Dev8D: Project Zone Round-up: Day One

Feb 14, 2012 by

The Project Zone is the more freeform section of the conference where developers showcase various ongoing projects. This is a quick round-up of the projects on show throughout the first day of the conference.

Movement tracking and the AR Drone

The AR Drone is already a nifty bit of kit and so is the Microsoft Kinect but put those two things together in a room with a handful of developers and you get something a lot more interesting.

A team from Southampton University has set up a Kinect so that it works happily through a laptop showing a visual display of the data it receives (right). Usually controlled by an iOS or Android device the AR Drone is now configured to work using the Kinect’s motion tracking. Keep an eye out in The Venue for demonstrations during the rest of the conference.

3D Printing

Graham Klyne from Oxford University demonstrated a 3D printer in (eventual) full working order. The RepRap is a self-replicating machine with the ability to print off many of the parts needed for it’s own construction.

According to Graham this low-cost technology is a brilliant way of “putting these capabilities into the hands of ordinary people as opposed to major corporations with big budgets.”

Check out the video feature and interview with Graham here.

The Touch Screen Hack

From the same University responsible for the Kinect controlled AR Drone comes a collection of perspex, duct tape, tracing paper, a projector, a PlayStation Eye and some smart programming that are worth much more than the sum of their parts.

This is a touch table that, using infrared light running through a sheet of perspex and a PlayStation Eye, detects touch and allows the user to draw using a simple MS Paint-like program.

Beyond Arduinos

10 times faster and 30 times more memory than an Arduino there are more than three of these for every single human being on the planet. This tiny device has a microphone, accelerometer and simply plugs into your computer via USB.

These have the capability for a wide range of functions from electronic musical instruments to toy cats that purr when you hold them in a certain way.

Gary Bulmer was demonstrating the devices along with the simpler Ardunios throughout the day and affectionally refers to them as “an electronic surface for your brain to play on.”

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