dorkbotsf:   dorkbotSF #8


People doing strange things with electricity


Motion Capture video [mpg]
Kimric and Christian's machine

7:30pm Wednesday
24 September 2003

132 Eddy St
San Francisco



Jonathan Foote - Electronics: Almost as Much Fun as Drugs
Even though Jonathan has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and rather than spouting off about how clever he is, he would like to show *you* how clever *you* are. By the end of Jonathan's talk, you will understand basic electronics through an intuitive "waterworks" analogy. Using a few of his illuminated works as a motivation, Jonathan will demonstrate how you yourself can build straightforward LED, laser, and neon circuits -- easily and cheaply. And yes, there will be high voltages, audience participation, at least one explosion, and if that's not terrifying enough, an equation or two.

Jonathan Foote attended public schools in Santa Monica, California, somehow without learning how to surf. He received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. After working as a development engineer in Boston, he received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Brown University. He did postdoctoral research at Cambridge University in the UK from 1993 to 1996, and was a 1997 Fulbright Fellow at the Institute of Systems Science in Singapore. Since 1997, he has been a Senior Research Scientist at FX Palo Alto Laboratory. Dr. Foote's research interests include speech recognition, audio analysis and retrieval, multimedia signal processing, and panoramic video. Dr. Foote has published more than 40 papers and has received several US patents. He is also an artist and musician, and especially enjoys not surfing in his free time.

Eric Barbour - Electronic Music, The Hard Way - A Demonstration of Synthesizers Made of Vacuum Tubes
No one had ever made voltage-controlled music synthesizer equipment out of vacuum tubes--until 1999, when Metasonix released its first tube synthesis products. They contain unusual tubes intended for special jobs in TV sets and industrial equipment, resulting in a tonal palette completely different from conventional solid-state synthesizers. The demonstration will feature TM series tube modules plus a few unique prototype instruments, such as the one-of-a-kind "Four Voice", believed to be the only polyphonic tube synthesizer in existence. Some music created with Metasonix equipment by various artists will be played.

Metasonix (based in Lakeport, CA) was founded in 1995 by Eric Barbour, also its chief designer. Barbour has a BSEE degree from Northern Arizona University, was applications engineer at Svetlana Electron Devices (one of the largest vacuum-tube manufacturers in the world) for five years, is a founding editor of VACUUM TUBE VALLEY magazine, and is a longtime contributor to GLASS AUDIO magazine.

Edwin Berlin - Capturing Motion for Character Animation
This talk will mostly be a demonstration of the Gypsy motion capture suit, which captures the motion of the human wearer. Edwin will talk about different technologies for motion capture and then discuss the specific techniques that give the Gypsy suit its performance and capabilities. Some of the components used, such as a portable inertial reference and spread-spectrum wireless link will be of interest to designers of other devices.

Edwin Berlin is an inventor and engineer with a BSEE from MIT. At 24, he founded Cubicomp Corp., manufacturer of the first 3D animation system running on a PC. Now he designs hardware and software for 3D graphics related applications through his current company, Secret Software. He also designs and builds toys.

Many thanks to Wil Linn (rxGallery) for hosting this month's dorkbot.

If you would like to speak at a future dorkbotsf, please contact Karen Marcelo

dorkbotSF mailing list info