July 30, 2009

Come See Our New Blog

 

We've moved our blog and if you're still reading this one you've missed some great developments.

 

To make sure you keep up please change your viewing habits to:

http://oomlout.co.uk/?blog/

 

Or if you're using a feed reader the RSS Feed:

http://oomlout.co.uk/?feed=rss2

(Some Things You've Missed)

 
 

A Few New Bits and Bobs

 

 

Paper Arduino Project Box

 

June 22, 2009

Twitter Monitoring Typewriter (TwypeWriter)

Come and see all the details of our Twitter Monitoring Typewriter (TwypeWriter) on our new blog.

http://oomlout.co.uk/?blog

(reading this in a feed reader? switch your feed to the new one)

http://oomlout.co.uk/?feed=rss2 (RSS)

June 16, 2009

Arduino Expermentation Kit (ARDX) - Released

We've been working on this one for a long time. Its designed to be a fun, non school like introduction to Arduino.

It contains an Arduino a breadboard and a load of fun components (LEDS, a motor, a servo, a breadboard, jumper wires, temperature sensor light sensor and more). Along with a printed guide and breadboard layout sheets (pin them to a breadboard and they'll show you where each component goes).

 

Check out all the details on the Instructable:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Expermentation-Kit-How-to-get-Started-wi/

 

(shameless plug)

We also produce a kit with all the components bundled, as well as guide and breadboard sheets printed.

Available in the UK from the oomlout.co.uk web store

Avalailable in the US and the rest of the world from Adafruit Industries

 

Also like all products we produce this one is open source. Feel free to browse through the files here:

http://www.oomlout.com/ARDX/

We've Moved (to the UK)

 

Sorry for the rather long period of inactivity.

But we have finally settled in the UK final and we're marking it by moving our blog to our snazzy new .co.uk address.

If you want to stay up to date on the neat projects we have in the pipeline please start following us there (we do like to toot our own horn but trust us there's some neat stuff on the way).

 

The Blog URL:

http://www.oomlout.co.uk/?blog

 

If your following us in an RSS Reader please change your feed to:

http://oomlout.co.uk/?feed=rss2 

(don't worry we'll double post for a while)

May 25, 2009

Howduino Liverpool (A fun filled day of hacking)

 

Saturday found us in Liverpool hanging out with 30+ (venue limitation) artists, programmers, makers, students, and generally cool people. We were all gathered for the first Howduino event (a day devoted to enlarging the "Internet of Things", and co-opted by makers at large).

The Fun Stuff

Many people brought projects to work on. Some of the neat offerings:

  • A dial bearing plushie panda with glowing eyes (here)
  • An army of brushbots spent the day being artistic (here)
  • A drawbot was made from scratch (here)
  • Our personal favourite which sadly seems to have gone un-photographed, A remote control car twitter race that produced real world representation of search term popularity.
  • Tide monitoring dials.
  • RC Cars being chased by blow dryer's
  • Programmable wavy floors.
  • Fero-fluid tables.
  • Along with many others.

Beyond the projects started worked on or completed the venue was filled with a great buzz with people chatting learning and occasionally soldering. This took the form of RC cars being disembowelled and reprogrammed, chips being tossed around as if they were candy, and grand schemes being hatched (of which the Leeds-Liverpool hacking challenge was one) 

We had a great time and the conclusion was reached that the world needs more Howduino, so if you'd like to have a day in your area talk to the organizer (@amcewen), rumour has it he is eager to organize more and is seeking venues.

( photo via nikki_pugh on Flickr

May 21, 2009

Where Will You Be On Saturday?

 

Us? We're off to Howduino in Liverpool, its going to be a fun filled, free, day of physical computing and old school hacking. Although it is free sadly the space in the venue is limited so all the spaces are filled. But fear not, if the grape vine is to be trusted there may be future repeats in Liverpool, and perhaps further afield as well.  

We'll be there hanging out sharing ideas, and showing off some of the stuff we've been working on, (some things that we'll be selling shortly as well as other more whimsical projects). We're excited, and we'll have a full round up of what was gotten up to.

If you're interested in the event check out the website http://www.howduino.com or to keep up with future developments you can follow @howduino on twitter.

April 26, 2009

Breadboard Based Arduino Compatible (BBAC) Micro-Controller

While work continues full steam ahead at .:oomlout:. HQ last week we reached a point where all of our pre-existing projects were on hold. We were either waiting on packages to arrive or searching for the much more elusive delivery of inspiration. To deal with this we, of course, started a new project.

What is it?

Its a Breadboard Based Arduino Compatible (BBAC). Using a breadboard, layout sheet and pile of components you can have yourself a fun time putting it together (as simple as popping in each component), and when your finished have a completely functional Arduino Compatible board for experimenting with. (a photo with all the parts explained )

Why?

It may have come about as a tool of procrastination, but now finished it has loads of great uses (here are some we thought up). 

  • The simple layout makes understanding (or explaining) how a micro-controller works easy.
  • Comes with loads of wire and a breadboard so you can start experimenting without the need for purchasing additional components.
  • Great for educational settings. (inexpensive enough that you can send everyone home with one at the end).
  • No need to solder (soldering is good fun but does present a slight barrier).
  • Great for permanent installations (prototype on a USB board then throw one of these into the final version)

Availability:

At the moment we're still in the process of setting up our UK operations so sadly we can't sell you a lovely kit, just yet. But it uses components many will already have on hand, so grab the layout sheet ( here ), and component list ( here ), and find a breadboard and throw it all together on. (you can borrow the ATMega168 chip from your USB-Arduino board).

Future Availability:

If you haven't heard yet we're setting up a web shoppe so soon you'll be able to purchase a lovely kit from us. If you can't wait it is open source (CC BY-SA) so please feel free to produce your own, or drop us a line, we'll help you out.

A Few Extra Pictures:

 

         

 

April 13, 2009

.:oomlout:. is on the Move

 

Things have been crazy around oomlout HQ recently as we've been scrambling to finish off projects, pack boxes and just tie up any and all loose ends. The reason? We're moving our main base of operations to the UK.

What This Means in the Short Term

  • We have to shut our store temporarily - all of you with just placed orders don't worry, they are being shipped as I type. To all of our wonderful customers thus far no need to worry we'll still be able to offer support via help@oomlout.com.
  • Development will be temporarily slowed - we apologize to everyone eagerly awaiting our ARDX and other great (yet to be announced) products, but as we move into our new location development will be slowing, please bear with us everything will be well worth the wait, we promise. 

What This Means in the Longer Term

  • We'll have a UK/EU base of operations - We're excited by the prospects of this, and have plans to expand our product line and potentially bring in other products in a larger web store. So if you're in the UK or EU and are a Maker or Open Source Hardware fan drop us a line about what you would like to see and we'll look into stocking it. ( info@oomlout.com )
We're looking forward to the move and getting up to speed in the UK.

March 27, 2009

Toys of The World Unite

 

One of the small problems we around oomlout HQ encounter far too often is which of our toys to play with. There is always debate and benefit weighing but all too often we come down to an impasse between playing with our Arduinos or playing with our legos. The solution? play with both.

To facilitate this we have made a few laser cut acrylic pieces to bridge the gap. Currently we have pieces to make connecting an Arduino, a Breadboard a Battery Box, and a Standard Size Servo (continuous or normal) to your lego easy. If you'd like to build your own you can find the files over on Thingiverse ( here ).

We hope to keep developing it and add more and more pieces, so stay tuned.

(and our space buggy could so beat up your space buggy)

March 23, 2009

Fancy yourself a Robotic Arm Developer?

 

Its time to take open source hardware to the people who can make it really awesome, you.
Part of what makes open source software so powerful is the, varied skill sets of the people who work on it. While we at .:oomlout:. think everything we produce is awesome the depth of skill around our offices is admittedly rather limited. We can handle laser cutting and bolt counting but when it comes to math or programming or art we are quickly out of our depth.

Perhaps your an animator with a desire to bring your inverse kinematics knoweldge into the physical world, or a researcher in need of an arm to move your beakers, or a puppeteer looking to produce an all robotic arm play, or a teacher looking to excite students, or something completly unrelated.   

We would like you to bring your expertise to this project. What we have is a five axis robotic arm design controlled by rather inexpensive hobby servos. (material and cutting cost about USD$150)
We can guarantee it is loads of fun to play with, and we think potentially very useful for more serious pursuits.

How to get started?
We have posted the design files up on Thingiverse along with the parts required to
assemble your own (here). There are also photos from different angles to aid in the assembly (3d models to come). If you don't have access to a laser cutter you can download the file for free and have the pieces laser cut at Ponoko  (here).

Who knows if we get enough people on board attendance at our developer meetings may grow beyond the oomlout'ers and our cat (and need more than a kitchen table).

March 21, 2009

A (short) week at NYC Resistor

 

Last week I was unlucky enough to find myself with a two hour layover in the New York areas finest airport, Newark. However a few e-mail's turned this minor annoyance into several days of hanging out with New York's coolest people, in a great space.

I was able to watch a machine take form, (a machine capable of printing anything)(makerbot.com). Be party as dinosaur skeletons were shrunk to the size of a matchbook (tinysaur). Discuss the inner nuiances of procuring free items on Criagslists (conclucion items okay, services dodgy). Be told of the next great advance in diy medical records. (a phone app capable of logging your stool history then building an animated monster based on the input (poop-agotchi?)).

Not just that glowing shoes were made, exams were marked, pizza consumed, flaming uekalalies birthed, soda drunk, twitter based revolutions begun (and won), videos edited, blogs posted to, and it all occured in the same room.

Was any of this neccesary? Was it economically productive? Was it important? probably not. But it was good fun and when you combine fun and great people the future has no choice but to take shape.

The future is being formed and it's happening at a Hacker Space near you.

To find your nearest.
(hackerspaces.org)

in Vancouver?
(come visit oomlout's local Hacker Space vancouver.hackerspace.ca we're having a meeting on Tuesday (7pm) come and meet our cities coolest people.)

 (photo from brepetis via Flickr)

March 09, 2009

A Busy Day (and ready to go)

 

Well the team has been busy and we thought we'd bring you up to speed on a few things. 

 What We've Done:

  • The ARDX (Arduino Experimentation Kit) is almost finished. All that is left is writing up a few of the circuits and editing the assembly videos. We've updated all our files you can check them out ( here ). (we're particularly fond of the Sketchup models of each component and circuit ) (tentative ship date March 20)
  • Finished off most of what is required for one of our new products ( ARDI ), An Arduino based Intervalometer for SLR cameras (well any camera with a 2.5mm remote trigger plug). Check out a photo of the kit ( here ), and a small time-lapse we made using it ( here
  • We printed business cards and made lovely little stands for them. ( here )
  • Version one of the etch-a-whiteboard project is moving. We're hoping to have some time this week to perfect it and let people test it out at Maker Faire UK. ( here )
  • Made loads of little acrylic oomlout's, to hand out (to the point where we ran out of acrylic).
  • And finally threw it all in a suitcase, we're ready to fly. Newcastle here we come (via, Houston, and Newark, and Manchester) When will we learn to book flights earlier. ( photo )
That's what we've been up-to.

Wish us luck with the TSA.

oomlout Has Friends

 

We've been working with another local design shoppe recently and are excited to say we'll be bringing a few of their lovely items to show off at Maker Faire UK. Accumulus Designs has been operating off internet (they call it the real world we think they're terribly mistaken on that front) and have recently decided to take their goal of conquering the world via open source crochet digital.

As such Otis's best friend Christopher (pictured above, video'd below) will be joining the oomlout entourage on our trek to Newcastle. He's very much in his infancy at the moment but I've been told his type develop sensors and great personalities as they evolve.

Come visit a juvenile Chistopher at out table at Maker Faire UK (we'll be in the marquee)

As excited about what Accumulus Designs has in store as we are? Check them out on flickr

(christopher in action)




 

March 08, 2009

Arduino Controlled Servo Robot (SERB) Around the Web

 

While we toil away on new products its easy to forget about those we are already producing. This consists most notably of our pride and joy (and Otis's family) the Arduino Controlled Servo Robot (SERB). Making and selling them is loads of fun (and helps finance our continued development), but what gets us really excited is when we see others, taking the designs and not just reproducing them but adding their own improvements and style. Here are a few SERB inspired items we've found around the internet. (drop us an e-mail if you're building your own SERB (or SERB inspired item), or using a purchased SERB in a fun way info@oomlout.com)

BunnyBot

(above)

 This is Stuart's favourite, the plans were modified to give the robot a lovely rabbit'esque persona. It was produced to act as the moving portion of a collaborative board game as part of a year end design project. (more details can be found ( here ))

Mike's SERB

 

Mike has a special place in the heart of all the oomlout'ers as he was the first to contact us with plans to build the SERB.

Micheal Beck's SERB

 

Michael Made his using some extra acrylic he had on hand. The yellow and red combination giving it a fun look.

Obscure SERB Siteing

 

Here is an obscure photo (and one that shows we spend too much time floating around the internet). Here is a SERB  being constructed at the Make Magazine table at First NYC. 

(shameless plug)

Like the SERB? Sadly we are sold out of them at oomlout, however you can pick one up at The Maker Shed. (special thanks to the Maker Shed for stocking our SERB it is helping to finance the next round of Open Source hardware goodness)

March 05, 2009

60 Day Anniversary

 

Today is a big day for oomlout, we're celebrating 60 days using Google analytics. How to commemorate such an event? By turning an online graph into something more tangible.

Using a little acrylic base, our automatic wire cutter and some arduino code we have produced a little desktop graph. The length of each wire being proportional to each days page-views. A quick little fifteen minute job, definitely room for improvement, but it is nice to make the digital physical.

If you'd like to build your own you can pick up the files over on Thingiverse ( here )

A quick video of its assembly. (this is what happens inside your computer every time you make a graph in excel)