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Color of Life, a new exhibit live at the Academy of Sciences

The Color of Life exhibit is open at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, including a series of interactive exhibits my friends and I worked on, involving transparent displays, motion tracking users dancing like a peacock spider or bird of paradise, gigamacro-zooming in on our collections, and IR cameras. Say hello to the newts, if you can find them, before they find you. Disco lights in the transparent display. A photo posted by Jon…

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DIY Nightlife @calacademy

I’ll be presenting a behind-the-scenes view of the Academy of Sciences exhibits and robotics @CASNightlife on May 15th, for DIY Nightlife.We’ll be joined by the Green Art Workshop, the SF Maker Faire, The Crucible, and California College of the Arts, with music by DJ Omar. Come drink, dance, and make something — RSVP on Facebook or get tickets at calacademy.org/events/nightlife.

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Vibrating at the Bay Area Science Festival

As part of the Bay Area Science Festival, Bart Bernhardt of Nerd Nite fame will be hosting Nerd Speed Dating on November 4th, during the science pub crawl. I’ll be giving a very short talk on the electronics and mechanical history of vibrators, from steam and wind-up to high-voltage, and doing my best to make it not-creepy while you people meet cute nerds of varying genders. Potential door prize: A MacGuyver-hackish vibrator made out of…

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The Human Odyssey – going live at the Academy of Sciences

The Human Odyssey gallery is going live on February 6th, including a series of interactive exhibits and upgraded content better conveying the narrative of human evolution and our migration out of Africa. The biggest exhibit is the Human Odyssey Migration map: a pair of 32″ touch screens running an interactive app I’ve developed in pure HTML5 / CSS3 (with canvas and svg drawing the game in realtime) that allows the user to trace our species’s…

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Human-Computer Interactivity and Engineering the Cyberpunk Future

On November 3rd, I’ll be taking part in a series of IGNITE talks, presenting, “Human-Computer Interactivity and Engineering the Cyberpunk Future, alongside Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly publishing, and several other nerds. The synopsis: Poking keyboards and wiggling mice was fine for its time, but the future of Human-Computer Interaction will enhance lives invisibly and tangibly. Highlighting a variety of sensors already in Academy exhibits, and previews of some that will control next year’s, Jon Britton…

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Meet my robots at Stanford VAIL during National Robotics Week

I’ll be presenting some of my robot friends at the amazing Robot Block Party hosted at the Volkswagon Automotive Innovation Lab at Stanford. There’ll be wonderful robots on display ranging from Mars Rovers from The Tech Museum, to middle school robot projects. Cutting edge robotics companies represented at the Block Party include industry leaders like Adept, Bosch, Willow Garage and researchers from SRI International and the Center for Automotive Research. Smaller startups are also on…

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GROWBOT, aka Robotany, is awake and farming

I publicly debuted the Growbot, a symbiotic aquarium and hydroponic garden that’s managed by a rudimentary AI robot, at the California Academy of Sciences Nightlife last week. Growbot is based on the Propeller chipset by Parallax and OSX (with a Playstation Eye camera), and can monitor Ph, lighting, temperature, watering, humidity, plant health and disease, feeding, draining, and more. I’ll be putting the source code and schematics online here, so check back and Build It…

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The Technology of Science Visualization at San Francisco Nerd Nite

I’ll be talking about life, the Universe and everything at San Francisco Nerd Nite on Wednesday, March 16th. Be sure to RSVP here, (though it isn’t mandatory.) Nerd Nite had this to say: The Coolest A/V Club in the Universe: Science Visualization at the California Academy of Sciences What happens when A/V geeks grow up? The Morrison Planetarium. Boasting the largest all-digital dome in the world, state-of-the-art projection and software, and the finest scientific minds—and…

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EARTHQUAKE – New exhibit live at the California Academy of Sciences, powered by my electronics / code

From the Academy: “Our new Earthquake exhibit and planetarium show open this Saturday! Here’s a sneak peek from SFGate.com (edit: you can see my calculator in the last picture.) What are you most excited to see? The return of an earthquake simulator? Live baby ostriches? The planetarium show?” I’ll upload pictures and code to the usual place if/when/where it’s allowed. Obj-c, Perl, Python, Assembly, Max/MSP, rear projections, old-school Happ arcade-controls, and more.

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Thermographic IR at the “Summer of Slither”

The Academy of Sciences is opening the “Summer of Slither: Snakes and Lizards” exhibit to the public for the rest of the summer. In addition to having live animals and other artifacts on display, I’ve designed an interactive, thermographic IR camera display helping visitors understand some snakes’ “heat sensing” vision. More features and interactivity will be added later.

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There are fewer sharks today than any point in history.