Author Archive

Kitchen and PS:Yum Update

PS:One Kitchen

PS:One Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our kitchen was built about a year ago to fulfill the desires of a group of foodies at Pumping Station: One called PS:Yum. They wanted a place to be able to cook and store food that was separate from the shop. Since then, the kitchen has hosted many fun events like Beer Church and a liquid nitrogen ice cream social. Within the last two months–since June 16th, to be exact–the kitchen acquired a new area host. I recently got a chance to sit down and interview Arturo, the aforementioned area host. He has done amazing work with the kitchen so far and has even grander plans for both it and PS:Yum in the near future.

Since becoming area host, Arturo has not just made the kitchen cleaner and more functional, but has also added much useful kitchenware. Recently, he bought new table and drying mats, to make cleaning up after snacks much easier. He has also started recycling cans, which he plans to melt them down for their aluminum. There was an impromptu hot dog party in the kitchen recently thanks to him. It was a lot of fun and really encouraged people to utilize the kitchen for more than just cooking. The kitchen fulfills a similar function to a water cooler at work; it is a place to get refreshed and take a break from projects to talk to your peers.

PS:Yum now includes anyone who enjoys cooking at PS:One and the people who eat food cooked during PS: Yum events. This essentially broadens the original group to include most people at the space. The high interest shown in PS: Yum is very encouraging. Future plans for the group include allocating some land from the alderman for an urban community garden. Other plans include a session where our amateur chefs cook recipes that IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence has created. Even more future uses for the kitchen include doing applied science experiments and holding cooking related lessons. Contact Arturo, Noonie, or Ryan for more information.

I have to say I am extremely impressed the hard work Arturo has accomplished in such a short period of time and look forward to more improvements and events from the kitchen. Good luck on your future kitchen and cooking endeavors, Arturo!

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05

08 2014

Fixing the Welcome Pi/Bone

Welcome TV

Welcome TV

When I first visited the space over a year and a half ago now, the first thing I saw when walking in the door was a big TV showing various information, including bus times and the space’s blog. I immediately wanted to know how it worked and was told it was transmitting through a Raspberry Pi. I would later learn how they worked and, recently, what that one was doing specifically. I have dubbed the TV the “Welcome TV” and whatever runs it similarly. Since then, the RPi has stopped transmitting successfully and I began to figure out to fix it, or rather replace it.

After research and lucky guesses, I found the software it was using was Screenly. The issue with Screenly is that its not open source and very limited in the free version. Also, after reinstalling it a few times, it doesn’t seem to like our network. So I decided to use something else. I found that a Beaglebone Black should do the trick with a program called Xibo. Both are more complicated and suitable than the RPi and Screenly.

So far, I have found that Xibo should work on a Beaglebone running Ubuntu, but have not had the chance to test it since Maker Faire Detroit was this weekend and have been busy with classes otherwise. It should get tested by the end of this week and I’ll know for sure if it will work. The Xibo team does not officially support it for RPi and assumingly Beaglebone either so I’m making it using forums and the seat of my pants. Which is arguably, the best way to make.

03

08 2014

Dean’s Dust Collection System

 

There are many exciting things happening in the shop lately including the ShopBot CNC router and dust collection system. The latter of which I will tell you about now. The dust collection system is a project that Dean is in charge of. He has been diligently staying late in the evenings to work on it, sometimes until 1:00 AM. The dust collection system will be made up of a filter, blower, a Clear Vue cyclone and ducting. The ducting will be attached to the ShopBot,  SawStop table saw, band saw, and other tools in the wood shop.

The air will be sucked into the cyclone by the fan, which runs on a 3 phase induction, 5 horsepower motor. It will then be filtered in two stages. The first stage is the cyclone, which will filter out heavier particles into a trash can below it. The second stage will be an actual filter that will trap all the smaller particles. After that, the filtered air will be blown back into the shop.

There is also a Dylos air quality monitor hooked up in the shop that keeps track of the particles in the air. It can be hooked up to a computer via an RS232 serial port for graphing purposes. Besides that, it displays the current readings on both large and small particles. The hope is that the readings will drop significantly after the dust collection system is up and running.

I would like to thank Michael S. for doing the wiring for this and Dean for his many hours of labor on this project. We all hope it will make the shop much tidier and I am certain it will. Also, Dean would like help installing the ducting, which arrived today!

 

10

07 2014

Hackaday Prize: Emergence

The first two BEAM robots. Johnny and Frankie.

The first two BEAM robots. Johnny and Frankie.

The Hackaday Prize Contest is underway! Community voting has started and will continue until August 4th, which is the deadline for initial submissions. The Grand Prize is a trip to space, while the other prizes are pretty cool too. For example: A milling machine, a top grade 3D Printer and more down to 5th place. There are many minor prizes (read hundreds) as well. I encourage you submit your project on behalf of PS:1 or join a project that has already started. Also see if people want to collaborate on other submissions. The more we submit, the better chances of winning. More importantly, cool things will be made. That’s what what hackerspaces are all about, building stuff with or in a community. Here at PS:1 we have one project already underway with more ideas for additional entries. So far, Greg D. has started the Emergence Project, which combines artificial intelligence, robotics, and evolutionary biology. The results will be “to build a small swarm of robots, give them capabilities similar to that of individual insects, and see if emergent behavior arises through their repeated cooperation and interaction with each other.” The team consists of himself, Jenny, Justin C. and me, Anthony. The next meeting will be this Wednesday, July 9th, at 7-9 PM in the Electronics Area of Pumping Station: One.

07

07 2014

First Hackaday Prize Session

We just ended out first meeting which consisted of an overview of the contest, introductions, individual skill sets and brainstorming project ideas. So far, we are going to do something involving plants. Whether that is hacking a plant directly or using sensors around a plant is yet to be determined. Feel free to attend our second meeting which is tentatively to be held next Wednesday at 7:00 PM.

11

06 2014