Fugio Friday: Text Syntax Update

Happy Fugio Friday!

This week work has continued on doing fun things with Raspberry Pi’s!

One key thing I need to be able to do is control patches remotely.  While there are already plenty of options for sending and receiving pin data (see the updated Network plugin documentation), there is no possibility for using a text editor remotely while retaining syntax highlighting and error reporting, which are both very helpful when hacking shaders and scripts.

The dream being that I can have an editor on a laptop and remotely live code a shader on a Raspberry Pi.

So I’ve refactored the syntax highlighting and syntax error reporting system to facilitate sharing this information remotely.  Next up is writing a couple of nodes for sending and receiving this information over a network.

This should even work over the internet, which opens up some interesting remote collaborative options!

You’ll also notice in the image at the top, I’ve updated the Text Editor to show errors by highlighting the line numbers in red, which is a lot clearer.

I also enabled sending keyboard events from one Fugio to another, which should also prove useful in the future.

All the code changes are available in the GitHub repository.

I’ve cleaned up and organised the Core plugin documentation.  Still much to do, though I’m slowly working my way through it.

Finally, I wanted to highlight this new patch by Winfred Nak that he posted up in the Fugio Users Group on Facebook.  It’s a rather cool game show buzzer where the first button pressed will trigger off the music for that team.  It’s a good application of logic nodes, which are really useful!

Gameshow Buzzer by Winfred Nak

If one was so inclined, one could add a Firmata node and use an Arduino and real physical buttons as inputs…

Next week I’ll be setting up our robots as part of a new exhibition called Our Friends Electric at QUAD Derby.  The launch event is on Friday and I’ll be speaking at an event there on Saturday.  Come along and say hello!

Have a great weekend…

Fugio Friday: Virtual Reality Smells

Happy Fugio Friday!

We have a new forum for discussing Fugio ideas and issues. It’s a bit quiet so far so do post up your thoughts and questions!

This Sunday (May 7th) I’ll be taking part in the Imperial College Festival, showing our Fugio based virtual reality experience that explores whole genome sequencing of bacteria.  Come along and say hello.

This new version, previously shown at Oxford’s Museum of History of Science (pictured), features smells that are blown towards the participant via motors with 3D printed fans at points synchronised to the audio narrative; their speed controlled by a Fugio timeline sending serial messages to an Arduino with a motor shield.

In other news, I asked the Fugio Users Group whether they were running 32 bit or 64 bit Windows.  The results were 100% 64 bit!  Until now I’ve just been building Fugio on Windows as a 32 bit application, but I’d like to support 64 bit too, so I put the basics in place, and also looked at cmake as an alternative to finding different libraries, the results of which are all on GitHub.

I’ll be in Amsterdam next week, so you can look forward to a “Fugio vrijdag” update.

Fugio Friday – 3rd February 2017

Happy Fugio Friday!

This week I’ve not had much of a chance to work on Fugio as I’m preparing an artwork for the HUMANS NEED NOT APPLY exhibition that’s opening at the Science Gallery in Dublin next week.

The Anti-Social Swarm Robots don’t like each other, or the walls of the pen they are contained in, or people.  They are constantly trying to get away from everything to find their own ‘personal’ space.

When we first exhibited them at the Royal Academy in London, they were described by Sumit Paul-Choudhury, the editor in chief of New Scientist, as “Antisocial swarmbots. This is actually proper brilliant: biomimicry of a behaviour we don’t consider useful”.

There is an exhibition launch party on Feb 9th.  I’ll be there, as well as giving a short talk about the project on Feb 10th.

Finally, Shadows of Light, which is one of my Fugio powered artworks that was part of the Embodied Encounters exhibition at the Beall Center for Art and Technology had a nice write up in a new article in the UCI Magazine.

Fugio Friday – 30th September 2016

Happy Fugio Friday!

This week I’m in Irvine, California installing of my Fugio based artwork “Shadows of Light” at the Beall Center for Art + Technology.  The exhibition “Embodied Encounters” is open from October 1st 2016 to January 21st 2017 and features work by seven international contemporary artists.

There is an opening reception on Saturday, October 1st, 2-5pm – I’ll be there!

As I’ve been busy doing that, and the V&A show last weekend, there is no binary release this week, but there are some goodies to be had in the source code, if you’re compiling along at home:

  • NEW Kinect plugin (Kinect version 1 for Microsoft Windows only)
  • NEW MatrixInverse and MatrixOrthographic nodes
  • UPDATED Serial Port device configuration with many more options
  • FIXED rendering to OpenGL depth buffers
  • FIXED missing GL_INT_SAMPLER_2D support from ShaderCompiler
  • FIXED OpenGL command line option to make windows full screen

I’m not expecting to do a Fugio Friday next week as I’m taking a sort of holiday after the show opens, but I’ll be around to answer questions and such.

Fugio 1.8.0 – Serial port and Firmata plugins

Arduino Uno

Happy Fugio Friday!

Today we have two new plugins that enable Fugio to talk to hardware that uses a serial port interface, which includes the Arduino range of open source hardware (like the Arduino Uno above), which means that we can control LED lights, motors, servos, and use sensors for touch, magnetism, temperature, and many more!

The serial plugin handles the raw data communication between the Arduino and Fugio, and can be used to implement any kind of custom protocol between the two, but we can go one further and use the rather nice Firmata plugin to talk directly to the Arduino pins without writing any Arduino code at all.

Download Fugio 1.8.0 for Windows and OS X

Get the source code on GitHub

I haven’t had time to do a tutorial video (yet), but here’s some pointers to get you started:

Setting up a Serial Port

  • In the new Devices menu, choose Serial Ports
  • Add an entry for your Arduino.  Make sure you choose the right port, and set the baud rate (the speed the serial port will work at) to 57600 (bits per second)
  • Remember to press the Enable button for the entry you’ve just added

Arduino Serial Configuration

Reading from the Arduino (without Firmata)

Upload the following code to your Arduino:

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin( 57600 );
  
  while( !Serial )
  {
    // wait for serial port to connect.
  }
}

void loop()
{
  Serial.println( "Hello, World!" );
  
  delay(1000);              // wait for a second
}

Create the following:

Fugio reading from Arduino

And use the following Lua program:

fugio = require "fugio"

PinInputStrings = fugio.input( "Strings" )

function main()
	local Strings = PinInputStrings:get()

	for i = 1,#Strings do
		fugio.log( i .. ": " .. Strings[ i ] )
	end
end

Setting up Firmata

Instructable for installing Firmata on Arduino

And here’s what you have to do in Fugio:

Quit the Arduino software and load Fugio:

  • Add a Serial Input node, a Firmata node, and a Serial Output node
  • Connect the Serial input and Serial output to the Firmata node
  • Connect a button to the Reset pin

Firmata setup

If everything is connected and configured properly, you should see the pins appearing on the Firmata node.  Check the logger window for additional messages.

Firmata with pins

If this doesn’t happen first time, you may need to close the patch and reload it.

At this point you should be able to read and write to the Arduino pins!

Click the Edit Pins button to configure pins for inputs (digital INPUT (true/false) and ANALOG input (0-1023)), and outputs (digital OUTPUT (true/false), and PWM mode is supported):

Firmata pins

I’m going to be showing a couple of artworks at the prestigious V&A Museum in London for the next few days with the High Altitude Bioprospecting team (and fellow members of the Institute of Unnecessary Research) for the Digital Design Weekend as part of the London Design Festival.

23rd September: 6-8pm
24th and 25th September: 10:30am-5pm

I’ll have Fugio on hand (creating music from genomic data) so come and say hello!

New Painting With Light installations

This weekend I set up a new Painting With Light audio/visual installation at Watermans Arts Centre in London using the new audio playback features in the 1.5 beta.

I also ran a workshop with Exploring Senses through a Brighton Digital Festival Education Award for thirty 13-19 year olds who hacked toys, built a cardboard city for them, created animations about them, and finally used Painting With Light to bring everything together into a digital metropolis!  And all in just 7 hours!

And finally, I was featured on BBC News 24 and BBC Global World News talking about the My Robot Companion art project that I’ve been working on in collaboration with Anna Dumitriu as part of my ongoing artist residency at the University of Hertfordshire.

Alex-May-BBC-News

Toy Hack Digital Metropolis

Toy Hack Metropolis

Toy Hack Digital Metropolis – Free Young People’s Workshop and Public Event (Brighton Digital Festival Education Award Project)

Phoenix Brighton
Friday, 18 September 2015 at 19:00 – Saturday, 19 September 2015 at 21:00 (BST)
Brighton, United Kingdom

Click here to book a free place for this workshop

Alex May and Exploring Senses will work with young people to design and construct a stunning cardboard cityscape bringing it to life with video mapped projections using May’s accessible software Painting with Light, and populating it with ‘toy hack citizens’.

The event is curated and hosted by Phoenix Brighton. May is an internationally known digital artist working with code and video mapping technologies. Exploring Senses are a not-for profit community arts organisation based in Brighton, who explore learning creatively through play, and working with local communities and young people. Phoenix Brighton is the largest artist led space in the South East and known for creating high quality education activities and exhibitions

Young People’s Workshop
The young people’s workshop is free and open to a limited number of participants aged between 13 and 19. It runs 7:00-9:00pm on Friday 18th September 2015 and 1:00-5:00pm on Saturday 19th September 2015 and participants may attend either or both sessions. Please book via eventbrite to join the workshop sessions and provide a contact phone number and name for the parent guardian.

The event is supported by a Brighton Digital Festival Education Award and is part of Phoenix Brighton’s flagship Artistic Learning Programme.

Public Opening Event
The final installation will be open to the public from 6-9pm on Saturday 19th September 2015. All welcome, no need to book.