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People doing strange things with electricity

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Images from Karen Marcelo

Mike Estee's flat patterns for making cardboard hexapods

Videos from James Young:

Mike Estee
Rudy Rucker Jr
Liam Holt and Anselm Levskaya
Rudy Rucker Sr.

7:30pm Wednesday
29 February 2012

Langton Labs
9 Langton St. SF, CA

Grilled Cheese and Soup Shots from @grilledcheezguy

Donations ($5-$20) to the space much appreciated. No one turned away for lack of funds

Langton Labs

Rudy Rucker (the Elder) - THE BIG AHA

Rudy will read from his new novel, say a bit about what he wants to do in the novel and take questions. The novel is about a future world in which we don't use any machines at all---everything we use is some kind of tweaked plant or animal. Rudy is interested in the transistion to a "hylotech" world beyond this, in which the property of being "alive" moves into ordinary objects as well.

Rudy Rucker is a writer, a mathematician, and a former computer science professor. He received Philip K. Dick awards for his cyberpunk novels Software and Wetware, now available in the Ware Tetralogy. His fantasy California novel of the afterlife, Jim and the Flims, appeared in 2011, as did his autobiography, Nested Scrolls, which received the Emperor Norton Award. Rudy recently finished writing a 1950s alien invasion novel called The Turing Chronicles, featuring a love affair between Alan Turing and William Burroughs. He is presently getting started on a biotech SF novel called The Big Aha. He also edits a speculative fiction webzine called Flurb, with issue #13 appearing in March. He took up painting in 2000, and he's had three shows of his pop-surreal works in San Francisco. For ongoing updates, see Rudy's Blog at

Mike Estee - The Three Laws of Paper Robotics

In a quest to make robotic experimentation more accessible and affordable, Mike explores how office supplies can be used to bring about the cardboard apocalypse.

Mike Estee has been a circus engineer, a fruit programmer, and a pipe organ mechanic. Currently working towards achieving escape velocity from a career in software, he spends his free time finding solutions to problems that don't yet exist.

Liam Holt - Syneseizure

Our consciousness does not contain reality - there is too much information in reality to handle, our brains would fry. Therefore, our various sensory cortexes have really complex data compression and processing algorithms to present us with the most useful information to help us kill antelopes, run away from lions and find attractive mates. This means we ignore a lot of reality. Perhaps we can see a different aspect of reality by listening to our eyeballs or looking through our nose.

Synesthesia is a condition in which one sensation (sight, hearing, etc) gets mixed up with another. This can cause situations in which someone "smells" sounds, or "sees" touches.

For this hack, Liam and team designed and built a full head mask that allows the wearer to feel images in real time. The mask is arrayed with 12 speakers that contact the skin of the face. When an image is captured with a webcam and converted into a 12 pixel black-and-white representation. The computer activates an arduino board that controls the speakers. If the pixel is white, the corresponding speaker is turned on. If the pixel is black, the corresponding speaker is turned off. This allows the wearer to feel (via the vibrations of the speakers) an image on their face.

Liam is a Bowes Research Fellow at UC Berkley

Rudy Rucker Jr - Running a Punk ISP

It's been a decade since Rudy last spoke at DorkBot -- before he was faking it, but now he is making it in the wireless realm. Rudy will give a an overview of running a WISP, discuss fiber in the streets of San Francisco, and talk about the future.

A decade ago Rudy Rucker, Jr. was an exdot-commer who owns and operates Fascinated with information and pop culture, he made websites which amuse some and trouble others. Now, he does that and more like making sure SF has its RDA of fiber thru microtrenching.

If you would like to give a presentation in the future or host a dorkbotSF meeting, please contact Karen Marcelo at dorkbotsf [at] dorkbot [dot] org