Monthly Archives: August 2011
Just put the finishing touches on my new wireless camera platform. It’s still a bit rough and I know there’s a revision on the way, but it came out surprisingly well for a first draft.
The head is a .3 MP CCD camera attached to a 1.2 ghz wireless transmitter. The antenna for the transmitter makes up the right arm and I threw in an LED lamp for a left arm for balance. Loose cables and a monster 6,800 maH LiOn battery fill the backpack.
Range is a bit of a problem. I think it will reliably transmit about 10 meters with Line of sight, maybe further, but indoors through walls that’s about the limit. I need to work on an improved antenna for the receiver to improve that range.
It’s basically just a webcam on a tripod (an old Gorillapod I had lying around) but I wanted to do something fun with it. It’s pretty fun to put it on a table somewhere and have people say “hi”. I guess future versions can add things like a pivot head and facial recognition, as well as a mobile base to turn it into a full robot, but overall not a bad project with some random parts I had lying around and about $10 in pieces for the body.
What do you think? What does the next draft need?
On a walk this afternoon through the Akihabara area I found a neat little space. About three blocks north of Akiba station, hidden under the tracks is this gem. Last time I saw this area, it was a dark and kinda scary storage space. Actually I thought about using it as a backdrop for some photography projects. Now, it’s been cleaned up, painted and converted into a mini artspace.
There is a large open gallery, lots of small boutique shops typical hipster goods. Even a cafe with free wifi, power plugs and free to use iPads! With comiket in town, Akiba is even more packed than normal, but just a few hundred meters off the main drag this space is quiet and cool.
Not sure how long this will last, but if you need a quiet break near Akihabara, might be fun to check it out.
2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN
Oooo So many toys!
Made some updates to my desk so I thought I would throw down a quick post.
First of all, I found this great flexible arm for iPads at the Rare Mono shop in Akihabara. I’m not entirely sold on the positioning right now. it’s a bit high and I don’t have quite the range of motion I would like, but it does work pretty well. It’s particularly nice when using it to stream media (like old Firefly episodes) while I am typing away. As an added bonus I can slave the screen and use it for a second monitor. It’s also a pretty good setup for using the iPad with facetime and Skype for videoconferencing. Would be perfect for Google+ hangouts, but no support on iOS yet.
Also added a lamp, mainly to help or videoconferencing. Unfortunately monitor light alone makes me look even more zombielike than usual so the added light should help keep The Walking Dead references to a minimum.
The desk is getting pretty crowded with all the gear loaded up on it. I’m sure I get more than my recommended daily allowance of EM radiation from all of this. But what would I do without my toys?
Anyone care to try to identify the rest of the gear in the shot?
Ever hunting for the ultimate mobile setup, I’ve just put the finishing touches on my latest revision of my mobile workstation. This time around, I’m aided with a new MacBook Air 11 inch laptop for a “Pro” configuration.
With the new Sandybridge 1.8ghz i7 chip, this tiny netbook size computer packs some big-boy scale power, enough to let me tether the iPad 2 as a second monitor using the Avatron Air Display app. This way I can run the system as either a dual monitor computer or as two separate machines. I can also add a Bluetooth keyboard and a wireless trackpad to the mix to get that full desktop experience.
Throw in the iPhone for video chatting and etc, and I have three powerful computers that can work together and have enough power to run a small TV station or two Japanese nuclear power plants.
The scary part about this is that including the stands and a wireless cellular router for Internet anywhere, the entire setup weighs just over five pounds, or less than a 15 inch MacBook Pro laptop and it all fits inside the smallest laptop bag I own. Of course I expect a few stares if I set the whole thing up in a cafe and start coordinating an orbital launch while munching a scone.
Progress has allowed us to make computers lighter, smaller, more powerful, and even cheaper at a frightening pace. I expect in just a couple of years I’ll look at this setup and scoff at it’s pitiful specs. But I figure this should last a few months or so.
Would you go out in public with a rig like this? Post a comment below and let me know.