Team Van Gogh Uses OpenXC To Create Art From Your Drive


In this video, [Joe Grand] takes us through [Team Van Gogh’s] entry in the OpenXC hackathon event. In what could possibly be the greatest road trip in history, [Joe Grand, Ben Krasnow, TechNinja, and Super Awesome Sylvia] all pile into a car. With them they bring a host of dev boards, wires, a CB Radio, and of course Sylvia’s WaterColorBot.

As their name implies, [Team Van Gogh] took a more artistic approach to the challenge than other teams.  OpenXC steering, gear shift, accelerator and brake data is sent through a ChipKit to an RS-232 link into [TechNinja’s] laptop. The laptop translates the data into commands for the WaterColorBot. With this system, a simple Sunday drive can become abstract art.

The team also showed the concept of what could be done if OpenXC was extended to send data back to the vehicle – something Ford doesn’t support. Their example works when a phone call comes in by using the system to lower the volume on a CB radio standing in for car’s Bluetooth system.

Most of this challenge was completed with simulated data from the OpenXC vehicle interface. The team only had a few minutes to work the bugs out in a real vehicle. However, they proved their concepts well enough to win the grand prize.

Anyone who has participated in a hackathon knows how drained and irritable people can be toward the end of the event. It’s notable that the group here is all smiles. We think this is a good example of four folks meeting up (some of them for the first time) and creating something great.

11 thoughts on “Team Van Gogh Uses OpenXC To Create Art From Your Drive

  1. CB? Citizens Band Radio?
    I’m confused as to what is that supposed to do? – And why do we need a servo controlling the volume of a radio from the 1990s?

    FRS might be a better choice here.
    Especially if they plan to send data over it.

    – Kris

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