I had an awesome evening at the Open Source Hardware Users Group event #3 ‘Arduino: An Open Source Hardware Success Story’. The company was great – many friends in the open source and microcontroller community attended. It was an informative and friendly geek event, plus I learned about some really cool and wonderful projects.
Chris Dalby, lead software developer told us about the Current Cost Bridge, a device that allows you to send your energy consumption data to online portals. Chris was tasked to develop the bridge and decided that was arduino was the way to go. Chris explained the journey and some of the considerations along the way. Specs include: Size of a matchbox, new soft serial, bespoke ethernet library, DNS and DHCP bespoke library, MAC Generation using UUID and encryption talking to broker.
Omer Killic, research student at the University of Kent, revealed why he thinks Arduino is great and gave us a tour of the concurrency.cc board, which is looking really great and its features include: more LEDs , automatically uses USB power, boost converter and you can run it from a single AA cell. There’s a programming environment and book which I really want to have a peek at. To find out more go to http://concurrency.cc/ which is run by a group of educators and researchers who are passionate about making parallel programming more accessible to makers and artists.
Adam Sampson, research associate at the University of Kent, gave us a brief history and some examples of the occam-pi concurrent programming language which uses a process-oriented programming model. Adam went on to demonstrate a pair of concurrency.cc driven LED displays that displayed a shared message ‘OCCAM LIVES’.
I gave a talk on how I’ve been inspired by Arduino and the communities of makers and hackers that have evolved around this technology. I went on to demonstrate my latest project Twinkle Tartiflette: an interactive wearable artwork that uses a stylus to play a song by touching embroidered words to play musical notes. This artwork is driven by a LilyPad Arduino and constructed with a complex schema of conductive thread, resistors, a LilyPad buzzer and C code.
Below are my presentation slides, but I’ll write an indepth blog post about the construction of TT including code and video soon.
The questions and conversation carried on in true geek style by adjourning to the Feathers public house.