Citizen Engineer – Consumer Electronics Hacking and Open Source Hardware
This is a hands-on session on all the things you’re not supposed to do (but want to) with the gadgets that fill our drawers and shelves: transform an old VCR into an automatic cat feeder, use open interfaces to control Roomba robotic vacuums. Projects like these (and others, such as WRT54G hacking, iPod Linux, car-computer hacking, etc.) are part of a growing trend where consumers are going back and hacking what they buy. Just as computer hacking is closely tied to the Open Source software movement, so can such embedded gadget-hacking lead to an Open Source hardware movement.
The Geeky, Personal, and Social Impact Sides of Creating Defensive Technology
Ever wish you had the power to turn off a TV in a restaurant or disable an intrusive cell phone? Social defensive technologies are “reality hacking” devices that give us the sort of sociopathic control we’ve come to enjoy on the Internet alone. Three years ago, Mitch decided he’d had enough of televisions and designed the TV-B-Gone, a universal “off” keychain remote. Around the same time, Ladyada designed a personal RF jammer. Together they will discuss these projects in the context of reclaiming personal space, culture-jamming, and how we can design technologies that do what we really want. Don’t expect good WiFi/cell reception.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.