Hackerspace at Unleashed

Some regular Hackerspace attendees had great success at Unleashed / Govhack this year, being presented with their awards on Sunday.

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Robyn, Kylie and Damien won the “Renew Adelaide Creative Space” award with their Talking Heads project, scoring the space some assistance from Renew Adelaide.  They also scored an honourable mention in the “Best Artistic Use of Open Data” category and won the Space a new Printrbot Simple, courtesy of Bilby CNC and Govhack! Get building everyone, before we have 3 non-functional 3D printers!

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Congratulations to Tamsyn for winning the Spirit of MOD Unleashed, for her assistance at the Machinery Of Data workshops.

Also Tobias, Daniel and Damien got the Coder’s Choice award for their Revive Survive application.

Well done all!

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Software Freedom Day at Hackerspace tomorrow!

Software Freedom Day

Tomorrow is Software Freedom Day, and we will be celebrating at Hackerspace

Come to our Saturday session (1pm – 4pm) for a special Free-Software themed Hacksession.

We will have some presentations, DVDs and USB sticks with free software to try, and plenty of people on hand to help with all manner of free software related things.

Where: Level 9, 80 King William St

When: 1-4pm, Satruday September 21

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Control the Crazyflie quadcopter with an Android phone

Crazyflie controlled with Android

The easiest way to control a Crazyflie nano quadcopter is with a laptop and a PS3 controller (or similar), but tonight we played around trying to control it using the Android client. Took a bit of messing around, so here’s how we got it working.

Instead of installing the full Android SDK (ADT bundle) I tried the Android Studio. Only limitation is that I couldn’t find how to install built apps directly onto my phone, but installing with ADB or ssh was fine. Anyway, here’s what we did to get the client running:

  1. Install Android Studio.
  2. Clone crazyflie-android-client or download the zip archive
    $ hg clone https://bitbucket.org/bitcraze/crazyflie-android-client
  3. Open Android Studio. Click File > Import project.
  4. If you’ve changed the channel that your Crazyflie is flying on, you’ll need to edit it in the file:
    $ src/se/bitcraze/crazyfliecontrol/MainActivity.java
  5. Search for “Set channel 107″ and change 107 to your channel number.
  6. Click build.
  7. The .apk to run on your Android phone will be at:
    $ out/production/crazyflie-android-client/crazyflie-android-client.apk
  8. If you have adb tools installed, connect your Android device over usb and run:
    $ adb install out/production/crazyflie-android-client/crazyflie-android-client.apk

Good luck controlling it.. it’s a bit slower to respond than running it on a laptop/bluetooth, but hopefully that’ll change as they update the Android app.

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NASA SpaceApps challenge

On the weekend of the 20th/21st of April Hackerspace Adelaide hosted the local site of the NASA SpaceApps Challenge. The idea of the weekend is to explore the data that NASA collect from their satellites, rovers and probes, and try and use it in a way that makes it easier for us to connect with.

Unsurprisingly, Hackerspace regulars were peppered through three teams that formed from the attendees. After being recently inspired by Mark‘s Project Horus balloon launches, our team (Steven Pickles, Jamie Mackenzie, Steven Clark & Simon Loffler) initially started work on a disposable emergency balloon that could be launched in times of fire, flood, plane crash or natural disaster and return image and position data to aid in search and recovery efforts.

Jamie does some calculations.

Unfortunately, with the help of Jamie’s brain full of geometric equations, we quickly calculated that an affordable solution that delivered useful data in a timely fashion just wasn’t feasible.

A few despondent looks later, it was back to the challenge page for some more inspiration.

Having watched and rather enjoyed the livestream of the Curiosity Mars rover’s descent to the surface of the red planet, I floated the idea of using some of the rover’s temperature data in the Wish You Were Here challenge.

Looking into the actual readings I quite surprised to see that the temperatures ranged from around -70C to 7C. My colour/image oriented brain assumed that a red planet meant a hot planet, how wrong it was! The next question we asked was if there was anywhere on Earth that had a similar climate, and with that Mearth was born.

Pix jumped into action parsing the XML feeds from the rover (in the end we used another group’s JSON feed) and wrote a script to pick the closest matching city on Earth from a list of 500 possible candidates. I bootstrapped a Ruby on Rails app, pushed it to Github (for collaboration) and then onto Heroku (a cloud service for the app).

A few hours and pizza/beer/coffee later, and we had a prototype.

Mearth prototype app

The last requirement of the challenge was to create a video describing our project.

At the end of the day, our group and one of the other Adelaide groups Moon Settler were selected as two of the four from Australia to go into the International round of voting.

As you can probably tell, we had an awesome time at the weekend and can highly recommend participating in it next year.

Special thanks go to the Adelaide organiser Sumen Rai for such a well managed weekend, and also Nicole Bromley for volunteering her time setting up / bringing us coffee and pizza and generally being lovely and smiley.

If you like the sound of this event, perhaps you should sign up to participate in the GovHack weekend coming up – a chance to mash government data into useful visualisations and web apps: uladl.com (don’t ask why it’s called unleashed).

Get your (free) ticket here: govhack2013.eventbrite.com.au

Some more photos from the day:

Bootstrapping Ruby on Rails, and some space water. :-)

Bootstrapping Ruby on Rails, and some space water. :-)

Space beer!

Space beer!

Mearth v.0.1

Mearth v.0.1

Pix drawing some temperature data to the screen.

Pix drawing some temperature data to the screen. The black lines are Earth’s maximum and minimum temperatures, the red lines are Mars’ maximum and minimum temperatures.

Presentation time!

Presentation time!

The Adelaide SpaceApps challenge team.

The Adelaide SpaceApps challenge team.

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Hackerspace at the Adelaide Mini Maker Faire

It was an awesome day!!  The organisers are saying anywhere between two thousand and four thousand people attended.

We won the Best Backyard Science Award

We won the Best Backyard Science Award

Robert Discussing His Cosmic Ray Detector

Robert Discussing His Cosmic Ray Detector

A view of the crowds

Heidi's Twitter Printer

Heidi’s Twitter Printer

Gavin from Sydney Hackerspace Robots And Dinosaurs

Gavin from Sydney Hackerspace Robots And Dinosaurs* riding the Flying Carpet

Under the flying carpet

Under The Flying Carpet

View of the crowds

Mark Jessop from Project Horus

Mark Jessop from Project Horus

Project Horus Balloon

Project Horus* Balloon

Robots And Dinosaurs http://robodino.org/
Project Horus http://projecthorus.org/

Photos courtesy of Damien Presser – more of Damien’s photos can be found here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151868192892575.1073741825.751762574&type=1&l=d37ba64f42

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Linux.Conf.Au & Visit To Make, Hack, Void

linux .conf.au this year was in Canberra and those from Hackerspace who went along had a great time.

linux.conf.au banner on the Manning Clark Centre

The first two days are made up of mini conferences or miniconfs.

Robyn Willison was the chief organiser of the Haecksen miniconf.

Bianca Gibson And Robyn Willison

Bianca Gibson And Robyn Willison

 

Fee Plumley’s great talk at the Haecksen miniconf was on Open Source Cities.

Fee giving her talk at the Haeksen miniconf

Fee Plumley

 

One of the stand out talks for me was Denise Paolucci’s Overcoming Imposter Syndrome.  Denise isn’t a Hackerspace person I just want to highlight her excellent talk.  Her slides are up on Slide Share and you can download the video from the LCA mirror.

Pix gave a talk at the Blue Hackers BOF which unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend because I was at the Interactive Textiles BOF.  If anyone has a photo could they please let me know so that I can include it in this post.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are the main conference days.  All the conference videos are available for download so if you didn’t make it this year you can still listen to some great talks.

Saturday Visit To Make, Hack, Void – Canberra Hackerspace

Make, Hack, Void

Eager and attentive hackers listening to talks

Eager and attentive hackers

Mark Jessop giving his talk on safe high altitude ballooning.

Mark Jessop giving his talk on high altitude ballooning.

Andrew Tridgell aka Tridge talking about UAVs.

Andrew Tridgell aka Tridge talking about UAVs.

One of the UAVs

One of the UAVs

Flying a Quadcopter at the local oval

Flying a Quadcopter at the local oval

Launching a UAV at the local oval

Launching a UAV at the local oval.  People took turns flying it.

LED Flower

LED Flower

3d printer inside a perspex box

3d Printer In A Perspex Cover

MHV Workshop

MHV Workshop

Fee Plumley's bus named Home James

Fee Plumley’s Home James of the Really Big Road Trip*

Hacking a night light

Hacking A Night Light

*Really Big Road Trip

Sorry if I’ve left anyone out, or forgotten to mention important stuff.  If anyone has photos they would like included or more info leave a comment and I’ll include it in the post.

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Adelaide Mini Maker Faire

mmflogo

We’re exhibiting at the Maker Faire.  Some of the projects which will be on display are:

A Twitter printer
Jacob’s Ladder
Hodoscopes
Project Horus High Altitude Ballooning

High altitude balloon

High Altitude Balloon

a hexapod

The Hexapod

E-waste sculpture

E-waste Sculpture

K9

K9

K9

K9

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First hacksession in our new space

As 2012 came to a close, when most things were winding up for the holidays, Hackerspace Adelaide was madly moving house.

Following our presentation about Hackerspace on the MEGA pitch day, Jana Matthews of ANZ Innovyz START offered us some space in their premises at 80 King William St. A mere 2 weeks later, after some sweaty furniture relocation and a few rickety sack-truck convoys from Format, we were ready for business.

On Saturday December 29th we had our first session. A bunch of the regulars couldn’t make it but plenty of people stopped by to give the new space a test-drive.

Our new space has a white-board, which makes the sessions magically self-documenting:

Keep an eye on the calendar to join us at a future session. In addition to our normal fornightly cycle, I sense we will be peppering the calendar with a few extra sessions in the coming months.

pix

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Laser cutting at FabLab

This week the Adelaide FabLab is holding a masterclass on digital fabrication.  As part of this HackAdl member Tamsyn has created an introduction for using the Laser Cutter with Inkscape.  The blog post can be found here:

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Science Alive Gallery

Dale had his camera at science alive and took plenty of photos including the Amateur radio and Electronics booth and of course, Hackerspace.

His blog post is here

 

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