Archive for March 15th, 2007

RFID and Art – Fragile: Handle With Care

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

We absolutely love hearing back from our customers, and Carla Diana, a Flash Guru who has built some wickedly addictive Flash-Based interactive web projects (my personal favorite being Repercussion, check it out!) in the past, has recently discovered Phidgets. Deadly mix I must add, as Phidgets are very addictive as well:)

She used the Phidget RFID reader to create an interactive art installation in the Galerie Bleue in Lacosta, France. I’m no artist by any means, but I’ll try to explain what she did, and I’ll paste her overview later, and also check out her thread in our Customer’s Project Showcase. Thankfully, she put together a website dedicated to this project, so if you dig on art, I highly recommend checking it out.

What she did was hollow out 140 eggs and placed a combination of LED’s and RFID tags inside each one. This combination gave each egg their own unique “character”:

Handle with Care

Each one of these eggs are then randomly placed around the cave like an egg hunt. The trick here is to carefully take each egg from it’s home and place it in a bowl which encompasses the RFID readers underneath.

Handle with Care - RFID

Each egg being placed in the bowl creates a unique sound through some hidden speakers in the cave. As another egg is placed in the bowl, it combines with the ones that are currently in there, resulting in a array of melodies! The video on her website takes me back to my memories of the original Star Wars not any Jar Jar Binks stuff!

From Carla’s Fragile: Handle With Care Site:

Upon entering the rough and rock-filled interior space of the gallery, one is confronted with the startling sight of luminous, colorful egg-vessels dispersed throughout. Close inspection reveals subleties in the texture and the irregularity of the cracked shells, seductive objects that invite touching. A glowing “nest” object, holding three egg-vessels, is perched in the center of the room. Ambient sounds change based on the viewer’s placement of the eggs in the nest, revealing that each one has a unique identity. Signage outside the gallery encourages viewers to “play with” the art, despite the fact that they will need to be mindful of the fragility of each piece once they begin handling it. Once they overcome the fear of touching the art, they become immersed in the playful activity of hunting for sounds by finding more eggs within the crevices of the rocks and soil.

Way to go Carla! Now that you are officially introduced to Phidgets, we can’t wait to see what other creative projects you have up your sleeve!

Check out the Video (need sound)

‘E-paper’ drawbot uses old school analog data recorder

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

This is such a brilliant mod. Homemade XY tables are a fringe area of robotics that we hear about often. People build them to make chess/checkers players, painting/drawing machines, even low grade protoype machines. This is an interesting new mod along the same lines.

What do you get when you mix a 1970’s style analog chart recorder, an 8-bit microcontroller, and a Fisher-Price Doodle Pro? A truly 21st century toy: An analog PlotBot with e-paper display technology!

Link – Evil Mad Scientist

Via Engadget

da Vinci surgical system

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Perhaps one of the most innovative developments is the introduction of the da Vinci robotic surgery system which enables a skilled surgeon to operate in a minimally invasive manner. Simply put, minimally invasive means that the less traumatic the incision required to complete the surgery, the better the outcome will be for the patient. The patient is subjected to a much shorter hospital stay, less postoperative pain is experienced, bleeding is minimized, scarring is reduced and much quicker healing is fostered. This translates into significant benefits for the patient and enables a much quicker return to the normal activities of life.

read full article

via Digg Post