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Thomas writes –

DorkbotPDX 0x01 will be taking place on March 30th at the PNCA Graduate Studios building (1432 NW Johnson St.). We are planning to start things around 6, though there will probably be time to socialize a bit before the talks start. There will also be time to meet others in the Portland Dorkbot community between and after the talks.

The lineup of speakers is:

  • Cathy Swider – Using LEGO Mindstorm NXT robots with students to create art
  • Ward Cunningham – What If Bacteria Designed Computers?
  • David Frech – Bootstrap yourself into conviviality by writing your own Forth

Talk Descriptions:

  • Using LEGO Mindstorm NXT robots with students to create art. As alternative to competitive competitions or skill challenges, LEGO ArtBots facilitates students to learn basic programming and robotic mechanical design for the purpose of creating line drawings or watercolor paintings. Students write short programs and attach sub-assemblies to hold brushes and markers to create the art. The robot moves autonomously with the assistance of light, touch and rotation sensors creating interesting and sometimes unpredictable results. It is hoped this approach will generate interest in engineering and computer science among new groups of students.
  • What If Bacteria Designed Computers? This talk explores Bynase, the biologically inspired protocol that Cybord computers use to signal values amongst themselves. The primary value of Bynase is that it drives system designers into novel tradeoffs with analogies in biological systems. A second value of Bynase is that it encourages casual small-scale hardware/software projects suitable for one-off art or educational projects.
  • Bootstrap yourself into conviviality by writing your own Forth. Forth is a simple language that yet has enormous expressive power. This paradox invites investigation. In this talk David proposes to explain – abstractly at first by talking about some philosophical ideals that Forth embodies, and then concretely by giving a short tutorial of the language that I implemented, muForth – how Forth can be both simple and powerful.

Related work from DorkbotPDX makers:
Dscn1526
The Chronulator

Led Birthday Candle
LED Birthday Candle