The Rising Tide of Smart Shit


DIY Biotech (ish) using robots made out of Lego… the video itself, made by someone who is so proficient that it’s almost a distraction.

I find this incredibly interesting – partly because our fablab to-be already has an alchemist who is working on artificial bone-structures… but mainly because of the relentlessness that “intelligence” seems to be creeping in. Like water finding cracks etc. I have this vague vision of an “intelligence” – probably some sort of AI of genetic algorithm, that can move like a virus into any machine that has a chip, take it over and make it move about… or whatever. So something driving a car for example, could infect the phone of the driver, then get into the hair-dryer etc etc. Not necessarily to “do” anything, but just to be there. To own everything.

And maybe it already is… and it’s using humans as the vector… to adapt the machines, and do the hand-holding in the early stages. I mean at the moment, it’s fairly rudimentary… memory based systems, but I can imagine something like Suri (or what Suri pretends to be) being “given” a machine… and it just moves in, and 10 seconds later you can verbally tell it what to do.

Meantime, here’s this:

DIY robo-arm, controlled with speech via Android’s scripting language… which I myself am in the process of learning, and which looks pretty simple.

Pachube-Powered Plant Monitor


I’ve gone on about these before – but this is kindof a streamlined, albeit expensoid version. Once the basic concept/vitamin-parts are sussed though, the prices of these will nosedive and they’ll turn up everywhere… and not just for plants. There was a thing that made a load of money on Kickstarter recently – and all it was was a sensor-pod… for smartphones, if memory serves.

Cardboard Quadracopter

Because “you could do that too…” – non-vitamin parts made out of the cheapest stuff available – there’s a law of nature in there somewhere, but I’m not sure what it is. Special prize for the first person to make a quadracopter where (ironically) all the non-vitamin-parts are edible.

Swarm tech applied to Warehouse Robots


Amazon just bought a robotic warehousing company for about 3/4 of a billion $. Meanwhile, our illustrious leaders are attempting to create jobs by tightening the screws on the unemployed.

Open Source Sentry Gun Gear

I can see this one getting really out of hand at some point.


And so on, and so on.

One of the things the kickstarter project that made all the money did, was to reduce the programming complexity to that of setting up “rules” in an email client. Choose stimuli from a drop-down; choose response from a dropdown. I think that’s kindof vital – because as successful as arduinos are, they’re still like… the DOS of hardware interface.