I’m trying to get more people playing with soft robots. I’m releasing open source design files, tutorials, and now teaching classes. They’re a useful tool to add to any roboticist’s engineering toolbox, and if they were more widely known I think we’d see them outside the research lab and applied to practical problems.
I’ve taught a couple of seminars on soft robotics (demonstrating how I fabricate the Glaucus) over the last few weeks. I’m also giving a few talks soon – one at a seminar for engineering simulations, and another at NYC’s Spaceapps Hackathon.
I’ve been going to CCC for a while. I’ve given some talks (mostly on the lightning talk track) and have generally had a good time. More and more, though, I’ve gotten interested in gatherings that orbit big events like CCC, Maker Faire, and HOPE. Unconferences, Bsides, and nether-conferences like BarCamp are less formal than a traditional conference, and often have the kind of wiggle room for instant breakout sessions and long Q&A.
I’ve finally gathered my wits after a whirlwind tour of Europe, starting at CCC, giving some talks and connecting up with potential collaborators, to Berlin to meet hackers I hadn’t seen in years, to Brussels to play with some material science experiments in impact resisting plastics. While at CCC I gave three talks, two lightning talks on digital fabrication and the strange world of news advertisement, and a 15 minute talk on the methodology and philosophy behind my soft robots.
Recently I was interviewed by Make Magazine for their series Meet the Makers. You can listen to the podcast here. What follows is some extra links, photos, and resources that help illustrate the projects I mentioned in the interview.
I was incredibly flattered when Mark Frauenfelder asked me if I wanted to be one of the makers interviewed for the MAKE Podcast. I jumped at the chance. Now, having concluded the interview just a few minutes ago I wanted to share some links to the projects I mentioned, offer up a little further reading, and provide downloads for the open source designs I alluded to during my chat with Mark.
Speaking is intensely exciting. I love sharing, teaching, and lining up all of my thoughts into something concise and convincing. Something about ordering a swarm of swirling tenuous ideas into a coherent presentation makes them more vivid and solid.
I’ve been looking for more opportunities to speak and on my hunt for possible events to pursue I stumbled across the Extreme Futurist Festival put on by Michael Anissimov and Rachel Haywire. It seemed like an interesting gathering of tech enthusiasts, new media junkies, teachers, singularity proselytizers, and a huge varied random smattering of people I thought it would be fun to talk with. Plus Alex Peake was going to be there, and it was impossible to refuse an opportunity to catch up on what he’s been up to.
Some months back I gave the closing keynote at QuahogCon. It was an overview of the digital manufacture techniques available today focusing on 3d printing. I gave detailed information on how to interface with them, what properties different techniques impart, and how to generate geometry.
You can find an audio recording of the presentation here. You can also download my resources (containing links to artists, 3d printing companies, software tools, and awesome projects) here. You can also find my presentation’s visuals on Prezi.