Chalkbot Vs GraffitiWriter

For those who watched the Tour de France, you may have been pleasantly surprised to see some cool tech. Nike was using a robot to paint pictures on the street in chalk dot matrix style. It was accepted by the general public as new and innovative, as well as generally cool. In the hacker community though, a bit of trouble began to brew. The Chalkbot bears more than a passing resemblance to a project called GraffitiWriter. GraffitiWriter was a bot initially designed to protest the militarization of robotics. As it turns out, one of the early developers of the GraffitiWriter is behind the Chalkbot in a legitimate contract. The trouble doesn’t seem to be one of intellectual property legalities. People are mad at the corporatization of public work. They want kids watching to know that this system was designed by regular people in their spare time at their homes, not by a team of researches in a secret underground Nike laboratory.

The article takes a bit of a turn and talks some about the possibility of projects being taken and used for corporate advertisement. The specific item they are talking about is the Image Fulgurator which secretly projects images on objects in your photographs. You’ll have to go check that one out to see how it works.

How-to: Networked Graffiti Wall

Wondering what we did with our web server on a business card project from last week? It’s powering a giant LED graffiti wall. Animations can be user-submitted using the online designer. You can watch a live feed of user animations as well. The online interface runs on the Google App Engine for maximum scalability and resilience.

In today’s How-to we cover all the ins and outs of building your own networked graffiti wall. Continue reading “How-to: Networked Graffiti Wall”

Notacon 2008: Dropping Humanity In Non-places


[Nate Graham] gave a presentation on what he considers ‘new media art’, the convergence of art and technology. He covered quite a few great examples of what new media art is from many categories: a mower that creates pixel art, Cory Arcangel’s famous Super Mario Clouds hack, a whale hunt whose photo capture rate depended on the participant’s heart rate, the bike based SMS printer for protests.

Continue reading “Notacon 2008: Dropping Humanity In Non-places”

Gesture Laser Pointer Control


After I linked his basic laser pointer webcam interface the other day, [mnt] sent me this excellent demo of his gesture based laser pointer control. This one works alot like graffiti on the old palm pilots. My question? What does he make when he’s not sick?