Live from the Battery Shed!

Hello Everyone!,

This is Troy, coming to you live from the newly outfitted Innovation Circle HQ at the QVMAG Battery Shed!

I thought it would be a good idea to kick this new blog off with a quick update on how things are progressing at Innovation Circle HQ. We've now had the Battery Shed open every Wednesday for the past three weeks, with plenty of folks coming in to visit and helping out. Over the past few weeks, we've still been in setup mode, spending time setting up equipment and configuring our work environment.

We've had plenty of support from some of the Innovation Circle's founding members, with lots of gear being donated or on loan. We've also managed to re-purpose a few bits of old hardware and computers. An old computer donated by James had a faulty motherboard, but Mike would have none of that and replaced a faulty capacitor to restore it to life. It's currently awaiting it's next operation - a fresh installation of the Fedora operating system!

Mike has also setup one of his spare computers in Office 1, and has set it up for circuit board design and schematic capture. We're really excited to have this up and running, as Mike will be working on a circuit board for museum related projects from the battery shed. The museum control board will be designed to allow interactive exhibits to be prototyped and built easily with dedicated control hardware.

In the meantime, we've been prototyping the Alfa Digital Interactive project with Arduino boards. This has allowed us to very quickly get some testing done and to build an interface to get data from the real world (via the Arduino) into the Unity3D game engine. We've now got a very basic prototype showing input and output as a first stage for the Alfa project, thanks to some work by James C, Mayra and Fernando. I'll talk a bit more about the state of the Alfa project in an upcoming post.

We've also got a Rap-man 3.2 3D printer online. We've still got a lot more to learn about how to use the printer optimally, but we've started printing a component for the Alfa dashboard mockup. So far the biggest issue with the printing is that it's completely killing productivity - I keep finding myself standing in front of it watching the extruded heads work. I wonder if this happened in the early days of dot matrix printing...

We will be keeping up with the goings on in the shed in future posts, but for now I just wanted to say a thank you to everyone who has popped by and helped out so far. An especially big thanks to Mark, Mark and Steve from QVMAG for all their help thus far.

Until next time,