Mind Control, Giant Printers, & Code

Projects are coming along but my time has been really limited these past couple months. After the 6.270 competition in January I dived right into school work.

Despite the hectic schedule a team of us here at MIT joined forces to build a snow printer. The project began as a funny what-if and has evolved into a full fledged robot that is capable of printing 32ft x 50ft images in the snow. The concept is simple, a small robot (made from LEGOs) drives back and forth on a 16ft beam spraying food coloring. The beam is then manually moved 6 in. after the bot has completed its run. The intensity of the spray is varied to achieve gray-scale and we can stack prints to achieve huge images. The resolution is approximately 4px/sq.ft. We wrote custom image software in Processing that takes an image and outputs an array with the appropriate coordinates and color for every pixel. A microcontroller is then loaded with the array. Initial tests were successful but we ran into issues with the memory constraints on the microcontroller. Sadly the snow has now melted and we have nothing to print on… At the top of the post is the visualization of our print.

Other projects have been cropping up here and there. I am anxious to do some more work with EL wire and possible integrate some fiber optics this time. I think it would interesting to package it in a full body costume using the techniques from the Iron Man build. Right now the project is just a pile of sketches. The EL Wire Suit got picked up by another Japanese TV show through MITERS and we will be filming on Friday. Pics to come!

My main project right now is through the MIT Media Lab. We are working on developing a new way for humans and computers to interact. The user wears an EEG headset and can control the computer by just thinking. Our focus is on browsing the internet and using social-media websites. The technology is in place and we are hoping to expand its capabilities. Once we make more progress I will post sample videos.

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