Tweets for 2009-11-23

Posted: November 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: meta | No Comments »
  • The @muralizer kickstarter project is drawing to a close, and we've got a ways to go! Please pass on http://bit.ly/2a0kqr ! #
  • @mehuman It's already GPL, but I plan to move the repo to github. Schematics and plans will be freely available when they exist (none yet). in reply to mehuman #
  • @mehuman Awesome, thanks! Let folks around your space know about the KS project! Adding can support is on the "I'd love to" feature list… in reply to mehuman #
  • I (Josh) will be at DorkbotSF tonight, and hope to talk quickly about @muralizer in an OpenDork. See you there! #

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Tweets for 2009-11-16

Posted: November 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: meta | No Comments »
  • Oh, man, that was epic: I've spent about 20 of the last 24 hours rewriting the software, after hitting limits on the arduino. Progress! #

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Software is hard, let’s go sleeping (5 pieces of great news)

Posted: November 13th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

First news: I rewrote the whole software stack from the ground up this week, after running into some problems in preparing demo art for someone. It’s been exhausting, but things look a hell of a lot cleaner now, and it’s going to be great for modifying it as time goes on.

Other exciting news: someone wants demo art! Someone you’ve probably heard of if you’re into hip fashion on the West Coast or NYC. They’re planning an installation of a muralizer in their flagship store here, which is fantastic! I’ll have more definite news there later, but it’s feeling less tentative every sheet of sample art I produce.

I need to get some sleep tonight, as I have an interview with someone tomorrow. An international publication is doing a piece on Kickstarter, and wanted to talk a bit about Muralizer. I’m looking forward to this, if nothing else, as a chance to practice talking to journalists again. It’s something I haven’t done much of in the last few years (working in research departments, you’re kind of not allowed to…). So, it’ll be fun to get back into the saddle of that.

And, the most exciting piece of news: tomorrow is also the first public-ish Muralizer demo! It’s going to go fantastic, since it’s at an Elementary School. My friend is demoing electronics kits for some kids and their folks a science-y event, and I’m tagging along to show kids Muralizer. So, I need to find some kid-approachable art, and, more importantly to me, work on my “Math is cool!” spiel for third graders.

The last, and most enheartening piece of news: there’s still time for me to catch some sleep tonight, despite all this. Call me self-centered, but this is the one that I look forward to the most. Video of the demo art, as well as images, and more of the podcasts, will be coming up soon. I’ve been totally wrapped up in rewriting software that I’ve barely left my house this week, and have been slack about keeping you all updated. I’ll try to be better about that going forward.

More to come!

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Tweets for 2009-11-09

Posted: November 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: meta | No Comments »

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A quick clarification on the first kits

Posted: November 3rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: meta | No Comments »

First off: thanks to the new batch of backers!  We’re picking up steam, and should be able to break 33% funded by the end of this week.  Let your friends, family, and coworkers know that this project is out there: we need their support to make this thing happen!

And, on to real news: I, an engineer, didn’t explain something well enough.  Shocking, simply shocking.  I neglected to mention that, as a first-kit-recipient pledger, your muralizer experience will be easier than everyone else’s: you’re not going to have to solder anything!

CS writes in asking: “What would be needed to get the pledge-level kits working?”  Good question, CS.  Answer: not much!  The first batches of Muralizers come fully soldered, assembled, and ready to plug-and-play.  You just need to install some software, plug it in, and you’re good to print.

As an added bonus, the first ten Muralizers will have serial numbers, all lovingly hand-applied by yours truly.  If you want, I’ll even sign it, but I refuse to make them out to “eBay.”

Thanks again to the new supporters, and please drop me a line with any questions you have.  I’ve got another question from you all, suggesting a somewhat immodest use of Muralizer, which I’ll be revealing (and answering) soon…

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Muralizer in the Make blog, and Gizmodo?!

Posted: October 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: media | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Wow, today we’re in the Make blog and Gizmodo!  I picked an awful day to stay up late hacking on the serial interface and then sleep in a bit.

Hi to all the new folks, and I’m glad you’re interested!  I’ll be updating here as I hack, if you’re keen to follow the project as it happens.  There will be demo videos, podcasts of the radio interview I did a few weeks ago, and maybe a smidge of technical details (possibly… I kinda like to nerd out).

For now, I’ll leave you with the first MP3 snippet from the interview, which I’ve already posted on the kickstarter page: What needs done?

Requisite plug: Help bring Muralizer to walls everywhere!  Support Muralizer’s Kickstarter project!


 
icon for podpress  Standard Podcast [5:32m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
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Recommissioning the hardware

Posted: October 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: progress | 1 Comment »

The first step in restarting the Muralizer Project is recommissioning the existing hardware.  I bought all the parts for a full prototype when we were working on it at noisebridge, which we assembled a couple of times.  Yesterday, I dug all this up, gave it a plastic tub to call home, and wired it up.

Next up was a test rig.  At the moment, I’m testing on a little toy whiteboard in my apartment: it’s a lot cheaper than paper and paint pens when trying things out.  This took a little adjustment, but I finally found a solution to setting things up.  I’m pleasantly surprised, and love that my 10 pound freeweights are getting use again.

Freeweights make excellent, well, weights.

Freeweights make excellent, well, weights. Here, they hold the motors in place.

After a bit of hacking, we had awkward, jerky test motion!  This is pretty exciting, but the real fun (for me) was getting back into the codebase.  I added some new diagnostic commands to the firmware, so I could tell what it was doing.  This software hasn’t been touched in a while, so it was a little trippy to step back into it.  There’s a bit of really cool math, a touch of crazy motor control code, and a lot of good old state tracking.  I’m remembering how much fun it was to collaborate on this code once upon a time, and am really enthused about stepping back into it when I can find or make the time.

Speaking of making time: I’d love to work on this full-time for a few weeks!  In order to do that, I need your support.  I’ll have a Kickstarter project up in the next day or two.  Kickstarter works a lot like a PBS pledge drive: in return for pledges, I will send you some artefact from the project.  For example, if you pledge $15, I’ll mail one of the images printed out during testing.  At $47, you can get a printout of a vector file you send me.  And, at a number I still need to calculate, you’ll get one of the first muralizer kits ever produced.

I’d love to engage the community in the creative process, so I’ll be posting up these progress reports as I go along.  You can also email me, or leave comments in the blog.  On top of all that, Muralizer has its own twitter handle: @muralizer.  You can follow me there and see what’s going on, hour-by-hour, when I’m at work.

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Muralizer on Subversive Science

Posted: October 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: media | No Comments »

My friend Naomi (aka DJ Prefect) had me on Subversive Science last night.  Subversive Science is her show on science and technology, broadcast on Pirate Cat Radio, San Francisco’s pirate radio station.  The show is a couple hours long, full of good music and good conversation.  We’ll cut it down into smaller bits to post up here, little 5~10 minute segments, each focused on an aspect of the project.

Until we get all the slicing and dicing done, you can check it out at Subversive Science — 2009-10-16.

A big thank-you to Naomi and Pirate Cat Radio for having me on, and I hope to be back once the project is wrapped up, talking about the things people have used it for!

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Welcome!

Posted: October 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Hi, and welcome to the Muralizer Project Blog!  My name is Josh, and this is my baby.  I’ll be sharing stories of the process of refining muralizer here, as well as explaining more of the motivation of the project, talking about its history, and generally going on about robots, drawing, and the creative refinement process.

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