Java-powered pumpkin


The Alchemist created a great Java-powered pumpkin project:

The Cluster team is legendary on the MPK Campus for throwing the best Halloween parties [photos]!  One of the featured activities is the Pumpkin Carving Contest.  This popular event provides the staff with a fun and frivolous outlet for their creative skills. My prize-winning entry last year was Project Orangebox, a parody of Project Blackbox.

I was stumped this year to think of a design to top last year’s entry… until I remembered the Sun SPOTs!  Sun SPOTs are nifty wireless sensor devices being developed at Sun Labs.  They are small but powerful, fully programmable (in Java), and can do most jobs that call for a microcontroller.  I decided a SPOT would make the ideal engine to drive my pumpkin.  This was a far more ambitious and technically difficult project than Project Orangebox, but with the help of several engineers in Sun Labs, it was successful!

This is a very cool project. It uses the Sun SPOT development kits, which are actually a much better deal than I expected. For $550, you get three ARM9 boards, one that’s set up as a base station (USB-powered, with 802.15.4 radio) and two standalone ARM9 nodes (battery, sensors, radio). You can buy a pile of Arduinos for that price, though. But if you’re a freak for microcontrollers, this is a worthy addition to any geek’s collection of gadgets. Project SPOTkin – Link

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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

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