The fifth meeting of dorkbot anglia, took place on Thursday 28th April 2011 when we were the guests of the CSV Media Clubhouse, Ipswich. An audience of over twenty-five people enjoyed an evening of talks and conversations with "people doing strange things with electricity" in the East Anglian area. The evening was introduced by Cad Taylor of Ipswich Community Radio.
David Elmer works at Northgate High School in Ipswich, where he has been working on a series of homemade launches into the stratosphere! David told us all about the H.A.P.E.N. (High Altitude Probe Educating Northgate) One launch. He described the design of the probe, including the camera, temperature probe and GPS with a data connection to allow it to be tracked and recovered. The probe was propelled by helium balloons and had to receive permission from the Civil Aviation Authority before launch! The result was a stunning series of photos:
John Benton described his web projects using the power of crowds. The UK Rail Tweet Map watches Twitter for tweets that refer to train journeys. John has some clever techniques for locating the tweet on the train network and determining how negative (or indeed positive) it is. All the current tweets are shown on the map colour coded to highlight problems.
John had wondered if there were now are enough people with smartphones to allow them to be used for audience feedback - so he tried it out on us! On the back of every seat he had printed QR Codes that sent people to a webpage giving us a grid of colours to choose from. Each seat had a unique identity and the choices were then shown on the big screen. John has documented this here.
Barry Crabtree opendorked on his project to count how many bees he has in his colony and how far they are flying. He showed us his prototype "bee valves", made with brush bristles. Barry hopes that these will ensure that one bee leaves the hive in one directions at a time and allows a simple sensor to be used to count the bee.
Matthew Applegate aka Pixelh8 opendorked on a compilation of chip tune music he and True Chip Till Death has created in aide of the earthquake in Japan, bringing together over 100 chip tune artists. He also spoke about the related Gig For Japan held at the Norwich Arts Centre.
dorkbot encourages grassroots meetings of artists, engineers, designers, scientists, inventors and anyone else working under the very broad umbrella of electronic art. Started by Douglas Repetto at Columbia University in 2000, dorkbot is now global in almost 100 cities; dorkbot anglia is one of the newest.
Our intention is for dorkbot anglia to run every two or three months in a different town in the region. If you would like to participate or could offer a venue, please get in touch -