Other Boards Technology
Robotic Sea Creatures that Respond to Invisible Waves

Designed to engage and empower the maker community, Intel’s “Inside the Blue” project, developed in tandem with digital media agency Noise, encourages makers to create robotic creatures using their Galileo board. These creatures are meant respond to invisible waves all around us. To help makers get inspired, they recruited beta teams to make a few of these creatures and develop tutorials so that you can make them yourself. Make: got the first look at these creatures at World Maker Faire New York.

The Brain Coral can take any kind of sensor input and displays activity on the RGB LEDs inside. It also acts as a base station for wireless sensors. Powered by Node.js, its web-based interface allows you to access the sensor data in real-time on your tablet, laptop, or mobile device. A full how-to is available on the Intel community.

The Brain Coral can be used to control the Signal Fish, a flying robotic sensor platform. It can explore an area with a sonar based object avoidance system and a random walk algorithm. When it finds a sufficiently strong wi-fi signal, its on-board LEDs respond with dazzling patterns. Of course, you could also switch the Signal Fish into manual mode and control its flight from your phone or tablet. Intel’s step-by-step instructions show you how to establish wireless communication, construct the rig, and build out the circuit.

Both creatures can be replicated, expanded, and modified. Or if you’re inspired to create your own creature, the resources behind these projects provide a fantastic jumping off point.

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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