Drake Wilson

Project:  Firefly jars – Dorkbot 22

Drake presented at Dorkbot 22 a set of electronic lightning bug jars created for Murder Ballad Murder Mystery at the vortex theater in oct. 2009.  Each jar powered 12 randomly flickering LEDs and was powered by a single pic microprocessor.

Drake Wilson is an eclectic creature from the conceptual world currently puttering about in Austin.  He often works with the ACTLab, mainly doing volunteer sysadminry and being akin to a second-chair teaching assistant of some stripe.  He can be found on the Web at

Dan Hemingson

Dan's Ambisonic Microphone

The Ambisonic Microphone

Dan Hemingson is the ACTLab TV’s Lead Audio Engineer. His work has been so successful that he recently presented his work to the Audio Society of Engineers in Munich Germany. His work in the ACTLab includes surround sound environments, microphone development and audio hardware development.

ProjectAmbisonic microphone and recordings – Dorkbot 22

Using only a few dollars worth of microphones, some custom circuitry, and a little bit of post-processing, Dan is able to create three-dimensional audio environments that rival the atmosphere created by thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

Check out dan’s website for details more on some of his work.

More about Dan Hemingson:

Dan Hemingson made his first audio recordings on a wire recorder and a Wilcox-Gray disc recorder in about 1953 and 4 years later received his amateur radio operator license, building his transmitter from surplus military equipment.  While a high school senior, he built a digital computer from discrete components, winning a Ford Foundation Future Scientists of America Award.  He worked for 30 years for LaCoste and Romberg, Inc., a manufacturer of gravity meters, then for Avnet Corporation as a programmer, and for Brookhaven Instruments, where he designed a digital storage oscilloscope for use in ion implanters.

Since 1964, he has been a sound engineer at the First Baptist Church of Austin.  In 1974, he formed Audio Productions Company, providing sound and recording services for corporations.  In 2004, he returned to The University of Texas at Austin where he was introduced to surround sound by Professor Sandy Stone of the Advanced Communications Technology Laboratory and Professors Mark Sarisky and Bruce Pennycook of the Butler School of Music.  He is a recording engineer for the Butler School of Music.

John Boiles

Update: John Boiles will be presenting 2 new projects during Dorkbot 23 @ SXSW Interactive on 3/13, 6-8pm in Brush Square Park!

John Boiles lives in Austin, Texas, where he writes software, builds things, and presents his amazing ipod and internet controlled devices at Dorkbot Austin

ProjectDimletDorkbot 21

The Dimlet is an ipod touch controlled light dimmer circuit.  By reading accelerometer output in four directions, a user is able to control the power output of four independent electrical sockets.  The Dimlet was originally built for a friend’s party in July 2009.  John’s Dimlet video is not to be missed!

Project:  Tilty – the ipod touch controlled RC car – Dorkbot 21

Project:  Christmas-spirit-meter (powered by twitter!) – Dorkbot 22

The Christmas-spirit-meter monitors twitter and adjusts Christmas light intensity based on a 2-week moving average of Christmas-related tweets.  John is hoping to finish the spirit-meter prior to Christmas 2009 – if not, we’re sure it will be easy enough to convert into a president’s day-spirit-meter

Projectiphone controlled oldsmobileDorkbot 22

John worked with the guys at Waterloo labs to adapt his iphone-controlled RC car into an iphone-controlled actual car…  And then surf it.

Check out John’s website for details more on some of his work.


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