Hardware Projects

LyteBox
 
LyteBox is a customizable plug-and-play light show that anyone can use with no effort at all! The system, created as a demonstration of the real-time DSP capabilities of the Altera DE2-115 FPGA, utilizes a collection of 120V relays and transistor amplifiers combined with the FPGA’s GPIO and audio-processing logic handled in C atop a QSYS-generated Verilog SOPC. Watch LyteBox in action here.
Filed under: Hardware
Variations
 
Variations is an interactive conceptual art installation that invites viewers to explore the subtle beauty of geometry through algorithmically generated polygons. The piece, constructed as a physical installation, makes use of a JavaScript, SVG, and C stack built atop a Raspberry Pi and a laser-etched frame, support, and UI constructed at Metrix Create:Space. The piece, like its brother 50 Lines was demoed at the 2015 Amazon Maker Expo and Seattle Mini Maker Faire. Be sure to check out the project’s online mirror and homepage (with pictures!).
Filed under: Software, Hardware, Art
Machine Vision
 
In the Fall 2012 semester I wrote a syllabus for a potential new interdisciplinary class on Machine Vision. In the Spring 2013 semester the course was approved, given the name ECE4502 – Machine Vision, and I was given authority of the class under the direction of Professors Joanne Dugan and Harry Powell. The course has focused on computer vision, rapid model prototyping in CAD, 3D printing, programming for Embedded Systems, and electronics design. The final project was the amusingly named “High Speed Industrial Strength Over-engineered Gumball Sorter” that would use a gravity fed, camera controlled interface to sort three gumballs per second by color.
Filed under: Teaching, Software, Hardware
50 Lines
 
50 Lines is an interactive conceptual art installation that generates unique and beautiful images based upon simple user input that controls the repetition of lines on a canvas. The physical installation is built atop a Raspberry Pi, a custom laser-etched acrylic plastic UI, and a hand picked monitor + frame pair from a local Goodwill. The piece was demoed at the 2015 Amazon Maker Expo and Seattle Mini Maker Faire. Check out the project’s online mirror and a gallery of photos from the event.
Filed under: Software, Hardware, Art
Arduino Soundcard
 
As a Christmas gift I wanted to put an audio playback device into a stuffed animal in order to make it “talk” when squeezed. For this project I designed and built a digital to analog converter, transistor pre-amp, and amplifier circuit built to interface with an Arduino microcontroller. The Arduino used an SPI interface to output an 8-bit WAV to the D/A circuit. The whole project was built as an Arduino shield and sewn inside a “Pillow Pet” stuffed animal.
Filed under: Hardware, Software
HDT & Green Energy
 
While interning with Hunter Defense Technologies I was an integral part of debugging returned green energy controllers included in HDT’s Environmental Control Unit systems built to handle and distribute up to 1600W of solar input. I also ran overnight quality tests on HDT’s line of generators used in BaseX Shelters and produced over two dozen 90Ah Expandible Battery Platform (page 2) units.
Filed under: Hardware
Homebrew Audio
 
In my free time I enjoy tinkering with electronics trying to add features or make them serve purposes they weren’t originally intended for. Some call it circuitbending. Some of my favorites include
- Speak and Sequence: an analog 8-step step sequencer built out of a “Speak and Math” kids toy. It features programmable loops and two layers of recycled audio beauty with an optional external clock sync.
- The Most Useless SNES Mod: quite simply, a Super Nintendo Entertainment System where a drum set is the controller.
- Incantors: Following the work of the famed Reed Ghazala I built a number of noise makers and drum machines out of “Speak and Spell” and “Alphabet Desk” toys that I have used in my own musical performances and sold around the United States and Australia.

Filed under: Hardware, Music
Homebrew Visuals
 
In my electronic experimentation I developed a very simple method for generating interesting glitch-art using an old Super Nintendo Entertainment System console. By isolating the two VRAM chips and running the address leads to a breakout box, the sprite sheets and color palettes are left to the whims of the user. I’ve got a demonstration here although it doesn’t get interesting until about 8:00. I built a few of these devices; they’ve been used in performances along the East coast and have been sold as far away as Australia! One of my devices was used by video artist fsck in his music video for “Ice Ice Bacon” and another can be seen in the demo “CR#CK” by glitch artist INEEDAMEDIC.
Filed under: Hardware, Art