Solar Bristlebots

Yesterday I met with Rachel’s 1st grade class for the first time. In the past, we have done either bristlebots or solar cockroaches. This year, I combined them and it was the best EVER.


Let’s start with the results, then I’ll get into the super easy making process.

One child created something wonderful and totally unexpected. He added what looked like a basketball rim made with a pipecleaner. Then he put a styrofoam ball in it and it SPUN when the bot was in motion!


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So this is how the Solar Bristlebots are made. The parts list is at the bottom.

  1. Stick the motor to the back of the solar panel. Orientate the motor so the red wire is 20170930_125628.jpgon the + side and the blue wire on the “-” side. I was working with 1st graders, so I soldered the motors on beforehand. After you solder the motor, put it under a strong light or take it outside to make sure it works. The solar panel might have a protective plastic cover that should be peeled off before you test.



20170930_1257442. Cut a piece of the double stick foam tape the length of the solar panel. Place it on the back of the solar panel (over the motor) and press down for a strong bond. Peel of the protective paper.


20170930_1302133. Cut off the handle of the toothbrush. Again, since I was working with 1st graders, I did this beforehand.



20170930_1303164. Put the toothbrush heads on the sticky foam tape. In this example, I switched the orientation. But the brushes on so the bristlebot has stability.


That’s it! Now the students should decorate the bristlebots, with tails and antenna etc. Rachel and I also them with with the hot gluing.



Solar Cell Solar Panel 30*60mm 2V 50mA 0.1W

12mm disc vibration motor 

double sided foam tape

toothbrushes – I usually get packs of toothbrush at a dollar store. The flatter and wider the better.

misc. decoration materials (feathers, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, etc.)



soldering iron / solder

large snips

hot glue gun / glue sticks

safety glasses

Archive Dreami

Archive Dreaming from Refik Anadol on Vimeo.

Commissioned to work with SALT Research collections, artist Refik Anadol employed machine learning algorithms to search and sort relations among 1,700,000 documents. Interactions of the multidimensional data found in the archives are, in turn, translated into an immersive media installation. Archive Dreaming, which is presented as part of The Uses of Art: Final Exhibition with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union, is user-driven; however, when idle, the installation “dreams” of unexpected correlations among documents. The resulting high-dimensional data and interactions are translated into an architectural immersive space.

Shortly after receiving the commission, Anadol was a resident artist for Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence Program where he closely collaborated with Mike Tyka and explored cutting-edge developments in the field of machine intelligence in an environment that brings together artists and engineers. Developed during this residency, his intervention Archive Dreaming transforms the gallery space on floor -1 at SALT Galata into an all-encompassing environment that intertwines history with the contemporary, and challenges immutable concepts of the archive, while destabilizing archive-related questions with machine learning algorithms.

In this project, a temporary immersive architectural space is created as a canvas with light and data applied as materials. This radical effort to deconstruct the framework of an illusory space will transgress the normal boundaries of the viewing experience of a library and the conventional flat cinema projection screen, into a three dimensional kinetic and architectonic space of an archive visualized with machine learning algorithms. By training a neural network with images of 1,700,000 documents at SALT Research the main idea is to create an immersive installation with architectural intelligence to reframe memory, history and culture in museum perception for 21st century through the lens of machine intelligence.

SALT is grateful to Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence program, and Doğuş Technology, ŠKODA, Volkswagen Doğuş Finansman for supporting Archive Dreaming.

Location : SALT Gatala, Istanbul, Turkey
Exhibition Dates : April 20 – June 11
6 Meters Wide Circular Architectural Installation
4 Channel Video, 8 Channel Audio
Custom Software, Media Server, Table for UI Interaction

For more information: <p><a href="">Archive Dreaming</a> from <a href="">Refik Anadol</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>

Weather Monitoring and the Microbit

Being in love with the Microbit, I try to get my hands on anything related to it. Over the summer Sparkfun came out with a weather monitor expansion board called the Weather:Bit. For $14.95, its not a bad deal.

Well, last week I received an email from the pre-kindergarten teacher at Poughkeepsie Day School that they are studying the weather and want to collect weather data. Yes! So today, I got out the Weather:bit, plugged it in and went to to see how to program it.

First thing to do is to import the (beta) weather:bit package. This is done by clicking on the Add Package link in the Makecode, search for weather and select the package from Sparkfun.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 3.12.45 PM

Using Sparkfun’s code as a template, I created the program below. One new fact I learned about the Microbit that disappointed me greatly is that floating point numbers are not supported in Makecode. Ok, this is a great excuse to use MicroPhython. But for now, I press on.

In order to upload the data to the web, I’ll use the serial port interface on the weather bit or the radio function to get the data from the Microbit to a website. Stay tuned ….



Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 5.22.08 PM


Elements – Art film by Maxim Zhestkov from Zhestkov on Vimeo.

Elements is an experimental art film by Maxim Zhestkov about nature, physics, art and love. More than 2 billion elements / particles governed by tensions and forces of nature were used to tell stories and show emotions through the motion of collective behavior.
The film is a trial to explore the idea that everything around us and inside us is made from simple elements / blocks which can be arranged in complex relationships and become compound structures. We could project this idea into emotions, behaviours, thought processes, relationships, life, planets and the universe.

Design / Animation / Sound by Maxim Zhestkov.


Oh my ( )

Oh my ( ) from noriyuki suzuki on Vimeo.


“Oh my (  )” is an installation that calls god in 48 languages using Twitter database. The machine monitors the Twitter timeline in real time and when a tweeted text includes a word, god( in various languages ), speakers sound “oh my ( god in the tweeted language )” at the same time. The list of accessed 48 languages is following.