Fab Academy 2014

Final Project Idea

Most of what’s below may not be too fascinating or very incumbent to the topic at hand so feel free to skip and go straight to the point

Class started today on a pretty steep ascending curve; I'm talking about learning curve. But through the fog of the innumerable concepts that we've been bombarded with, I can still perceive the looming massive shadow of having to come up with an idea...

Not easy that is: coming up with the right idea... A requisite is that we apply as much of what we learn in the coming months, and I don’t think I have that all very clear. [I have a fair idea of what the machines we are going to use are supposed to do, but it’s still not clear the extent of the possibilities or the limitations of these machines, and as far as the electronic bits goes, I’m not too sure what kind of sensors are available, and the “outputs” that we will be capable of using].

Well that being said, here are some of the topics I’d like to experiment with:

  • POV (permanence of vision using leds)
  • Robots
  • Auto-stable robots or objects (sort of a mini Segway)
  • Drones or quad-copters
  • Machine that make
  • Things that I would find useful at home

And here are some of the ideas I’ve been having; for the great majority I find them either useless, insane, out of my league, merely cute, already done, or a combination of several of these adjectives:

  • Impossible to tilt glass (mounted on a Segway)
  • A robot that would close or open the shutters in my house.
  • A room scanner using a laser measuring tape (generates automatically the CAD drawing of the room)
  • Chocolate 3d printer
  • RFID bicycle lock (with a dynamo charger)
  • An IR remote control box for home appliance (TV, DVD, etc…) that I can control from an APP
  • A writing robot (Something like Seymour Papert’s turtle, or a stand alone plotter)
  • A writing arm (similar to the above but to write on vertical surfaces =>write on the chalk board using your favorite font…)

If there was a competition between the above ideas, I’d have to admit that I don't see a real winner. But I have to develop (a bit) one of these; so let me chose (drumroll) the writing robot. What I’m about to write here is definitely out of my league, but I count on tutors and faculty to help me figure out something that I could actually do.


So Dood will be his name (sorry Neil I’m starting with the marketing; I know you said “bottom-up not top-down”, but I couldn’t help it). Well Dood is a 6-inch tall Segway doodler that can read Postscript or some other vector graphic language that we will learn in this class, and move about to achieve the drawing; and one of his first assignments could be to do my daughter’s home work so that I don’t have to be constantly on her back. OK this is not a very technical definition but my intention is that anyone can get the idea.

As I stand right now I’m aware that I might be aiming way out of my range, but for lack of a better idea I’ll start with this and we’ll see where we go from here.