Quiet time at the popular first day of Shanghai Maker Carnival 2013 had crowds of locals and hackers and makers from Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing, Shenzhen, Taipai, Indonesia, Singapore, Prague, America, ……
The number of companies large and small also exploded and many of the sponsors also had a major presence, including AutoDesk, Lego, DFRobots. More photos in next posts.
A friend in XinCheJian hackerspace Shanghai asked me today what I have been up to. I was thinking not too much, as I have watched quite a few movies (Sleep Dealer is pretty good, Avatar was way better than I expected) and re/read several books & magazines, but then I started to list some of the things I have been doing…….
First day of the Shanghai Maker Carnival was today with exhibitors also attending from Beijing and Shenzhen.
It is part of the very large Creation Exhibition, an arts and crafts expo with about 200 exhibitors – #12, in Century Park Shanghai and runs from today Friday to Sunday 4 November 2012.
Today was a slow start as it was a work day and the weather windy and cool, especially by the lake, but I am sure tomorrow will bring lots more interesting items!
I prepared a small swarm of SwarmRobots running the new remote control code I just released. Some people surprised to see the SwarmRobots move, most were surprised to see group movement where each group does the same movements. A few people really “got” the demo mode.
Nearly everyone wanted to know why the remotes did not control just ONE SwarmRobot, or did not control ALL, but most struggled with the explanation of deliberate separation into different groups – until this was explained in Chinese! Maybe I should have stuck with my idea to use coloured flags and letters/numbers to indicate the groups, rather than just use the wheel colour! Main reasons I did not was it would transport harder and more effort to set up the flags at events.
Using standard TV/DVD remote to control robots – I thought people would instantly understand how to control the robots! Well as usual I was wrong, at least until you get people to think like controlling your DVD, then some get it, others takes some demonstration first!
The one lone SwarmRobot that was configured as an object follow SwarmRobot also raised questions – why not the same! It is good everyone understands that these are the same, but the idea that some behaved differently really raised some questions.
Several XinChejian members helped repairing battery connector wires and making more SwarmRobots. Some non-members also had fun finishing and making SwarmRobots – thanks guys!
The fantastic capability of the XinCheJian SwarmRobots has been recognised with 2nd placing in the AFRON $10 robot competition Traditional (Roaming) category. The announcement made at World Maker Faire today (via Wired) awarded first place to Harvard’s research group and third place by to MIT University. XinCheJian’s high placing against such prestigious competition highlights just how good XinCheJian’s SwarmRobots are!
The SwarmRobots are still under rapid development with work progressing on coding object detection and inter-robot communications using the already developed InfraRed shield. Work is also underway on wireless charging and a Atmel 32u4 version. It has been a lot of fun to be part of this team as can be seen in these videos!
Also helped with a presentation about Xinchejian’s SwarmRobots and the AFRON $10 robot competition and I gave one presentation on one of my favourite topics “Instantly turn your project into a kit” available in Libre Office odt and as a power point. It has a LOT of pictures and includes three video picture shows, so it is around 10MB!
Plus of course Lophilo- see post before this one!
Enjoying lots of extremely good presentations at Xinchejian – here is a link to this weeks sound and video processing, Nixies and LED cube and Haxl8r!
And there are several other major projects actively being worked on, but none are yet into any state to talk about!
One goal of this site is to help bridge and bring together the many different communities that can help and learn from each other. An alternate perspective is to broaden the view of makers and hackers to see the rest of the world :) So it is very pleasing to see that there are many others who have similar goals. This previous post highlighted some of the routine activity at Xinchejian last weekend, but it did not highlight the activities contributing to this goal where diverse community members come together.
Breesee‘s business card slogan “creative community” fits in with this sites goal. Breesee aims “to be a bridge connects different types of creators in the world. Whether they are artists, designers or engineers, we will try to encourage them cooperate and make more innovation happen”. Their site has some very nice content – it is worth a visit!
In addition to the “drop in’s” Xinchejian is sharing the new space with GoodtoChina with a very co-operative open plan and shared facilities arrangement! “GoodtoChina inspires and supports sustainable living through environmental projects, social initiatives and consulting projects”.
Xinchejian are also setting up a kitchen in their new space for hacking cooking, there is already a post on Sous Vide, Xinchejian is active in the Space program, see this mailing list, and host extremely popular popular processing classes to help anyone with an artistic leaning to create computer art, are into hydroponics and also have active relationships with Dorkbot Shanghai and Xindanwei.
All that is pretty amazing on top of all the making and hacking already reported!
Xinchejian hackerspace is still settling in to their new space, but there was a lot of activity on the weekend!
Things that I noticed included many active projects undergoing design work, coding and assembling a quadcopter (commiserations on the maiden flight crash) and first timers playing with Arduino.
Highlights for me were: