The Trophy of the Future, Version 2

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It wasn’t quite the speedrun I anticipated when I first started working on version 2 of the Trophy, but I’m finally ready to call my work done (for now) and ship it off. Here’s a changelog of sorts:

  • [Hardware] Mounted the Arduino to the base using standoffs
  • [Hardware] Trimmed the cables exiting the trophy body and soldered on header pins for a clean connection
  • [Hardware] Glued the base to the trophy body using Amazing Goop
  • [Software] Developed and implemented yun-easy-wifi-switch to allow for user-friendly WiFi network switching
  • [Software] Developed and implemented linino-to-serial for Linino -> Arduino communication
  • [Software] Linino notifies Arduino of boot via linino-to-serial and displays a “loading” message until then (previously displayed nothing until boot)
  • [Software] Trophy displays the full message cycle only once an hour via cron + linino-to-serial (previously was always on)
  • [Software] Updated the Python code to allow for granular control over the trophy’s message buffer
  • [Software] Handle errors thrown by the Kimono API
  • [Software] Overhauled the Arduino code to accept communication from Linino and act accordingly

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Making the World’s First Internet-Enabled Fantasy Football Trophy, Part 1: Fabrication

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The Trophy of the Future (TotF) is the world’s first internet-enabled fantasy football trophy. Being the second-ever and, at the time, reigning champion of my fantasy football league, I felt it would be appropriate to spend some time at ITP producing a trophy to share with the league, so I made it my final project for Peter Menderson’s Materials and Building Strategies class. This post will cover the fabrication of the trophy. To read about the technology behind it, check out part 2!

A few weeks in to the semester we started making molds, and after seeing how much fun that was I had the initial idea of casting a football in clear resin for the trophy. Inspired by this headphone amplifier Instructable and wanting to throw a tech twist into the project, I decided to also embed an LED matrix in the resin that, by way of an Arduino Yún, would display NFL news, scores, and my league’s champions. In this first part of documentation, I will show the steps that I took to fabricate the trophy.

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Repairing Prop Proton Packs

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Earlier this summer, I repaired four prop proton packs for the Minions of Gozer, a group that performs Ghostbusters shadowcasts around the NYC area (many thanks to my friend Rachel, a producer of the show, for trusting me with these…). The four unwieldy packs had endured many years of heavy abuse at the hands of the Minions and what started as a few extra screws here and there quickly turned in to an (almost) complete rebuild. I ended up making a new backplate and what is technically called a “cyclotron” for each pack. In the end they were much lighter and more compact, for which the cast was grateful. More pictures below!

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NYC High School Dropouts

For our final project in Sculpting Data Into Everyday Objects, I worked with Ben Kauffman to visualize the cohort* dropout rate for high schools in New York City using data from the city’s Department of Education.

Each bead on the map represents one high school in New York City, placed in its geographic location. The length of the string represents how many students dropped out from that high school. A bead is glued at each end to hold the string in place and enable it to hang down. If there are multiple high schools at one location, extra beads are added.

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