“Is it a Dandelion?” a friend asked. Not quite. It’s a High Altitude Balloon (HAB). Specifically, that’s the striking image of our Kaymont 1,200-gram weather balloon bursting 31.8km (over 100,000 feet) above ground at 3:29pm on 11th July 2015. That altitude … Continue reading →
After two-and-a-bit days of dashing around London, I managed to visit all 50+ statues of Paddington Bear on the Paddington Trail in London. Good fun, in aid of a great children’s charity (text BEAR to 70744 to donate £4 to … Continue reading →
Standing outside the beautifully renovated brick granary buildings now home to art institution Central St Martins college of UAL, the colourful fountains in Granary Square have intrigued me ever since I first saw them a few months ago. The water … Continue reading →
Secret test vehicle showing clear off-road capability
Publicly, Ferrari CEO Amedo Felisa and outgoing President Luca di Montezemolo have routinely denied any plans to branch out from sports cars into saloon cars, or even SUVs. However, the apparent sighting today of a secret test vehicle in London suggests that the company’s plans for an off-road model are both real and well-advanced. Cleverly disguised as a 458 Spider, the off-road test vehicle was spotted in a sophisticated test facility designed to replicate a residential street in Westminster. Typically this terrain is the preserve of Range Rovers and other “Chelsea Tractor” SUVs, so it is clear which section of the market Ferrari is targeting with its off-road plans. Hidden from view is an enhanced version of the now-familiar mannetino control dial on the steering wheel, bearing two extra settings: “SM” and “DM”. Continue reading →
Saw this sign in an office building and did a double-take. Do they think their workforce is too large and needs shrunk, Alice-in-Wonderland-style? Can’t say I fancy the shrinking spray, so I’ll stand on the left!
The NASA Space Apps Challenge took place around the world on 20-21 April 2013. Suitably inspired by this global hackathon, I entered the challenge with a team of work mates. We decided to take on the Lego Rover challenge and set about creating a Lego robot with a difference – gesture control. We assembled a Lego Mindstorms NXT robot kit and hooked it up to a laptop PC with a Microsoft Kinect sensor. In a handful of hours we created “Claudia”, the gesture-controlled robot that can use her claw to collect garbage (in this case soft drink cans) – somewhat inspired by and resemblant of WALL-E.
It was great fun and we were delighted (and relieved) that our live on-stage demo worked. Thanks to Steve for his successful arm-waving!
Avid readers of my blog will know that I dislike silly signs. The worst offenders I celebrate here and then do my best to ignore. However, this week the issue of silly signs was brought so close to home that it really must not be ignored. One lift in my apartment block now bears this sign inside and out:
Don’t go it alone – this lift demands “3 Persons Only”
At an IET talk on Raspberry Pi this week, I met someone who works on BloodhoundSSC – the awe-inspiring, faster-than-a-bullet, 1,000mph car project. Both Raspberry Pi and BloodhoundSSC are fantastic UK STEM education initiatives doing a great job of engaging geeks of all ages. Suitably inspired, I couldn’t resist paying homage with my Pi-powered light painting gizmo. Here’s the resulting living room geek art that celebrates these two UK technology icons. Hope you like!?
First handheld attempt at light painting with Raspberry Pi
Inspired by the amazing images and brilliant write-up by Phillip Burgess at Adafruit, I decided to give my Raspberry Pi something interesting and colourful to do – light painting. A happy day of geeking saw my brother and I pull together a wireless remote-controlled, battery-powered, Raspberry Pi light painting robot. It’s not perfect, but we think the initial results are pretty good for a day’s work and I thought I’d share some notes and photos in case anyone else is interested. Continue reading →