Workshop 88 co-founders Jay Margalus and Russ Lankenau recently gave a talk titled “Open Hardware and the Future of Games”. In their presentation they talk about a lot of things including Workshop 88, Raspberry Pi, open hardware initiatives, games as culture and much more. It’s always awesome to see what has come out of the work done by Workshop 88 members!
Two members of Workshop 88 went to hear Massimo Banzi’s talk on Arduino, open source hardware and more. The talk was part of Ge Garage’s Idea Week. He gave some great stories of the philosophy, joys and problems of putting the Arduino out as open source hardware.
Among many other insights, he described how the fashion industry – with no intellectual property protection – made a lot more money than the entertainment and music industries with all their DRM efforts. He told of the value of the many iterations of Arduino and how a primary metric of its success was the time between a new user opening the box and getting a useful result. We learned it was named for a bar where they held many design meetings. It was a great talk.
Rachel also scored some excellent networking time with Massimo, including connections that will be very useful in her upcoming trip to the Rome Maker Faire. Jim brought home a newly autographed Arduino that had run the dollhouse at Rachel’s New York Maker Faire booth.
(Thanks to Drew Fustini from PS:1 for the lead picture!)
Pursuing her passion for making technology accessible to girls, Rachel Hellenga inspired a whirlwind project to automate a dollhouse. After the smoke cleared, the one-room dollhouse she and Jim W and Bill P built was a miniature version of – and is now displayed within – the “Circuit Castle” she’s showing at the New York Maker Faire. Read her Make Magazine blog post about it.
The Dollhouse Automation System powering it is a collection of small, cheap microcontrollers in a simple network allowing sensors (push buttons, motion detectors, light sensors, etc) in one part of the house to control actions (lights, motors, sounds etc) in another part of the house.
Here are some gory details of putting that system together.