the machine. Needless to say, the machine doesn’t come with a diy Ikea manual and misaligning parts can be crucial and destroy the machine in seconds, especially when it’s hooked up to a motor.